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Old 07-07-2011, 12:56 AM
2,186 posts, read 8,598,864 times


2002 Buick Park Avenue

Rating: 3 out of 5
  • Currently 3.0/5.0

For much of this year, I have had the opportunity to drive a 2002 Buick Park Avenue. And the easiest way to describe the feel of this car is a "couch on wheels." I drive over 75 miles back and forth from work every day through country roads in the backwoods of rural Virginia. I have the opportunity to really understand how a car handles, from sharp corners to long flats. The Buick has its strengths and weaknesses, but overall it has been a very good, reliable car for the ten or twenty thousand miles I have driven the car.
First of all, the price of the car is very reasonable; currently it blue books around $4000 to $5000 depending on condition. Towards the $5000 mark you will probably get a very well-maintained vehicle with all of the features of a domestic luxury car. From electric windows, electric trunk release, cruise control, high quality stereo and leather interior, for the price you will get a fully-loaded luxury machine. While the car does have all of these features, and it does seem to be reliable with only minor annoyances (plastic parts coming loose and needing to be reattached), there is also the drive quality to consider.
As indicated in the title, the 2002 Buick Park Avenue drives like a couch on wheels. The engine noise is quiet, the transmission shifts smoothly, and the front leather bench is like a giant couch propelling you at highway speeds down country roads softly and smoothly with no big "bumps" along the way. The car has adequate pickup with it's V6 engine, and the transmission stays quiet and moves smoothly between all gears. However, the main issue with drive quality is that it's too soft - every time you go around a corner you feel like you're floating. There is no sense of the road as you get in a European car. Audis, BMW's, Volvos, and even Mercedes all feel like you have some grip or attachment to the road. On the Buick the effect is that you don't even feel the road. You constantly feel like you're floating along. While this can be comforting on a long interstate highway trip, when you're trying to take back-country roads this can be unsettling. This is the car designed for your grandparents' Sunday drive, not for a speedy commute through the twisties.
In all the Buick is a good car. It's heavy, made-in-the-USA steel and feels every bit of it. It has nice, supple leather, and makes you comfortable - almost ready to fall asleep - as you drive down the road. While not the best car for a commute on twisty roads, it would be an excellent car for long highway trips, business trips with four large men, and golf outings where you need a massive trunk. It's a comfortable, oversized American luxury car that will put you to sleep if you don't watch out. But it's reliable, has clean lines, and looks pretty good when you consider that it's comfortable reliable transportation to get you from point A to point B.

Review by professional reviewer, Oct. 2, 2010
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