2004 Buick LeSabre Custom 3.8 from North America

Summary:

Under rated, rethink your Sonata

Faults:

Check engine light came on at 90 000 km; was fixed by replacing the gas cap. Apparently the seal was faulty and a fuel evaporation sensor was going a little haywire. Didn't effect the running of the vehicle.

Aside from that, the car has been problem free since new.

General Comments:

My Grandpa was a man who could afford whatever car he wanted, but insisted on a new American car every two years. This was a mystery to me in my younger years, as where we live (Canada) and the businesses our family was involved in were far removed from the any of the big three. He always explained that your personal prosperity was incumbent upon the prosperity of your neighbor, and that as much as he loved Europe and Japan, he saw far fewer of them coming into his stores than Americans doing cross border shopping in Toronto. The car I have now was my Grandpa's 5th LeSabre in a row, and when he couldn't drive any longer, it became available to my sister and I as we were sharing a Volvo.

Naturally, our parents expected fighting over who would get which car, as the Volvo was cheaper for us to put gas in, faster and 'cooler'. I was 17 and my sister 19 at the time, and I don't think I have taken the Volvo once since we've had two cars... the Buick is now 'my car'.

Despite my age, I can't say I'm a particularly fast driver... it's just not possible in this car. If you really want to sacrifice fuel economy, this baby goes, but it just doesn't encourage you to nail it. This is something I have gotten used to, probably to the delight of my insurance provider... I actually wouldn't mind getting a break in my rates by now.

This is absolutely the most comfortable car ever, hands down. I drive 7 hours total to and from college each week on the highway, and always look forward to the drive. I do about 1000 kms weekly, including my day to day errands.

The radio is good, and I love the bench seat. Not only do I prefer having the gear selector on the column, but it is awesome to be able to drive around with 5 friends... not to mention having all our crap in the trunk (which is massive).

So far the car has been perfectly reliable, and I hope it stays that way. Fuel economy on the highway is incredible, sometimes as low as 8.2l/100km, but the city can be much worse... usually around 10l/100km, which isn't bad for a big car.

I think as long as I can afford to, I will drive a full sized car. It is so comfortable, and you feel really safe. I can't say I win over all the women with my sweet ride, but I guess it weeds out the shallow ones. Handling is good in the winter, too, at least as good as the Volvos we have. All our cars have winter tires and are front wheel drive, I guess the only thing that separates the Buick is that it doesn't stop as promptly... but you don't go as fast anyway hahaha.

Since going bankrupt GM has started showing us some really awesome looking Buicks. I think that when I turn 21 in a couple of years or if I can get my current car to 300 000 km (which ever comes first), I will seriously consider the new Regal, which is supposed to come with a 4 cylinder engine.

The new Regal is supposed to be built in North America, too, which is nice. As much as I like the new Ford Fusion, that will be a deal breaker as it is made in Mexico.

Despite my family's history of buying VW's and Volvos, my exposure to economies impacted by the downturn in the auto industry (my college is in one of those areas) as well as my good experience with Buick has permanently changed my mind. Not to mention Grandpa's opinion.

I used to be a real 'car buff', and my tastes really favored the imports. However the Buick has taught me that the differences between brands is generally mundane and we owe it to our fellow Canadians (who make a lot of cars, too) and Americans to think about them in the purchase decision. Not to mention the new Buicks look reeealllllyyy goood.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th December, 2009

27th Dec 2009, 18:25

It is nice to see another young Buick Fan. I just turned 25 today, and am the proud owner of a 2005 Park Avenue with about 32,000 miles on it. I previously had a 1999 and liked it so much I wanted another. I too like traditional options like a split bench seat and column mounted shifters which are sadly missing from most modern cars.

I must say that I am not too fond of the newest Buick sedans, but I do really like the Enclave SUV and hope to buy one when my Park Avenue is paid for. I really hope Buick will flourish with its new product portfolio.

24th Mar 2010, 00:37

It's not all about where the company is from. As you said, Fords and VW can be built in Mexico. My Honda Civic coupe was built in Canada and the sedan is built in Ohio. Also, some Japanese and Korean automakers use more local parts in their vehicles than American automakers. I'm glad that Canadians still like Americans, because the rest of the world doesn't. LOL.

2004 Buick LeSabre Limited 3.8L V6 from North America

Summary:

Comfortable, powerful, and wonderful on the highway!

Faults:

Driver's heated seat malfunctioned at 38,000 kilometres.

The car makes a strange gurgling/trickling noise on the passenger side whenever it rains. I think the seal at the base of the windshield is to blame. No visible water leakage inside, though.

One of the rear lights comes on and off intermittently, it seems like a bad connection.

General Comments:

I love my Buick. It's a perfect first car for me.

Gas mileage has been surprisingly good. On a 7 hour highway trip this winter, it averaged just over 30 MPG cruising at 115 km/h (70 mph). Not so good in the city, but I can't expect a 3.8 to sip fuel in stop and go traffic.

In cold Quebec winter weather it handles really well with Michelin X-Ice tires. It started flawlessly every morning even after being left outside all night in -20C and warmed up almost instantly. (This seems amazing after being in a VW Diesel for the past 7 years!)

Very comfortable cruising on the highway, and the cruise control is very precise.

I wouldn't change a thing about this car, except the climate control and rain-sensing wipers. The climate control's auto mode is anything but automatic... in freezing cold weather, the air is only directed to my feet, even when the engine is up to temperature and warm air is coming through. I have yet to test the air conditioning. As well, while the rain-sensing wipers are fun for the first 5 minutes, I don't find them to be nearly as effective as the old-fashioned variable intermittent wipers, especially when it's snowing.

I hope my LeSabre lasts a long time. I'm going to miss it when I look for my next car in the (hopefully distant) future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st December, 2008