1996 Buick Park Avenue 3.2
Solid car early on, costly later on
Had to replace a head gasket.
14 miles to the gallon city, 19 highway.
Replaced shocks and struts, $2800.
Closed loop A/C not working after 1 year.
Beginning to show signs of more problems as it approaches 100000 miles.
Shocks compressor went out, $350.
Trunk has $500 auto locking device; do not slam the trunk!
I bought this from one owner, an old lady of 72 when she bought it and 82 when she sold it.
Very roomy and good acceleration.
Costs heavily on gas; not efficient, even after tuneups.
The leather can suck if you don't maintain it, and in winter leather is horrible.
The heated seats and side view mirrors are a plus; $300 repair for the heated mirrors. Seat warmers do NOT shut off when the car is not running unless you flip the switch; a flaw if you forget.
The $500 trunk lock that slowly closes the trunk is absolutely unnecessary.
Overall a good car if you maintain it, but it gets expensive later on.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th August, 2013
17th Aug 2013, 11:27
Your gas mileage was quite unusual. I used to get about 28-29 MPG on the highway with my '92 Park Ave.
18th Aug 2013, 19:03
A couple other unusual things are a blown head gasket on the 3800 and $500 for a trunk pull-down motor.
22nd Aug 2013, 15:12
I loved the Park Avenues, but only had 2 of the 2nd generation. I drove a '94 once and that thing floated as soft as a 70's Cadillac or Lincoln, but I suspect the shocks were badly worn out. Just can't beat them for classic good looks, comfort, and efficiency (as others mentioned your mileage was very low).
Both of mine (a '99 and '05) got over 30 MPG on the highway and had the same engine as yours, which by the way was a 3.8, not a 3.2. If yours was supercharged (which it probably is since you have heated seats in a '96) it may explain some of the discrepancy.
These were one of the last true American sedans built in the great tradition following WWII. Now all the modern cars are just viewed as appliances, and it shows sorely.
4th Nov 2013, 11:11
Some people confuse the head gasket with manifold gasket; intake manifold gasket failure was a common problem on GM V6's around 1995-2002. Fuel mileage that bad is unusual, even for a poorly maintained car.