1992 Buick LeSabre

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1992 Buick LeSabre

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Available in 2 styles:  LeSabre 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
$570–$4,182
Estimated MPG

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Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 3

By 

IndyStar.com
Edward H. Mertz knew he was holding a winning hand when he announced last year that there would be a redesigned Buick LeSabre for the 1992 model run.

Mertz, the general manager of Buick Motor Division, was betting on the new LeSabre to give him a companion automobile for the division's very successful Park Avenue model. With this upscale sedan coming onstream at a cost under the Park Avenue, Indianapolis' Stitzer, Ogle-Tucker, and Dave Mason dealerships hold a formidable marketing position in the arena of better-class automobiles.

Buick stood on the gas in creating new '92 LeSabre Custom and Limited models. The full-sized four doors offer new exterior and interior styling themes, new power trains, and new comfort and convenience features.

"I'm expecting it to do better than its predecessor," said Gregg Hutchinson, vice president and general manager of Ogle-Tucker Buick. "It's got a lot of Park Avenue in it."

Any one of the features included in the '92 car ordinarily would be sufficient for bringing out a new model. Package them all together, and you have a LeSabre likely to keep Buick's forward momentum in high gear.

"Buick is up over 29,000 units over 1990," said Byron Stitzer, vice president and general of Stitzer Buick-GMC. "In a year when most manufacturers are going down, Buick is up over 29,000. And I think that is very creditable. It speaks well of the total quality of the car."

From a technology standpoint, the LeSabre's engine and drive train are right out of the Park Avenue. It marks the first time a LeSabre has been equipped with the 3800 Series V-6 and the electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission that drives the Park Avenue.

Only in the Park Avenue Ultra is a different type of engine available. The 3800 V-6 is an option.

The standard port-injected 3.8-liter (231-cubic-inch) V-6 produces 170 horsepower and 220 foot-pounds of torque. This won't make a drag-race machine out of a four-door with a curb weight of around 3,450 pounds (depending on equipment). But the Limited that General Motors' Tom Beaman provided for a trial run exhibited acceleration qualities in line with similar luxury sedans.

The engine pulls strongly through the gears, and the electronic four-speed produces silken shifts between gear ratios. If you didn't know what was under the hood it would be difficult to differentiate between the V-6 and a V-8 of comparable size. From an image standpoint, however, it seems a V-8 should be available in a Buick other than a Roadmaster sedan or station wagon.

It is the consensus that the new LeSabre is a very nice looking automobile. "It's styled to appeal to a younger family buyer," Hutchinson said. "And with its ride and appearance, we think it's going to do that."

Buicks always rode well, a trait that virtually was a trademark of the old land yachts of the '50s. Today's car is a sleeker, lighter vehicle, and Buick's exclusive DynaRide suspension system has been refined for '92 to enhance th e traditional ride without sacrificing handling.

The front-drive car is not without a bit of body roll through fast turns. The roll is not pronounced, and does not encumber vehicle control. Overall, the suspension offers a balance between ride and roadability.

There also is a lot of the Park Avenue in the interior, with a full complement of power accessories and some slick individualistic touches. Principal among these were a personalized anti-theft security system and an optional dual automatic climate-control system.

The Pass-Key security system uses a key that has a specific electrical resistance. If someone tries to use an ignition key that doesn't match, the system disables the starter motor circuit and the fuel delivery to the engine.

The dual climate control allows both the driver and front-seat passenger to adjust the temperature of the air flow on their respective sideof the car. For the passenger, there is a separate control panel mounted in the corn er of the door wh ere it wraps into the instrument panel.

The wraparound panel is a highlight of the new interior. It gives the car an aerodynamic cockpit feel, even though the front bench seat is designed to accommodate three people.

In Limited form, owners are looking at a luxury-priced automobile. In Custom form, it's more in a mid-priced range.

"Twenty-three five ($23,500) to twenty-four five ($24,500) just about takes in everything for a Limited," Stitzer said. "But we have a regular (Custom) LeSabre in stock that's less than $20,000."

It's a bit difficult to make price comparison between the '91 car and the '92, because the new one has some fairly expensive standard equipment like anti-lock brakes. But overall, the price rise for the 1992 models is about 2 percent to 3 percent.




    Expert Reviews 2 of 3

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