Last reworked for the 1997 model year, Buick's mainstay midsize front-wheel-drive Century sedan has often been the company's most popular model. Older buyers, in particular, tend to like the Century's front bench seat, which offers space for three occupants. That's about to change, as the Century gets an abbreviated final run for 2005 before making way for Buick's new LaCrosse sedan, which is already in showrooms.
A Special Edition Package that features a chrome grille, 16-inch chrome-plated aluminum wheels and antilock brakes, is available for 2005. Standard, Custom and Limited option groups also are offered. Each group combines a number of popular features. All-disc brakes were added for 2004.
Constructed from the same basic design as Buick's sportier Regal, the four-door Century has a more conservative appearance, which helps account for its appeal to older buyers. Beneath the hood sits a 3.1-liter V-6, which is tamer than the Regal's 3.8-liter power plant. Regal sedans departed after the 2004 model year, also replaced by the new LaCrosse.
For years, the Century and full-size LeSabre competed to be the best-selling Buick. Six-passenger capacity is offered in only a handful of midsize models.
The Century has fairly conservative styling, with a different grille, rear styling features, body trim and wheels than the jauntier Regal. It's 72.7 inches wide, 56.6 inches tall and 194.6 inches long overall, with a 109-inch wheelbase. The 2005 Special Edition Package includes 16-inch tires on chrome-plated aluminum wheels, a chrome grille and a revised tri-shield emblem.
The Century comes in a single basic trim level, but three option groups are available. The Standard Package includes dual-zone climate control, remote keyless entry, programmable power door locks, a CD player, an air filtration system and power windows. The Custom Package adds a six-way power driver's seat, cruise control, lighted visor mirrors, rear assist grips, color-keyed floormats and a trunk cargo net. Leather-appointed seating surfaces, steering-wheel radio controls and chrome-plated wheel covers make up the Limited Package. The 2005 Special Edition Package includes dual-zone climate control.
All versions have a three-place front bench seat with a folding center armrest that includes storage space. Trunk capacity totals 16.7 cubic feet. GM's OnStar communication system is a factory-installed option.
Under the Hood
A 3.1-liter V-6 produces 175 horsepower and drives a four-speed-automatic transmission.
All-disc antilock brakes and a side-impact airbag for the driver's seat are optional.