1980 Buick Electra Review from North America

1980 Buick Electra 307

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 307 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance233000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

A nice comfortable big V8 powered car

Faults:

Bad ignition module circa 1988.

Headliner fell 1990.

A/C failed circa 1994.

Water pump failed 1996.

Alternator replaced 1999.

Left Rear window smashed by vandals 1995.

Replaced steering center link 1995.

A/C failed again 1998.

Headliner fell again 1999.

Ignition module replaced again 1999.

Driver door jammed shut 2001.

Side molding unglued 2002.

Transmission leaking 2005.

Handbrake cable seized 2008.

General Comments:

Large, stable, comfortable car, good for interstate roadtrips.

Gas mileage was usually ~19 mpg when commuting 50 miles each way, around town not much worse.

The A/C failing was the worst fault. I haven't yet learned to repair auto A/C.

Working on the car can be a nightmare, like any other car just about, each in their own way - particularly due to the A/C stuff being in the way. Even checking spark plugs can be difficult on the passenger side.

The car is larger than modern Cadillac 4 door sedans (not SUVs) - it really gets respect on the highway from other drivers that I don't experience in my smaller, newer cars.

The 307 V8 (Oldsmobile motor?) is still smooth running and responsive after 230,000 miles - no exhaust oil burning smoke is yet visible.

The transmission is smooth and shifts with 'authority' - but has begun to leak while driving.

Aside from electric windows/seats/A/C, the car is simple with respect to electronics - just a simple HEI module to control the ignition.

The Rochester Quadrajet carb is a well proven design, and not too difficult to 'rebuild' with a kit.

I'm keeping this car for sentimental reasons, it was my parents car. I really enjoy driving it and we just made a 600 mile round trip just for the heck of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th September, 2009

12th Sep 2009, 21:58

Yes, these were great cars. The Olds 307 is nearly indestructible. My mechanic told me he tore one down once at 99,000 miles and the machining marks were not even worn off the cylinder walls.

12th Feb 2012, 21:34

The 4 speed automatic was not available until 1981.

Average review marks: 5.5 / 10, based on 1 review