2003 Buick LeSabre Limited (Celebration Edition) 3.8L from North America


Best bang for your buck on the used market!


Very minor paint peel on the rear rockers.

Nothing else.

General Comments:

Over the 2014 holidays I used my father's 2004 LeSabre to complete a trip with a total KM of just over 1500km. I had taken his car to save some $$$ on gas, and on this drive I was amazed that I averaged 40MPG or approx 5.8l per 100km. I have owned the 3800 engine, but never had it in a LeSabre with this gearing (MPG was 100 percent highway with low traffic).

What this lead to is when I happened upon a very good condition one (8/10) for very cheap (a few 1000$ below Black Book). I jumped on it. The one I purchased is a 2003 Pearl Red Celebration Edition. I had never heard of the Celebration Edition before, and it adds some cool features (on top of being loaded):

Heads up display.

Two tone leather.

Sunroof etc.

To my dismay it also changes the gearing to a 3:05 vs 2:86. This translates to losing a couple MPG on the highway. It also changes the stabilizer bars and tightens some other stuff up, resulting in a slightly more controlled ride vs the softer base suspension. I personally prefer the standard, as handling on a FWD car is N/A either way.

These cars are very well built, and are a real bargain on the used market for someone looking for a daily driver. I had been thinking about getting a smaller car to commute, however after driving my father's, I learned I could be comfortable and get great MPG. It is a shame GM killed this platform, as it is dead reliable and can get great MPG. Parts for this platform are dirt cheap, and they are about as easy as a FWD unibody gets to work on yourself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2015

2003 Buick LeSabre Custom 3.8L Series II V6 from North America


Solid cruiser


Intermittent 1-2 shift problem began at 130,000km, apparently common on this transmission (4t65e). Changed tranny fluid & filter, problem was solved before it got worse. Upgrading tranny fluid to DEXRON VI is a good idea anyway. Tip: change the tranny fluid/filter early, I'd say at around 90-100k. My driving was also mainly highway, manual said it should have been good until 160k.

Driver side heated seat stopped working at 120,000km.

Fuel filter partially clogged and replaced at 125,000km.

Various backlights on the temperature control console and radio became intermittent, then stopped working.

General Comments:

Outstanding reliability on the 3800 series II engine as could be expected. Original Delco plugs and cables are great, and still going strong at over 135k.

Amazing ride quality and comfort inside the cabin. Plan on keeping it until it rusts out from underneath me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2010

2003 Buick LeSabre Limited 3.8 from North America


It is one great car in every way


My reason for sending this message is to back up the information I have read on your site about the GM 3800 engine. I own this 2003 Buick LeSabre Limited now that just had the upper plenum replaced at 24,000 miles. It was covered by warranty.

I traded my 2001 Buick LeSabre in on this car. This 2001 also had the upper plenum gasket replaced around 50,000 miles. I was lucky however I had taken insurance out on that one so that covered the expense. My point is this. The problem is happening on all GM 3800 engines regardless of car make, or model. And it should be handled as a recall as frequent as it is happening to everyone. I love the car in every other way and will continue to purchase the 3800 engine as the economy is great on it. I also have been told that the 2005's have an improved gasket.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th April, 2005

2nd Mar 2006, 22:38

I have been told by a Buick sales representative that the upper plenum on the 3800 engine is now all metal not plastic anymore. The above change I think just started in 2005. I think this is a real positive move toward improving an otherwise great engine. I have a 1995 Bonneville with 186,000 miles on it with a non turbo 3800 engine which has had no problems with the upper plenum (its metal though). Also a 1990 Bonneville with a 3800 engine and 199,000 miles and no upper plenum problems-all metal though.