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2001 Buick Century Sedan

4dr Sdn Limited

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

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  • $22,991 original MSRP
Printable Version

2001 Buick Century Sedan

Printable Version

2001 Buick Century Sedan

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2001 Buick Century

Source: New Car Test Drive

Old-fashioned comfort and practicality.

by Ted West

Base Price (MSRP) $19,840
As Tested (MSRP) $22,226

Buick Century emphasizes comfort and practicality. Bench seats provide plenty of room for six people and its V6 engine is strong but frugal. Its flavor is plain-vanilla, but its popularity as Buick's best-selling model shows that vanilla is popular with many, many folks. Its design is one you can count on. Everything is exactly where you think it should be and everything works exactly how you think it should.

Model Lineup

Two models of the Century are available: the Custom ($19,840) and the Limited ($22,871).

The Limited is distinguished by Magnasteer variable-effort power steering, leather upholstery, cruise control, the OnStar global positioning and communications system, a driver's side-impact air bag, and other luxury equipment.

A Special Edition model comes with a blacked-out grille, black door header moldings, and body-colored fascia and side moldings heralding a long list of standard luxury equipment. Since special wheel trim is also included, the package costs $1486 on Customs with bolt-on wheel covers, $1786 on Customs with aluminum wheels, and $1680 on Limiteds.

Standard on all Century models are keyless remote entry, power locks, daytime running lights with Twilight Sentinel automatic light control, anti-lock brakes, traction control, tire-inflation monitor and theft-deterrent.

Walkaround

No one has ever accused the Century of being trendy or glamorous. Some would call the styling bland. The Century was designed to perform its duties quietly and faithfully without drawing attention. And it does this well.

With its traditional grille and roomy interior, the Century is unmistakably a Buick. It shares the same smooth, organic form as the more expensive Buicks, but it's far less expressive. Many find this understated appearance appealing.

The Special Edition's blacked-out grille is a gesture in the direction of European panache, and its handsome polished aluminum wheels are, for this car, almost startling. These attractive wheels make a bold styling statement against the backdrop of the car's otherwise neutral appearance.

For 2001, all Century models have acquired an inside-trunk escape handle. And the recommended oil-change interval has been extended to 10,000 miles.

Interior Features

Century's understated exterior styling theme continues inside. The dashboard is traditional American, and on the spartan side by today's standards. Instrumentation is limited to a small analog speedometer, a water temperature gauge and a fuel gauge. On the lower left and right of the dash are two circular warning-light complexes, each split three ways in pie-chart fashion. The left three warning lights indicate problems with oil pressure, battery charge or anti-lock brake circuitry. The three indicators on the right warn that the seatbelts are not fastened, the parking brake is on or the air bags are not initialized to function properly. Century comes standard with dual air bags and, oddly, a driver's side-impact bag only on Limited.

Our Special Edition interior was finished in earth tones. We think it could use a little more excitement inside. But the six-way power seats work well and provide a generous range of adjustment. Power driver and passenger seats are part of the Special Edition package. In standard trim, the Limited has a power driver's seat, and the Custom has manually operated seats; but power seats are available separately as a $330-per-seat option. In any case, both front seatbacks adjust manually.

Limited and Special Edition have steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Sprouting from the thin wheel's four spokes are buttons for: Seek, Scan, AM/FM, Source, Mute and Volume (Limited and Special Edition only). Generally, such remotes are useful, but the Century system had its problems. We constantly tapped Seek by accident while wheeling the Century in and out of parking spaces, losing our selected station. Also annoying is that these steering-wheel controls are illuminated whenever the lights are on, and after a while the plastic buttons become hot to the touch.

Befitting a Buick, the front and rear seats are roomy and comfortable, and rear headroom is excellent. Our Century Special Edition featured handsome leather upholstery. The trunk is generous, as is expected of a Buick. A useful cargo net is supplied, but opening the trunk requires using a separate trunk key instead of the ignition key. This is a long-standing GM inconvenience that should have been corrected way back in the 20th century.

Driving Impressions

Under the hood, the 2001 Century has plenty of good news: a 3.1-liter V6 that delivers 175 horsepower at 5200 rpm, and 195 pounds-feet of torque at 4000 rpm. Called the 3100, it's a solid and conventional engine, with overhead valves and sequential-port fuel injection.

The 3100 V6 provides a crisp, authoritative response. That's encouraging: A keynote of Buick heritage is that the big cars from Flint were historically expected to deliver vigorous performance. What is even more impressive about this engine is that, in addition to providing plenty of power, it also produces excellent fuel mileage, with 20 miles per gallon in the city and a whopping 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 3100's power is delivered through an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. It shifts smoothly, but otherwise its performance is only adequate. Kick -down response is slow when compared with the latest automatic transmissions found in high-priced vehicles. Electronic traction control, which comes standard, reduces wheel spin for improved control on slippery surfaces. Also standard is an antilock brake system (ABS), which allows the driver to maintain steering control of the car in a panic braking situation.

Century's front suspension is a MacPherson strut design, while its rear suspension is a multi-link independent using a coil-over strut. This setup is tuned for a smooth and soft ride when cruising on smooth, straight highways at normal speeds. This soft, "boulevard" ride is traditional for Buick, but results in undistinguished handling in any sort of vigorous maneuvering: The Century leans when driven quickly through corners and it floats and wallows at high speeds over wavy surfaces. This tends to isolate the driver from the road.

Final Word

Buick Century is modest-looking yet generously equipped. It is a utilitarian four-door sedan. It was designed to provide long, workmanlike service for those who appreciate the traditional Buick values, that is, a premium vehicle at an affordable price.

The Century's engine is very satisfying, and its ample interior space is sure to please traditional Buick buyers. Its soft ride should also please longtime Buick owners, who are extremely loyal to the brand. The Century is one of GM's best-selling midsize cars; Buick sold more than 143,000 of them in 2000.

However, the over-the-road personality of the Buick Century looks backward to the sensibility expressed in earlier American large sedans, not forward to the more international vision of the fully balanced sedan of the future. But for now, Century is still finding buyers whose values are rooted in the past-while Buick has other models that look enthusiastically to the future.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

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
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Std
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.

2-year/24,000-Mile¹ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

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

5-year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2012. 6-Year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for 2013 model year and newer Certified Pre-Owned Buick vehicles (as of 6/24/13) .

¹Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.
²Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
³Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
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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