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Expert Reviews 2 of 2
By Richard Truett
July 18, 1991
If you like big, comfortable American cars, you're likely to find the new Buick Roadmaster nothing short of fabulous. It is a smooth, powerful, easy-handling luxury sedan that is a pleasure to drive. Only Buick could make a car like this.
The Roadmaster name adorned some of the biggest and most powerful Buicks ever built. The name was retired in 1958 and brought back this year as a 1992 model. The new car lives up to its name. Buick marketing planners did their homework right in
aiming the car at its target market. Buick, the only American car company to post a gain in sales in the 1991 model year, is on a roll. The Roadmaster should keep things moving. ENGINE, PERFORMANCE Only one engine is available in the Roadmaster:
General Motors' 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter), fuel-injected V-8. This powerplant makes 180 horsepower and delivers 16 miles per gallon in city driving and 25 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. I got a combined 21 mpg. The Roadmaster is quiet.
Press the accelerator hard and you'll hear a faint hum. The engine works effortlessly up to the 65 mph speed limit. GM's terrifically smooth four-speed overdrive transmission is the only gearbox available, and it complements the powerful engine.
STEERING, HANDLING According to Buick, the Roadmaster should appeal to buyers who are about 60 years old. That may be the reason Buick engineers gave the car a super soft ride. The suspension incorporates a good bit of travel and is designed
to absorb heavy loads. The car easily can haul six adults and a trunk-full of cargo. The only time the Roadmaster loses its composure is over large dips and bumps. Then it gets bouncy. Cornering is nice and easy for such a large car. It holds the road
well even when cornering quickly. Anti-lock brakes are standard. The brakes are a power disc/drum setup that do a nice job of stopping the 2-ton car. FIT, FINISH, CONTROLS The test car came with a light blue leather interior. The sofa like
seats swallow the occupants. Front seats are adjustable six ways, ensuring a comfortable position. Rear leg, head, and foot room is generous. Visibility is excellent. Switches are easy to reach and use. A driver's side air bag, concealed in a tilt
steering column, is standard. The test car featured a compact disc player and a powerful stereo. The list of options includes Electronic Touch Climate Control, Remote Keyless Entry, a trailering package that allows towing up to 5,000 pounds, heated
outside mirrors and a vinyl top. On the inside, gauges area standard set of analog units that are easy to read and nicely laid out. Window switches, located on the driver's door panel, are easy to reach and operate. The trunk is cavernous. Buick says
it will hold 21 cubic feet of cargo. Roadmaster is a superb car with pleasing styling and up-to-date technology. It features Buick's usual attention to deta
il and builds on the automaker's growing reputation for quality. And, except for the Estate Wagon, the Roadmaster is the first rear-wheel drive Buicks since the 1987 Regal and the first Buicks with a standard V-8 since the 1985 Riviera. For a
full-sized car, the Roadmaster delivers respectable fuel economy, adequate performance and excellent handling. The styling is conservative as well as contemporary. Buick's Roadmaster is a car with a pedigree rich in tradition.