Power sunroof (by aftermarket supplier ASR) leaked when it rained.
Radiator core and water hoses leaked.
Battery went dead.
Automatic climate control (temperature sensors) failed.
Aging vee-belts needed replacement.
After a low-speed collision, left headlamps plus housing had to be replaced.
Exhaust system partly replaced.
Front suspension needed alignment.
Oil pressure switch failed.
The above list of defects on my 1980 Buick Century is a comparatively long one, but most of these maladies were merely annoying rather than really serious. Still, the car needed constant attention, its relatively low mileage notwithstanding.
The Century would always start and run smoothly, however, and the wide array of electrical gadgets and gizmos on the Limited (the top-notch version of the Buick Century) worked well. The only exception was the automatic climate control of the air conditioning system. The temperature sensors, which are designed to turn the system on and off once certain temperature margins inside the car are exceeded, simply failed to operate one day. Since repairs would have required a complete pulldown of the system, I had the A/C converted to manual operation, which was a whole lot cheaper and only required the installation of one extra switch.
Quality control on the Century was rather sloppy, with fit and finish of doors, hood, and trunk lid being visibly imprecise. Also, the power window in the door on the driver's side made an audible squealing noise when the window was operated; it would always work properly, though.
The car displayed a number of leaks, most of which were corrected by simply installing new gaskets (engine and differential). That remedy didn't work with the automatic transmission and the sunroof, both of which never stopped leaking.
Being only 4.98 meters long and 1.83 meters wide, the 1980 Century was well-suited to urban traffic in Germany. Its 150-horsepower V8 of Pontiac origin delivered more than adequate power for the comparatively light Buick. Top speed on the autobahn was a true 115 mph, 0-60 mph was in the 12-13 second range.
Steering was astonishingly quick and precise for an American car, and the brakes did a good job, too. Handling and roadholding proved to be completely satisfactory for a luxury sedan, thanks to Century's compact size. The ride was soft and very comfortable, though not as pillowy as on American cars of the 60s or 70s.
Inside the Century, there was abundant luxury, cozy seats and reasonable space utilization. Not bad at all for the first generation of downsized GM intermediates which had made their debut in 1978. The front wheel drive Buick Century came out in 1982, by the way, so my 1980 was still the rear wheel drive version.
All in all, the Buick was a pleasant and practical car, and not too expensive to own and operate, either.