Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
By Warren Brown
March 10, 1995
THIS IS A city of old things, a place of tradition. It's the perfectsetting for a test drive of the Buick Century, America's most aptlynamed car.From its body to its dashboard, the Century is a work of motorizedmoss -- so dated, so funky, it could be
on display in a museum.'Tis a wonder that Buick had the temerity to call the currentCentury a "1995 model." I mean, look around. What other 1995 car hassuch linear, boxy, uninspired lines? Step inside. That dashboard, withall of its angular weirdness,
could fit into a scene in one of AnneRice's vampire novels.But all is not lost. The car has some bright touches, such as thedashboard-mounted map light, illuminated interior door handles, brighterwarning lights and -- finally! -- an arc-shaped
speedometer that'sactually readable.There are other good points. But the whole of the Century is quiteunderwhelming -- about as exciting as sitting in a dank Bourbon Streetbar, sucking on a bottle of Dixie beer.Background: The Buick Century has
been around for 14 years. It's afront-wheel-drive, mid-size sedan, which is also sold as a wagon. It'sdevoid of anything approaching soul or personality.If you can accept that, or, if it doesn't matter, the Century is agood deal. It's a solidly built
machine. It's reliable, very comfortablefor five people and reasonably comfortable for six.The Century comes with one of two engines. There's a 2.2-liter,inline four-cylinder job rated 120 horsepower at 5,200 rpm, with torqueset at 130 pound-feet at
4,000 rpm. It's an adequate engine, but it'snot much more than adequate in a car that weighs nearly 3,000 pounds.Better to get the optional 3.1-liter V-6 rated 160 horsepower at5,200 rpm, with torque set at 185 pound-feet at 4,000 rpm. It gives
theCentury substance.A three-speed automatic transmission is standard with thefour-cylinder engine, which makes it more of a slug. A four-speedautomatic comes with the 3.1-liter V-6.The car comes with one air bag -- for the driver.It also
comes with those ludicrous, door-mounted automatic seatbelts. Egad! Talk about passe!Standard brakes include power front discs/rear drums with anti-lockbackup.Complaints: Interior and exterior styling, and those goofy"automatic" seat
belts.Praise: Overall build; improved, more comfortable seats in the 1995car; good luggage space at 16.2 cubic feet; reliable familytransportation.Head-turning quotient: Zip.Ride, acceleration and handling: Very good highway ride, especiallyon
straightaways. Dicey handling on curves. That is, the front endthreatens to lose composure on any curves taken at speed. Decentacceleration with the V-6 engine. So-so acceleration with theinline-four. Braking was okay -- meaning that especially in this
car,you have to apply common sense before you hit the brakes. This isn't aperformance car. Understand?Sound system: AM/FM stereo radio and cassette with compact disc.GM/Del
co. Very good.Mileage: About 23 miles per gallon (16.5-gallon tank, estimated365-mile range on usable volume of regular unleaded), combinedcity-highway, running with one to six occupants and light cargo.Price: Base price is $16,360. Dealer invoice
is $14,642 on basemodel. Price rises to $17,965 for the Century Custom package; dealerinvoice for that package is $16,079.The Custom package includes leather-faced seats, power windows and,um, whitewall tires. Price for the whole Custom shebang is
$18,500,including a $535 destination charge. Purse-strings note: It's wortha look. But there are much more enjoyable, competitively priced mid-sizecars, such as the Mazda 626, the completely revamped 1995 ChevroletLumina, Chrysler Cirrus, Ford Taurus,
Ford Contour, Honda Accord, NissanMaxima. But, hey, none of those has the Century's historical value.