1995 Buick LeSabre Custom 3.8L from North America
If you can comfortably nap in the front seat of your car, then you have a great car
Thus far, nothing has really gone wrong ;-).
It is a late model car, and you would expect it to cost a bit to put on the road, but all that it needed for the safety was a front left flex hose.
So in buying the car for $1200, about $220 for the plates (forgot to bring mine when I went to get the car :-( ) and taxes, title transfer and $162 for the safety, for $1582 I got a car that is as comfortable as a Lazyboy, gets as good mileage as my former '94 Volvo 850, doesn't handle anywhere near as well, but in the end is a great car for what, and who, it was built for. Granny and Grampy Cotton Head :-) )
Don't be mistaken. The car does need some work. The main concern right now is lower ball joints. Then I'll do the front rotors and pads. Then rear struts and drums with pads and spring kit. And then finally the front struts, as a complete spring/strut combo, and an alignment, and this car should be good for another 200Klm.
The interior isn't much to get excited about. It has a straight forward dash, in that there are no distractions with it. It gives the information needed and no more. The Volvo had a trip computer, and I found this to be the best invention ever, in that it was crazy accurate, and only when I tested that accuracy, did it cost me. Letting a Volvo run dry and then trying to start it, even one time after it stalls out, WILL DAMAGE THE FUEL PUMP. This might cause an intermittent stalling issue, which might cause you to think that the car has just lost electrical power, but what it is, is that the pump will over heat, due to the loss of lubrication from the previous said running dry situation, and it will simply shut down. The fix for this is to find a replacement pump at the first chance you get, if you ever run your Volvo dry.
As for the Buick, it's a GM and their pumps are pretty much bullet proof. As long as you don't pull a moron, and stare at the gauge sitting below the empty line, and continue to twist the key, wondering why it won't start, you should be fine.
The comfort of this car, as far as I'm concerned, and that's all that really matters, is just sweet. I can be in the car, literally all day, and still not feel the need to get out and stretch. The Volvo was a comfortable car, with heated leather, but these seats, cloth, are by far more comfortable.
For a '95, all of the power options are fully functional, including the air. The power driver's seat took a couple of days to get used to coming from the Volvo. The switches for the seat, windows and mirrors are all on the driver's door; the Volvo had the switches for the seat on the seat, and the rest were on the center console, and after a couple of days of fiddling, because you have to have that perfect cruising position, found that the placement is just a bit short on the door, in that I have long arms, and the buttons for the windows are at about my wrist, so a little shifting is needed to reach the buttons, but REALLY, you get used to it fairly quickly.
Having a column shifter is kind of a throw back, now, but I find it rather easy to use when you need to pull that three point turn. It just seems easy to slap it in to the gears smoothly. I did however notice that if you shift from reverse to drive, and step on the gas too quickly, that the car will BANG into forward motion, and this CAN'T be good for the transmission, so after only a couple of eyebrow raising maneuvers on my first day of ownership, I have learned, quickly, to let the car settle into the selected gear before hitting the gas.
The ride is silly great. It's a bit floaty right now, but this is because the suspension is in need of replacement. I mean at 280+ K klm's, it's just due. The list above suggests I have a plan to do most of the work a bit at a time, but will end up with a better ride. Right now though, the car really does float, and with the exception of the most pitted/potted of roads, or those inner city speed humps when taken too quickly, the car is fantastic. Never had a better ride.
The engine and transmission work well together, though I find that the shift down isn't as quick to respond when I want it sometimes. Seem that I need to get the RPMs up there before it will sometimes gittup'ngo.
The 3.8l is good on the highway mileage, but not as good in the city as the 2.5l (186bhp) in the Volvo, but there is also more power from the 3.8l (205bhp), and I'm finding, that for the get around the dummy in front maneuver, the car is sweet. Though I feel it in the body lean, the suspension on the Volvo was by far stiffer, and I kind of miss that. And if there was a way to duplicate that with this car, I would in a second. Period and end of story.
For what I have paid for this car to get it on the road, which is thousands less than the Volvo, and maintenance and parts are going to be less expensive and more plentiful, I can't help but recommend this car as a great used ride, probably better new :-), but a great ride none the less.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th September, 2010