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2001 Buick Century Sedan

4dr Sdn Custom

Starting at | Starting at 20 MPG City - 29 MPG Highway

2001 Buick Century for Sale

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  • $20,020 original MSRP
Printable Version

2001 Buick Century Sedan

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2001 Buick Century Sedan

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2001 Buick Century

Source: The Car Connection

One for the former century.

by Marc K. Stengel

Do you think General Motors' Buick Division fully appreciates the meaning of the name "Century" that designates its well-known family sedan? Of course, for the 2001 model year, Buick's marketing operatives clearly mean to imply a new era dawning, with their car leading the way. I cannot deny spending an entirely lovely week in Buick's latest version of its entry-level sedan. But it was clearly a week spent behind the wheel of a car from the former, and not the future, century.

It is decidedly old-fashioned--but surely not unwise--to offer an affordable family car for six passengers in this Brave New Age. Hasn't Buick been paying attention? Don't those Buick slide-rule types notice the rash of minivans and sport-utes that spent the last decade of the last century transforming people into truck cargo? It takes some nerve to buck this trend, I suggest. Just the same, it is the postwar Buick sedan from the middle of the last century that, arguably, represents the apotheosis of the six-seater family car. So if Buick perfected it, why shouldn't the company keep making it?

Certainly, for the Century's base price just under $23,000, it would be hard to find any new minivan or SUV with comparable seating room, interior comfort - and let's not forget plain and simple grace. As old-timey as a three-passenger front bench seat may be, this latest Century has thoroughly modernized it: When there are just one or two up front, a handy console folds down to create an impression of semi-sporty bucket-like seats, split 55/45 between driver and passenger. The console even has functional, un-fancy cupholders and rectangular cutouts for holding items like cell phones and pagers, plus a covered, leather-upholstered bin under the driver's right forearm. But...when occupant number six steps up to claim his seat, the console folds back, and a new berth is born. State-of-the-art 1950, I'll admit; but you'd be hard-pressed to count the competing models offering a similar retro-change-o front-bench layout in 2001.

High content

The Buick Century that I evaluated was an up-level "Limited" edition to which a $1680 option package added many of the most popular modern power conveniences. One of these, the auto HVAC with dual-zone temperature control, was quite effective, although vents for the driver offered a limited range of motion for aiming airflow. GM's fancy OnStar telecom and SatNav system is now standard on the Century Limited; but for once, I happened to know where I was going all week, so I didn't use it. On my 750-mile round-trip to a conference in South Georgia, I was especially grateful for the optional CD player with steering wheel controls for volume, program source, track selection, and mute/pause. (I don't think Moby or Tull or The Watersons ever imagined playing so enjoyably together in the same gig.) In all, the Century's as-tested price of $25,151 packs an awful lot of enjoyable, comfortable "content" into Buick's so-called entry-level car.

As befits its price and status, Century features Buick's least potent powertrain, a 3.1-liter V-6 that delivers 175 horsepower to the front wheels. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission available. For interstate driving in particular, I found the Century an especially competent cruiser. It would surely have been different with five more bodies wedged in, of course, but my cruising speeds were - well, let's just say that I overtook far more traffic than overtook me.

The key factor in this regard is Century's quite decent torque output of 195 lb-ft. at the beefiest part of the powerband (4000 rpm). This is the factor that cracks the whip in passing mode, so to speak. My only serious complaint is Buick's persistent refusal to provide an easy way to shift into and out of overdrive. That same old-fashioned column shifter from the '50s and '60s is mated to a very newfangled electronic auto transmission, and these new-style autos are programmed to slip into overdrive at the very earliest opportunity - thank-you, EPA. But sometimes traffic conditions favor the more responsive behavior of third gear, and it takes a sort of half-nelson maneuver to crank the column shifter repeatedly into and out of third and fourth. A push button, a la Ford, sure would be nice.

The bigger issue, however, is whether a typical prospective buyer of a Buick Century is the sort interested in using his or her car in this "interactive" way. An instructive line item on the window sticker is the Century's inclusion of a "starter grind prevention" device as standard equipment. Granted, we're all fallible; but is it that unfair to suggest that Gramps and Grams are the usual suspects when it comes to attempting a restart while the motor's already running? It's Gramps and Grams, after all, whose own parents tooled them around in the great Buick family sedans of the postwar period. But it's Gramps' and Grams' grandchildren who've bolted in droves into the driver's seats of minivans and SUVs. At this interesting crease of the calendar, it appears that Buick's century is more of a come-and-gone affair rather than an up-and-coming prospect.

The worm is famous for turning, nevertheless. Sales of the Century may be down about seven percent so far this year, while the invisible hand of the market keeps ratcheting prices upward for the mere trucks that are passed off to us as sport/utes and minivans. How long, though, can it be before saving money is fashionable once again--particularly with a $25,000, six-passenger car, fully loaded and leather lined? Soon, I think, and in the present new Century, perhaps.

2001 Buick Century Limited

Base price: $23,000
Engine: 3.1-liter V-6, 175 hp
Transmission: four-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Length x width x height: 194.6 x 72.7 x 56.6 in
Wheelbase: 109.0 in
Curb weight: 3368 lb
EPA City/Hwy: 20/29 mpg
Safety equipment: ABS, Gen2 SRS airbags, side airbags, traction control
Major standard equipment: six-passenger seating, OnStar, AM/FM/cassette, six-way power driver's seat adjusting, leather covered seats & trim, speed-sensing rack-and-pinion steering, folding heated wing mirrors
Warranty: Three years/36,000 miles

© 2000 The Car Connection

Printable Version

2001 Buick Century Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2001 Buick Century Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Buick Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

NEW! 6-Year/100,000-Mile¹ Powertrain Limited Warranty

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty

Exclusive 2-Year/24,000-Mile³ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Program with two included maintenance visits

¹Whichever comes first, from original in-service date. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
²Whichever comes first, from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
³Maintenance visits must occur within two years or 24,000 miles of vehicle delivery, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2011-2016 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
IMPORTANT RECALL INFORMATION: Before a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle is listed or sold, GM requires dealers to complete all safety recalls. However, because even the best processes can break down, we encourage you to check the recall status of any vehicle at recalls.gm.com
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day/150-Mile&#185; Vehicle Exchange Program <br> &#185;Whichever comes first. Vehicle exchange only. See dealer for details.
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2001 Buick Century Sedan

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