2001 Buick Century

Buick Century Models

There are two models of the 2001 Buick Century: the Custom and the Limited.

The Limited is distinguished by Magnasteer variable-effort power steering, leather upholstery, cruise control, the OnStar global positioning and communications system, a driver's side-impact air bag, and other luxury equipment.

A Special Edition model comes with a blacked-out grille, black door header moldings, and body-colored fascia and side moldings heralding a long list of standard luxury equipment.

Standard on all Century models are keyless remote entry, power locks, daytime running lights with Twilight Sentinel automatic light control, anti-lock brakes, traction control, tire-inflation monitor and theft-deterrent.

Driving the Buick Century

Under the hood, the 2001 Buick Century has a 3.1-liter V6 that delivers 175 horsepower at 5200 rpm, and 195 pounds-feet of torque at 4000 rpm. Called the 3100, it's a solid and conventional engine, with overhead valves and sequential-port fuel injection.

The 3100 V6 provides a crisp, authoritative response. That's encouraging: A keynote of Buick heritage is that the big cars from Flint were historically expected to deliver vigorous performance. What is even more impressive about this engine is that, in addition to providing plenty of power, it also produces excellent fuel mileage, with 20 miles per gallon in the city and a whopping 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 3100's power is delivered through an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. It shifts smoothly, but otherwise its performance is only adequate. Kick -down response is slow when compared with the latest automatic transmissions found in high-priced vehicles. Electronic traction control, which comes standard, reduces wheel spin for improved control on slippery surfaces. Also standard is an antilock brake system (ABS), which allows the driver to maintain steering control of the car in a panic braking situation.

Century's front suspension is a MacPherson strut design, while its rear suspension is a multi-link independent using a coil-over strut. This setup is tuned for a smooth and soft ride when cruising on smooth, straight highways at normal speeds. This soft, "boulevard" ride is traditional for Buick, but results in undistinguished handling in any sort of vigorous maneuvering: The Century leans when driven quickly through corners and it floats and wallows at high speeds over wavy surfaces. This tends to isolate the driver from the road.

2001 Car Reviews