Buick Estate Wagon Reviews from North America

1987 Buick Estate Wagon 307 Olds

Model year1987
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 307 Olds Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired198000 miles
Most recent distance206200 miles
Previous carDodge Dakota

Summary:

Definitely a unique car that gets a lot of looks

Faults:

Spare tire holder rotting out.

Slight lifter tick.

General Comments:

Car picks up well for a big heavy car with only a 307 powering it.

Very comfortable interior, probably the most comfortable car I have ever been in.

Has some cool features for a car built in 1987, like an 8-way power driver seat.

Can get 18 MPG when I'm nice to it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2011

1st Apr 2011, 01:55

Sounds like a sweet car to me! As a proud owner of a few full size Buicks and wagons myself, I have to say these are great cars. For travelling, long trips, or just carrying people around town in comfort, these are the best cars.

Try fitting at least 4 people in comfort in a newer sedan or wagon, it's difficult.

1982 Buick Estate Wagon Electra 8 Passenger 5.0 Liter V8 Oldsmobile 307

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 5.0 Liter V8 Oldsmobile 307 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired189000 miles
Most recent distance394000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Caprice

Summary:

Unstoppable! Nothing beats the versatility of a full size station wagon

Faults:

Valve covers leak.

Rear main seal leaks.

Transmission starting to leak.

Differential burnt up, due to getting bottomed out on a rock, cracking, and leaking out all the gear oil-replaced it with a 3.42 positraction.

Manifold gasket shortly after I bought it.

Alternator.

Water pump.

Heater core last winter.

Power steering pump 2 years ago.

Wiper motor last winter.

Timing chain 3 years ago.

Brake master cylinder 2 years ago.

Seats are faded and worn, but still comfortable and not ripped, like your favorite pair of jeans.

General Comments:

I bought this car in 1997 as a winter beater/work/fishing/hunting/wood hauling car for $1200. I never thought that I would get another 13 years and 205,000 miles out of it. And it shows no sign of dying soon.

Although nearly 400,000 miles and a rough life has left it looking a little worse for wear, I believe simply washing it every couple weeks has helped keep the rust away until recently.

The old workhorse 307, courtesy of Oldsmobile, always fires up on the first try, no matter how hot or cold it is. And sometimes it is the only car in the neighborhood that will start in -30 degree weather.

It is not a speed demon, but it is not designed to be either.

The transmission shifts with authority like it has for 13 years.

Gas mileage is only a minor headache, 15 city/21 highway, and repairs are always minor and infrequent.

Even when I had the open end rear axle, a good set of snow tires makes this car virtually unstoppable in deep snow. The extra weight of being a station wagon only helps matters.

The car still rides down the freeway like a cloud, and seats 6-8 full size adults in comfort and style.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2010

10th Oct 2010, 11:32

I too am the owner of one of the old forgotten land yachts, a 1979 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. It has a Oldsmobile 350 V8 with the old 3-speed 400 series transmission. It runs just as smooth as any Rolls Royce or Bentley. This car laughs off speed bumps and potholes. Blizzards, deep snow and searing 110+ summer heat have yet to faze it. I've taken probably hundreds of trips between Oklahoma and South Texas, with barely a hint of trouble. I swear if there was a way to do it, the car would pull a freight train.

It's essentially the same as the Buick in this review, with different grille, tail lights, trim, etc. Sure it drinks gas like a fat hog and looks pretty rough at 320,000 miles with some scratches, dings, faded paint, peeling fake woodgrain and rust, but I think the body will rot and fall off long before the motor and transmission in this car will ever quit.

Thanks for the great review.

Big Mike, Perry, Oklahoma.

1978 Buick Estate Wagon Limited 6.6 Liter V8 (Factory Oldsmobile 403)

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1982
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 6.6 Liter V8 (Factory Oldsmobile 403) Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired47000 miles
Most recent distance287000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Caprice

Summary:

RIP Dragon Wagon, You saved the lives of 5 people

Faults:

Rebuilt transmission in 1990.

A/C died for the last time in 2000.

Rear main seal began leaking in 2003, I just kept my eye on the oil level and drove it.

2 radiators in the lifetime of the car.

1 heater core somewhere along the line.

Replaced the coil springs all around in 1994.

General Comments:

All in all this was a very reliable car for the time I owned it. It was undeniably a pig on gas, but it did OK on the longer trips if you kept it under 70 MPH, probably 19 MPG on a good day, as low as 11 or 12 MPG in the city. If you ask me, there is still nothing made today that is as versatile, smooth or reliable as a full size Station Wagon.

Back in the day it was actually a very stylish car too, nice metallic baby blue with woodgrain, and comfy light blue cloth interior seats. Power windows/seats/door locks all around. It had most of the luxurious creature comforts of the Electra of the same year, including the same grille. The extra added weight seemed to work pretty good in the snow, traction was never a big issue. In the last 4 years we owned it, it simply didn't get driven much, due to the soaring price of gas and a few maintenance issues.

As for how it saved the life of me and my family, one night we had some band concert to go to at my daughter's school. We normally didn't drive the Buick much, but for some reason that night it ended up getting parked in the way of our other 2 cars. I was driving down a busy 4-lane highway, speed limit 65, with stoplights scattered here and there as we get closer to town. Amid the family conversation and other distractions, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a large tractor/trailer flying toward my intersection on a cross street at a high rate of speed. I slammed on the brakes and tried to swerve to the right (as the truck was traveling to my left), but I hit hard right against his rear trailer wheels and rear trailer bumper. The impact sent my car spinning (doing at least 3 360's according to one witness) toward the far right of the cross street's stopped traffic, where we collided with a stopped car with the drivers side doors, and the car still had enough momentum to turn itself back around and plow hood first into a Jersey Barrier. It happened so fast, all I could see was crumpled hood and steam when I hit the trailer, as the radiator burst instantly.

None of the doors would open on our car, due to the fact that the frame, floorpan, and front fenders had somehow absorbed most of the impact and literally bent underside of the the whole car. The windshield was shattered, but still hanging there. I thought I was dead, I thought we were all dead. We all escaped with only seatbelt burns and minor cuts and bruises. My car was still running with several warning lights blaring at me by the time the paramedics arrived. I was so shaken I didn't even notice. It was even able to straighten itself out and drive onto the back of a flatbed under it's own power. The first responders pried the doors open, and when I was finally able to get out and see, I couldn't believe the carnage. The truck was tipped over, and oranges and crates were laying all over the place. Looking at my car gave me the chills, I felt like the 5 of us cheated death that day.

Two days later I went to the junkyard to clean out the personal belongings. When I asked for the car, the employees were certain that it was involved in a fatality. Seeing the car again with my own eyes in broad daylight was again a shock. It looked like it had gotten punched by a bulldozer at about 100 MPH. It makes me wonder if modern cars, with all the technology, air bags, and crumple zones will fare as well?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th November, 2009

6th Nov 2009, 10:24

Yes a modern car would fare as well, if not better. You'd be amazed.

7th Nov 2009, 05:35

It is overly optimistic to assume that the crumple zones would absorb all of the force of a high-speed collision. In fact, their ability to absorb force is not infinite. In practice the older cars are safer in the extreme cases because their overall strength is far greater than the light, small, unibody cars of today.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 3 reviews