Chevrolet Lumina

The Chevrolet Lumina wasn't by any means a bad car, but it was one that came late to the party and overstayed its welcome, as you'll learn in this article.

Chevrolet introduced this midsize coupe and sedan as the 1990 Lumina -- the overdue replacement for the nearly decade-old Chevrolet Celebrity.

Chevrolet Lumina Image Gallery

The 1990 Chevrolet Lumina Euro package picked up where the Celebrity Eurosport left off.
The 1990 Chevrolet Lumina Euro package picked up where the
 Celebrity Eurosport left off. See more pictures of the Chevy Lumina.

Unlike the Celebrity, which was basically an elongated compact car, the Chevrolet Lumina had genuine midsize dimensions. It also had a modern all-independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. It was available in firmer-suspension, sporty-trim Euro guise, too.

But Lumina's four- and six-cylinder engines were rough running and underpowered compared to the benchmarks from Honda and Toyota. The styling of the Chevrolet Lumina was out of date as well.

Where the best rivals enjoyed a design that pushed their wheels out to the edges of the car to create a planted-on-the-road stance, Lumina was saddled with long stretches of body extending beyond its wheels. It also suffered an unflattering mix of curves and straight lines that robbed the look of any harmony.

Chevrolet's chief designer later admitted that the styling of the 1990-1994 Chevrolet Lumina was from a blueprint that was seven years old at the time the car was introduced.

There were some high points. A contemporary dual-overhead cam V-6 was available starting with the 1991 Chevrolet Lumina. And the 1995 Chevrolet Lumina introduced a body with updated styling and a new interior. That did make the car look fresher, even though the basic underskin structure wasn't changed.

For most of its life, the Chevrolet Lumina lived in the sales shadow of the Ford Taurus and was regularly outsold by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Lumina would soldier on through the 2000 model year, continuing to ride that same basic 1990 platform. Tellingly, the Accord and Camry were completely redesigned three times over the life span of the Chevrolet Lumina.

Check out the profiles and pictures of each model year, beginning with 1990 on the next page.

The restyled 1995 Lumina was praised for its appealing new body and its sensitive, convenient dash and instrumentation.
The restyled 1995 Lumina was praised for its
appealing new body and its sensitive,
convenient dash and instrumentation.

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