1996 Buick Park Avenue 3.2 from North America


Solid car early on, costly later on


Had to replace a head gasket.

14 miles to the gallon city, 19 highway.

Replaced shocks and struts, $2800.

Closed loop A/C not working after 1 year.

Beginning to show signs of more problems as it approaches 100000 miles.

Shocks compressor went out, $350.

Trunk has $500 auto locking device; do not slam the trunk!

General Comments:

I bought this from one owner, an old lady of 72 when she bought it and 82 when she sold it.

Very roomy and good acceleration.

Costs heavily on gas; not efficient, even after tuneups.

The leather can suck if you don't maintain it, and in winter leather is horrible.

The heated seats and side view mirrors are a plus; $300 repair for the heated mirrors. Seat warmers do NOT shut off when the car is not running unless you flip the switch; a flaw if you forget.

The $500 trunk lock that slowly closes the trunk is absolutely unnecessary.

Overall a good car if you maintain it, but it gets expensive later on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2013

17th Aug 2013, 11:27

Your gas mileage was quite unusual. I used to get about 28-29 MPG on the highway with my '92 Park Ave.

18th Aug 2013, 19:03

A couple other unusual things are a blown head gasket on the 3800 and $500 for a trunk pull-down motor.

22nd Aug 2013, 15:12

I loved the Park Avenues, but only had 2 of the 2nd generation. I drove a '94 once and that thing floated as soft as a 70's Cadillac or Lincoln, but I suspect the shocks were badly worn out. Just can't beat them for classic good looks, comfort, and efficiency (as others mentioned your mileage was very low).

Both of mine (a '99 and '05) got over 30 MPG on the highway and had the same engine as yours, which by the way was a 3.8, not a 3.2. If yours was supercharged (which it probably is since you have heated seats in a '96) it may explain some of the discrepancy.

These were one of the last true American sedans built in the great tradition following WWII. Now all the modern cars are just viewed as appliances, and it shows sorely.

4th Nov 2013, 11:11

Some people confuse the head gasket with manifold gasket; intake manifold gasket failure was a common problem on GM V6's around 1995-2002. Fuel mileage that bad is unusual, even for a poorly maintained car.

1996 Buick Park Avenue Ultra 3.8 supercharged from North America


This is why people don't buy American low quality


Engine cradle rear mounts let loose at 169100 miles. Also lost steering when this happened!

Also brake/fuel lines replaced.

General Comments:

I love these cars; comfy, with power on tap! But these rust issues are nuts! And the price on cradle mounts, around 300.00, and not even poly urethane or stainless hard parts, give me a break! Legal action in the works with anyone?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th September, 2010

18th Sep 2010, 15:56

I agree, I have a 2005 with 37,000 miles and love it. My '99 with over 140,000 miles when traded was also a great car. When you buy a 14 year old car with over 100,000 miles, you should expect problems. Buy an import from '96 with the same mileage and see if it's flawless.

1996 Buick Park Avenue 3.1 from North America


Reliable luxury car


Blower motor went out, so the heater didn't work.

AC was broken when I bought it already.

Gas tank cover wouldn't open/kept getting stuck.

Oil leak in the engine, manifold absolute pressure sensor had to be replaced.

Radio antenna got stuck, draining the battery.

General Comments:

Put tons of miles on this car, and for the number of miles I've driven, it's been very good.

Very comfortable and roomy, a great ride for lengthy road trips. Tons of space in the trunk.

Accelerates very fast. Uses about 1 gallon per every 25 miles on the freeway, 1 gallon for 17-18 miles in the city. No transmission, fuel, engine or steering problem since I got it.

Would buy another Buick, but now I want a smaller car that's easier to park in the city and uses less gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th December, 2005

25th Feb 2008, 09:52

How can your park ave have the 3.1 V6 engine? They only came with 3.8 and 3.8 supercharged series 2 V6 engines?

28th Feb 2010, 18:03

We bought one almost three years ago that had been taken care of well. It's been a fine car, overall.

The only serious flaw that I've discovered is that to change a fan belt, the engine & transmission have to be supported while the engine mount is removed --- just to change the serpentine belt! Such gives me the creeps.

Imagine said belt breaking in the middle on nowhere, and maybe in bad weather. Having a spare belt (and maybe a tensioner) is nice; but how many owners could effect this repair by the side of the road, even in good weather?

I make sure that the belt and tensioner are in top shape.