1991 Buick Park Avenue 3.8L V6 from North America
This one is worth a look
Engine had to be replaced at 94k miles.
The speaker in the driver's door no longer works.
Glove-box handle snapped off and glove-box doesn't stay closed unless you lock it now.
Various little squeaks and rattles in the dashboard on occasion.
This is the first large American luxury car I've owned and I must admit that I am quite pleased with the car overall. It has a 5-star safety rating and gets very respectable fuel economy for a full-size car, nearing 30mpg on the highway. The majority of premium sedans out there require premium fuel, but this one does not. It's a refreshing change of pace.
Inside and out, I do find my Park Avenue to be of very cheap quality. The materials are very low-grade and plastic, like the typical GM car. The interior has a ghastly amount of simulated (very fake) would trim all over the dash and doors. When you shut any of the 4 doors, they just sound tinny and hollow. Not impressive. The only aspect that I find to actually be quality and luxurious looking/feeling are the chrome door handles on the interior. They are made of metal, not plastic, and feel like quality in your hand. The paint on my Park Avenue is the orginal paint and is in suprisingly great shape. It's still very glossy. However, I was really disgusted to see that there are paint runs on the driver-side front fender! That's unexcusable quality from the factory. Even though it's a GM, I think it should be of higher quality than this.
The performance of the car is quite good for a large, plush, American luxury car. Power from the engine is not tire smoking powerful, but it is definitely adequate for everyday needs and is strong at any speed. As much as I love the durability and fuel economy with the 3.8L engine, it is just too gruff and rough sounding for a luxury car. Between the engine and exhaust gruffness, you would think you're driving a Pontiac or something of that nature. Thankfully you don't have to push the engine hard, so engine and exhuast sounds are relatively quiet most of the time. The transmission is silky smooth and I love it! My only complaint is that unless you make sure to put the selector in "Drive", not "Overdrive", the car shifts in and out of top gear too much. It can make for an annoying drive. The ride is very soft and floats over bumps so smoothly, but riding on smooth pavement seems to bring out a jiggly, stiff riding sensation. My mother's '89 Volvo rides better on smooth pavement, which I think is bizarre considering how soft the suspension is in my Park Avenue. Also, the car bottoms-out very easily if you take a dip or bump too quickly. When that happens, you might as well be driving a Volkswagen. The car handles turns very well for a big car. This impressed me. The steering is way too light and lacks road feel compared to what I'm used to, but it could be worse.
I had to replace the engine shortly after buying the car. I do not blame the car because from what my mechanic told me, someone had previously tried to replace a part inside the engine and used the wrong type of grease, which caused severe internal damage to the engine. Thankfully, I was able to put a decent used engine in for a very reasonable cost. Once I replaced the engine, the coolant sensor failed and the ignition failed. Literally on the same day. Because he felt bad for me after having just spent a decent chunk of change to replace the engine, my mechanic fixed the ignition for me free of charge. Any other problems the car has are very minor annoyances that I learn to live with.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th August, 2004