1989 Buick Century Limited 3.3


It is a great American car for 6 passengers


A/C compressor did not work any more.


Water pump.

Shock absorber.

General Comments:

As I bought the car in 2002, I had to renew a lot. The bulbs behind the odometer and a few bulbs in the radio, driver's seat belt, brake light in the window. The roof, trunk and hood needed new paint a few years ago, since the paint disappeared/went off.

I also cleaned the whole car with its carpet. I also added weather stripes on the doors, as the models from 1993 have.

The seats are very comfortable. The car is fast and quiet inside. Twice we drove from Berlin to Brussels (850 km) in one night without any problems at 130 km/h.

Sometimes we drive on the German autobahn with 180 km/h, but not for a long time, since it is not a race car. But at a speed of 150 km/h, it is still very comfortable.

The 23 year old car has no rust, and I will keep it for a long time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2012

1980 Buick Century Limited four-door sedan 4.9-liter/301 CID V8 (Pontiac)


A compact 1980s luxury cruiser


Power sunroof (by aftermarket supplier ASR) leaked when it rained.

Radiator core and water hoses leaked.

Engine leaked.

Differential leaked.

Transmission leaked.

Taillights failed.

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.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2002

3rd Dec 2009, 10:32

I would hang onto that car, no matter what the cost. A four door 1980 Century of all things, with a Sunroof to boot, is a very rare car indeed. The 4.9 Pontiac motor was top of the line for Century that year, and is supposed to be very powerful for its era. It was lighter than the comparative 5.0 Liter V8's from Chevy and Oldsmobile, and in most cases had more power. It must be a real chore finding parts in Germany.

1st Jul 2010, 17:23

I've got a 1980 Buick Century Limited, with a 454. I'm qonna do a tranny swap, and throw in a manual and super charge that bad boy, and cut a sunroof into it, and put slicks on it.

3rd Jul 2010, 13:21

A 454 big block in a 1980 Century seems like a little bit overkill. That engine was designed for full-sized cars like the pre down-sized Electra 225's, which weighed close to 5,000 lbs. Your Century probably weighs close to 3,000.