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2002 Buick Century Sedan

4dr Sdn Limited

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

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  • $23,565 original MSRP
Printable Version

2002 Buick Century Sedan

Printable Version

2002 Buick Century Sedan

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2002 Buick Century

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Buick Century is a car you can count on, day after day, mile after mile. It's practical and comfortable, with a smooth ride, good performance, and predictable handling. It even offers a fair amount of luxury for a very practical price. As Buick's best-selling model, Century has established a large and satisfied following.

The Century provides the comfort of a traditional American sedan. The ride quality is soft and its V6 engine is strong but frugal. The interior design is straightforward. Everything is exactly where you think it should be, and everything works exactly how you expect it should work. Its broad bench seats provide plenty stretch-out room, but bucket seats are available.

Model Lineup

Two models of the Century are available: the Custom ($20,285) and the Limited ($23,285).

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 package adds a blacked-out grille, black door header moldings, and body-colored fascia and side moldings, heralding a long list of standard luxury equipment. The package costs $1172 on Custom models, but $2050 on Limited models, because in the latter case it also includes 15-inch aluminum wheels.

Special Edition models may be ordered with a Touring Package ($625 on Custom, $500 on Limited) which adds bucket seats and, new for 2002, a center storage console.

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

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 the handsome painted aluminum wheels on Special Edition Limiteds are, for this car, almost startling. These attractive wheels make a bold styling statement against the backdrop of the car's otherwise neutral appearance.

Changes for 2002 are minimal. In addition to the new console for Touring models, child-seat attachments have been added to all models. Color choices now include Dark Bronze Mist. The cruise control has been re-engineered, and there's a new woodgrain pattern in Limiteds called Tortoise Burl.

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.

The six-way power seats work well and provide a generous range of adjustment. A power driver's seat is standard on all Limiteds and on Special Edition Customs. Special Edition Limited models get a power passenger's seat as well. In standard trim, the Custom has manually operated seats; but power seats are available separately as a $350-per-seat option. In every case, both front seatbacks adjust manually.

Special Edition models 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. Generally, such remotes are useful, but we had some problems with this particular system. We consistently tapped Seek by accident while wheeling the Century in and out of parking spaces, losing our selected station. Also, the steering-wheel controls are illuminated whenever the lights are on, which is good, but after a while the lighted 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 Limited Special Edition featured handsome leather upholstery. The trunk is generous, as is expected of a Buick. A useful cargo net is supplied with the Special Edition, 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

The Century's V6 engine provides a crisp, authoritative response. What is even more impressive about this engine is that, in addition to providing plenty of power, it also achieves excellent fuel mileage, with 20 miles per gallon in the city and a whopping 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

A keynote of Buick's heritage is that the big cars from Flint delivered vigorous performance. The Century delivers this with a 3.1-liter V6 rated at 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'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 transmissions used in higher-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 soft ride when cruising on smooth, straight highways at normal speeds. But while the boulevard ride is traditional for Buick, it 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. The driver feels isolated from the road.

Summary

Buick Century is modest-looking yet generously equipped. As 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 there is ample interior space to please traditional Buick buyers. Its soft ride should also feel familiar to longtime Buick owners, who are extremely loyal to the brand.

But the price of that soft ride is a somewhat old-fashioned personality on the road. In this way, the Century looks backward to the big American sedans of years gone by, not forward to a more international vision of an agile and balanced family car. For now, Century is still finding buyers whose values are rooted in that past, while Buick offers other models that look enthusiastically to the future.

 


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Custom ($20,285); Limited ($23,285)
Engines: 3.1-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): dual-stage airbags, driver's side-impact airbag (Limited only), adjustable seatbelt shoulder height, LATCH anchors and tethers for child seats, tire inflation monitor, ABS, traction control
Safety equipment (optional): N/A
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Oshawa, Ontario

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Century Custom ($20,285)
Standard equipment: dual-zone climate control, reclining seats with manual height adjustment, power locks, power mirrors, keyless remote, tire inflation monitor, tilt steering wheel, AM/FM ETR stereo
Options as tested (MSRP): Special Edition ($1172) includes cruise control; heated, color-keyed outside mirrors; AM/FM/Cassette stereo with remote steering wheel audio controls, six-way power driver's seat, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, OnStar Global Positioning system, cargo convenience net, deluxe wheel covers.
Destination charge: ($610)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $22,067
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 3.1-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 175 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 195 @ 4000
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 20/30 mpg
Wheelbase: 109.0 in.
Length/width/height: 194.6/72.7/56.6 in.
Track, f/r: 62.0/61.1 in.
Turning circle: 37.5 ft.
Seating capacity: 6
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.4/54.4/42.4 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 37.4/53.3/36.9 in.
Trunk volume: 16.7 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 1000 Lbs.
Suspension, f: Independent
Suspension, r: Independent
Ground clearance: 5.7 in.
Curb weight: 3353 lbs.
Tires: P205/70R15
Brakes, f/r: disc/drum with ABS
Fuel capacity: 17.5 gal.

 

 

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of August 29, 2001.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-521-7300 - www.buick.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.


 

Printable Version

2002 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
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2002 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

2002 Buick Century Sedan

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