14th Apr 2020, 18:34
Unless the reviewer was hell-bent on having a coupe (which had disappeared from the LeSabre line after 1991), wonder why he would have gotten a couple FWD LeSabres later instead of a Roadmaster?
16th Apr 2020, 16:37
I had an uncle who owned a Roadmaster. Hilariously HUGE car. The only reason he got it was that he and his wife owned a 30 foot long airstream camper. They didn't want to buy a truck, and the Roadmaster was about the only full sized car that could pull it. That thing definitely had a presence. About the best thing about it was on the freeway it got remarkably decent fuel economy. Without the camper it would easily get 25MPG. But the car was in the shop a LOT. It suffered from repeated transmission problems. He eventually sold it a few years ago because he eventually grew tired of constantly having to deal with its issues.
16th Apr 2020, 20:10
Not to get off topic, but did that Roadmaster have a transmission cooler? If not, towing a trailer that size would contribute to the problems your uncle had with the car.
12th May 2020, 01:41
All cars have a transmission cooler built into the radiator. I remember the maintenance schedule suggesting more frequent maintenance when towing a trailer with these cars. Transmission fluid and filter change along with front wheel bearing repack every 15,000 miles. Rear end fluid change every 7,500 miles when used for towing a trailer.
13th May 2020, 05:26
The only thing better about the Roadmaster was acceleration. It actually rusted and corroded worse than the 1980s LeSabres. And like everything else from the 1990s, the interior was loaded with cheap, hard plastic
13th May 2020, 20:31
No kidding about the plastics comment. My Grandmother owned a 1997 LeSabre. First of all whoever designed the layout of the engine was not really thinking of service because the power steering fluid reservoir was nearly impossible to get at, and a few of the spark plugs were also really hard to install as they were shoved way back under the firewall. But anyway, she ran into something one day and put a dent in one of the doors. So I decided to pop out the dent, requiring the removal of the interior panel. When I did it was amazing how cheap it was. The plastics reminded me of the same kind of plastics used for household appliances and garbage cans. Just as cheap as all get out. It's amazing how awful the interiors were on American cars 20 years ago.
14th May 2020, 19:04
And do you really think Japanese car's interiors from 20 years ago were any better? We had a 96 Camry (briefly) and the vinyl on all the door panels was peeling off, the reflector lenses on the doors always came loose and popped off, and every time you hit a bump hard enough, the fuse box door on the bottom of the dash would fall down. All that and the center of the steering wheel looked all bloated from the air bag.
Funny thing is we also had a 97 LeSabre (for much longer) and the interior in that car held up a lot better.
15th May 2020, 23:45
Sure, those 1980's LeSabres had "nicer" interiors.
But only if you are a fan of acres of tacky fake wood and plastic "chrome" trim...
16th May 2020, 05:28
From my experience cheap hard plastics tended to wear better and don't deform as easily as soft stuff (except for whatever hard plastic Volvo used at the time).
The often praised Camry/Lexus of that time period usually melts around the vinyl, or it rips, the plastics are hit or miss. Buicks might loosen up their cloth around the rear pillars due to sunlight and heat.
If the Buick had anything over a Camry, it was the timing-chain driven 3800, coupled with less oil sludge issues.
16th May 2020, 16:50
Another dumb thing about the Roadmaster and most luxury cars in America starting in the 1990s. Having a cheap, leather interior, merely for the sake of having leather.
Leather seats were around in the 1970s and 1980s, but were expensive and rare.
Leather seats back then were bubbly, squidgy, slippery and unsupportive. Colder than cold in winter and blazing hot in summer. Just like the vinyl of the 1960 to the 1980s, except it cracked and ripped easier, degraded quicker, and cost way too much money.
It was almost as dumb and useless of a fad as vinyl tops.
16th May 2020, 21:01
The early edition 3800 (LN3 pre-series I and L27 series I) were superior and probably the best v6 built by any car company. Even Toyota couldn't match it.
Sad but true, the series II starting in late 1995 sort of tarnished the legendary engine by using plastic for too many vital engine parts including upper intake, coolant bypass pipes and the belt tensioner pulley.
16th May 2020, 21:31
I never owned a hilarious car. I’d rather tow with a nice full size SUV or larger truck with rear seating.
20th May 2020, 17:54
If you think a 1990s Roadmaster was hilariously HUGE, then you should check out a 1975 Buick Electra. The Roadmaster was 215.8 inches long while the 75-76 Electra was 233.4 inches, 17.5 inches longer. The Roadie is a midsize car next to the Electra.
20th May 2020, 20:28
I agree that leather is a dumb automotive obsession. Leather seats in vehicles dates back to the horse and buggy era. It was used because it was more durable when exposed to the sun and rain. In the 1930s and 1940s with chauffeur driven cars, the wealthy owners sat on luxurious cloth while the driver sat on leather. Leather was for the hired help to sit on. Then in the 1950s European sports cars, roadsters arrived with leather seats because they were exposed to the elements and so American car makers started offering leather because it had this "sporty" connotation. And because it was such an expensive option, it then became associated with "luxury". The leather in cars today is coated with layers of plastic polymers and the aroma is created by adding chemicals and perfumes during the tanning process. It's hot to sit on in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.
21st May 2020, 17:47
And in my cars I have the leather seats with cooling modes and heated leather seat modes for winter. Works really great. Another option is ordering a heated leather steering wheel; fingers warm up fast. Even Buick has both as an option.
21st May 2020, 18:45
Full size luxury cars of the time. Competitors such as Lincoln and Chrysler weren't much different in size. I myself never thought any of them were "hilarious" looking.
As far as a 75 Electra; at least the car was a real Buick with their own 350 or 455. Yes they were a slug on performance and guzzled gas, but still built by their own division compared to a 90s Roadmaster with a run through the mill TBI Chevy 350 or even worse the troublesome LT1 used in 95 and 96 models. Even the LeSabre on review was Buick powered with the base 231, but the optional 307 (even though an Olds) was a nicer alternative.
21st May 2020, 19:09
Disagree about the Buick V6's of the time being superior to Toyota's of the same era. The "Buick of Japan", the Toyota Avalon has an almost indestructible engine, the 1MZ-FE V6 are rock-solid. My mom handed hers down to my brother. It had well over 350,000 miles on it when he traded it in. And he was certainly not good at maintaining it either. As in he only changed the oil if I said something.