2001 Buick LeSabre 3.8 Liter from North America
Slow old man's car
This car was very reliable. The 3.8 Liter Overhead Valve engine was old fashioned, but smooth and reliable.
The Buick LeSabre I had represented a traditional American Car for an older driver audience. I didn't like the car personally, since it was purchased for my ex-wife. However, I can say, that if this is your type of car, it's a very good value for the money.
It's a large car, cheap to fix in terms of parts, and the 3800 series engine has been around for a very, very long time. It has 200 horsepower from 3.8 Liters of displacement, which is not a lot with 3.3 Liter multivalve engines putting forth 240-250 HP, but it's a low revving, high torque engine, and moves the car along well.
The 4 speed automatic has too much ratio between 1st gear and 2nd gear, and it upshifts too fast, in an effort to get fuel economy. With a better shift program, this engine is very powerful if only the tranny had a different shift program.
The ride is overly soft and the steering very overboosted and lacks road feel. The car, with stiffer suspension and more aggressive gearing would be much better. It's an overly soft ride and handling. However, the target drive of 50+ years of age would like this car.
If you don't need a minivan, a need a large, cheap, reliable sedan, this is a good buy. As a used car, it's also much cheaper than cars of similar size and represents good value in terms of reliability and size, but poor performance for even the most tepid of drivers.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 6th December, 2007
9th Aug 2010, 16:35
The 3.8L is not bad at all.
First, other than the V6 in the Maxima, it held its own against other V6s of the 2000-2004 era. It has less power than a lot of other V6s, but still has more low end power, but I can sacrifice power for reliability.
The other thing where the 3.8L kills all other V6s at is gas mileage. The 2000-2005 LeSabres were rated for 20/28 or thereabouts, but I owned a 2000, and a truthful rating for that car would have been 23/37.
I only got 23 doing all city driving in the coldest months of the winter, and driving home to Massachusetts from Baltimore I clocked 40mpg at the pump (I did not clock the way there). This is on the stock 3.8L that I never did ANYTHING to except change the oil periodically, and it still runs to this day.
15th Sep 2010, 19:24
The 3.8 V6 is actually from Jurassic Park. It first appeared in the 1962 model year, almost 1/2 century ago. Except for fuel injection & 21st century electronics, it is basically unchanged since then. Many smaller engines with DOHC & VVT turn up much more power, and why GM kept the 3.8 for so long is a mystery to me.
16th Sep 2010, 16:38
Well, the replacement engines such as the 3.6 or 3.9 do not get as good fuel economy and are not as reliable. How's that for improvement?? I for one would have much rather just seen them continue on with the 3.8.