For many years members of my family have owned Buicks, which I keep maintained and running.
All of them served as solid reliable cars, including LeSabres. We just traded in a '97 model at 145,000 miles, and the biggest problem I fixed was the notorious intake.
Speaking of the '89 LeSabre, we also had one of those that was traded in at around 150,000 miles with no major problems whatsoever. My favorite was my father's '85 RWD 2-door LeSabre; that car was flat out awesome. From what I can remember, in the 6 years of ownership that car had no problems at all.
The trouble with 2000-2005 LeSabres was that GM knew this car would soon be deleted from the Buick line-up; even though it had a nice restyle, the quality was not as good as prior years. This included window regulator problems, A/C control, and cheap interior materials.
We currently have a 2003 Park Avenue at 120,000 miles, and it has been great the past 6 years, therefore it's not going anywhere soon.
I myself have never owned a Buick, but I love old GM cars, and someday when the time is right would like to get my hands on a '71-'73 Riviera, or even the last of the RWD LeSabre (2-door) like my dad owned.
I would have to strongly disagree that Buick was planning on discontinuing the LeSabre in 2000. In the early part of the decade, the LeSabre was still a strong seller at over 200,000 models in 2000. However by 2005, American large cars were starting to lose favor and Buick was desperate to attract younger buyers. Hence the Lucerne was born. Had the LeSabre remained a strong seller, I am sure the newer model would have bore that name, and probably should have anyway.
One thing that the Japanese car manufacturers get right in my opinion is keeping with familiar nameplates. Detroit seems to constantly change names of their models in the hope people will forget their mistakes, and frankly a lot of the modern names are downright stupid, while many of the models from Toyota and Honda have been around for decades.
I would have to agree with 17:07 that GM knew they would axe this car from the line-up, because the last generation LeSabre only lasted 5 years, along with the similar Bonneville and Park Avenue platforms that were also discontinued that year.
One of my older issues of Car and Driver from 2000 also mentioned that it would be the final generation for those platforms.
It is truly a shame that GM manged to "allow" such shoddy quality and workmanship to slip through the cracks and wind up on dealer lots. I can't count the number of these things, among other GM cars of this era, going down the road with duct taped windows. I always thought the last gen Le Sabre was hideously ugly; I don't know who would want to be seen in one?
I have owned a 1982 Le Sabre since 1985, 262,000 miles on it now, and it has barely had a fraction of these problems mentioned in the review. In my opinion the 1982 looks better and even handles better, and is still far more reliable than the last gen Le Sabre... On roads with curves that my 1982 holds and negotiates well, the 2001 that I drove for a few days felt wallowy, like it wanted to slide off the road or roll over just to preserve its junky "Dynaride" suspension feel.
The only advantage of the 2000 era over the early 1980's era is more power and better fuel economy, along with lower emissions if you care about that, which I don't.
The late 1970's and early to mid 1980's versions of the Le Sabre/Electra are finally starting to gain some collector value, as I always knew they would. They will probably never command the price that a 1957 Bel Air or 1967 Mustang does, but as time goes on, people will realize more and more how forgettable the 1990s and newer cars have been.
The last generation of the Le Sabre is long overdue for the crusher in my opinion; it was almost as if GM deliberately tried to destroy what used to be an upscale vehicle.
I disagree, I think the LeSabre was a fine looking sedan. I think it was a nice blending of the 60s curves in a modern interpretation. Actually I would have taken any of the 2000-2005 Buick sedans over what they offer now (especially the Park Avenue). I will agree though that the early models did have a lot of bugs to work out, but by 2003 they had a lot of the issues ironed out. Overall a 2003-2005 LeSabre would serve you quite well, but a 2000-2002 would be a bit of a gamble.
Also, basically GM did not discontinue the LeSabre until 2011, they simply restyled and renamed it the Lucerne in hopes of attracting younger buyers. The car was basically the same size with the same engine for most of its life as the LeSabre had. Oddly enough though, it never sold as well as the LeSabre, and it was supposed to pull the slack for the Park Avenue too!
If you ask me, Buick really knew its game in the late '90s and early 00s. They made roomy cars that looked American and rode like Buicks should. Now they have joined the me too crowd, and are trying to mimic the Japanese and Europeans like everybody else.