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Expert Reviews 2 of 2
By Jim Mateja
October 23, 1988
The Buick Century is good looking enough. Nothing real flashy, butnothing to be ashamed of either. Room is respectable and mileage acceptable, but when it comes to engines, the Century falls short. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is good on mileage
and once you get it up tocruising speed, you`d be hard pressed to tell the optional 2.8-liter V-6 isn`tunder the hood. But neither the 2.5 nor the 2.8 complemented the Century and gave it that extra tad of performance needed to fit the image.
For 1989, Buick offers a new 3.3 liter or 3300 V-6 as a $710 option inthe Century. It makes a noticeable difference. The 3.3, an offshoot of thediscontinued 3-liter V-6, develops 160 horsepower versus about 125 from the2.8. The 3.3 is teamed with a
4-speed automatic transmission. You notice a big change when you kick the pedal the first time. Theresponse is more immediate than with the 2.8. You get up and go, not get up,pause, and then move along. There`s a hint of noise at hard
acceleration. But it`s not the stress and strain of engine and transmission at work; it`s the gentle but audible soundof an exhaust rumble to wake you up to the fact performance is a new option inCentury. We test drove the four-door Limited sedan,
which has undergone a minorstyling change for 1989. The wedge shape has given way to rounder body panels and roof line in keeping with the new aero wave sweeping the industry. The Century is built on a 104.9-inch wheelbase and is 189.1 inches
long.It tips the scales at 2,785 and rates a 20 mile-a-gallon city/29 m.p.g.highway fuel economy with the 3.3 and automatic. Next year Buick will add a 4-door sedan version of its midsize W-bodyRegal coupe that`s built on a 107.5 inch wheelbase and
is 192.2 inches. With aW-body Regal sedan, it would seem an A-body Century sedan similar in sizewould be expendable. Buick officials say they`ll keep the Century a while longer. It probablywill be a midsize price leader as well as being marketed
toward fleet buyerssuch as rental fleets. The Century Limited sedan starts at $13,356, up $743 from $12,613 for1988.