1993 Buick Century Custom 3.3 litre from North America
Excellent value, power and comfort for a low price
Alternator blew after car was sitting unused for over a year.
Replaced the battery.
New shocks and struts at 120,000km.
New water pump at 135,000km.
Rough idle in neutral and when at a stop. Though I've read this is due to the way the 3.3 liter engine was designed.
Some noise from a cold start under the valve cover. According to GM this is a recognized problem, relating to too much wrist pin-to-piston clearance, and though annoying, will cause no serious damage. Noise fades away as engine warms up.
Factory stereo (not speakers, will get to that) was awful, replaced it immediately.
Occasional fuel system flushes to deal with a partially clogged injector.
Repairs _can_ be cheap, but body parts are quite expensive. $400 for a front grille after my wife rear ended someone.
I had the good fortune to be given this car by my grandmother, and I will freely admit it's one of the nicest I've ever driven.
Very economical to drive. At highway speeds (110km/h) the average fuel economy is 33-36 miles per gallon. Slightly lower in town, but not by a huge amount.
Mediocre power off the line, but once up to speed, ample power is available to pass almost anything. Very responsive to speed changes.
Suspension is designed for a smooth comfortable ride, and it delivers, though it's a touch sloppy around corners. New shocks and struts firmed this up quite a bit.
The factory stereo was terrible, with a strange rapid-fire distortion noise in the cassette player, so it was replaced quickly. Blew the front Delco 4x6 speakers, and replaced those, but the 6x9's mounted under the rear deck refuse to die, and produce phenomenal bass response for factory items.
Extremely reliable car. Only time it has failed to start was -45c outside and the battery froze solid (battery blanket failed), so not exactly the fault of the car.
Cabin is dated, but very comfortable for 4 adults, and the air conditioning continues to function quite well, despite having never been charged (12 years and counting!).
Surprisingly large trunk space. More than ample room for everything needed for 2 people for a week long camping trip :)
Donut tire provided as the spare, which is questionable in my opinion. Had Uniroyal tiger paw nail guard tires installed. This not only saves on worry about nails, but the tires are good enough to improve an already great ride.
Some repairs are quite inexpensive. Replaced the water pump myself at 135,000km after the seals failed and completed the job in less than an hour. However, body related parts are very expensive, and the headlight pods are several hundred each.
Car runs smoothly though tends to idle rough because of the 3.3 liter design. I've had a few problems with carbonized/clogged injectors, but nothing a fuel system flush doesn't cure for a year or more.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd February, 2005