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Buick LeSabre

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  • I have owned my 2000 LeSabre Limited with the Grand Touring Package since June of 1999. It has the Firestone Affinity tires. I have been completely satisfied with the car and everything that came on it. I have not experienced any vibration at any speed. I didn't even experience the "dreaded kazoo noise" which people used to complain about in these postings. When I bought this car I thought it would either be the last American car I would ever buy or the first in a long line of Buicks. It now appears that it will be the latter. With this in mind, can anyone direct me to a source which will provide information on Buick's proposed lineup for 2003?
  • I recently rented a 2001 Buick LeSabre Custom for 10 days, and thought I'd throw my initial impressions into the ring, since other posts on Edmunds have been so helpful. We were a family of three driving it both in large cities, straight, multi-lane highways, and very twisty mountainous roads - a good mix!

    To reveal my bias, I would never buy a Buick - it's simply not the car for me. That said, here were our impressions after 10 days:

    On the good side:

    - We found the car was quite roomy, except for front legroom. I do have rather long legs, but found there was not quite enough room even with the seat all the way back. It has driver less legroom that a Maxima or Civic. Otherwise, the car was quite spacious.

    - The trunk was similarly spacious - easily swallowing lots of luggage, stroller, etc. with room left over.

    - The car had decent acceleration - it never seemed stressed, had power when we needed it, but it wasn't zippy.

    - The car had a surprisingly tight turning radius, helpful when parking, getting around the city, etc.

    - On straight, major highways, the car was in its element - it floated along in cruise control with barely a sound. It was a real cruiser.

    On the down side:

    - The car seemed quite big when driving - bigger than most other cars we've driven. We had a bit of a feeling that we were driving a boat.

    - The car is tuned on the very, very soft side. It floated everywhere, and simply wallowed on turns or bumps. The tires chirped or squealed when making almost any turn at the posted speed. The car gives you the impression of being a large, heavy beast that prefers highway cruising to curvy roads. That said, we never felt control was lacking - you just couldn't take curves at the speeds you can with most other sedans. That may be a plus for those preferring a softer ride.

    - The materials, build quality, etc. were poor or mediocre at best. The dash is an enormous slab of plastic, and the seat materials an unpleasant velour. Did not like it at all, but that may be personal preference.

    - We found the seats were far too wide, and lacked side bolstering. They seem to be designed for much "larger" people. Again, that may be in line with the car - it appears to be designed more for highway cruising that twists and turns. It did mean, however, that we felt uncomfortable on long trips.

    Overall, for those looking for a soft riding, highway cruiser, I think the car succeeds. For those looking for something else, you should probably want to look elsewhere.

    Just my two cents.

    Mike
  • FYI, in case anyone really need more legroom: have a machine shop make you up 4 metal plates (1/4 inch thick metal by about 1.75--2 inches by about 3 or 4 inches) have them drill 2 holes in each of the four plates, about 2--3 inches apart. Then get additional bolts, nuts, and washers so that you can bolt the seat to the metal plates and then bolt the metal plates to the original mounting holes (get longer bolts to replace the originals to compensate for the thickness of the metal plates). I've done this for another car I own, works great. I've driven with my seat like this for a long time now and it seems to be very sturdy and safe. Just my 2 cents, in case it helps anyone.
  • Forgot to mention, for the rear-most hole in the two rear plates, instead of a hole, make a slot, so you have some adjustment (which you might need) when installing.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    Dropped a K&N filter in.....immediate perceptible improvement in throttle response. Recommend highly.
  • I have a 2000 LeSabre and have noticed that right from the start the exhaust pipe has a black carbon build up. Not real bad but it is soft black carbon if you touch it. Car runs great and gets great mileage city and highway. It is NOT consuming oil and has had a new air cleaner element installed at 12,000 miles. Is this carbon (black tailpipe) normal to you all? From my experience most cars today have a pretty clean exhaust pipe, tan or even white colored.
  • artwisartwis Posts: 66
    The wife and I are pretty much set on buying a 2002 Lesabre (custom with 1SE and traction control) as our next new vehicle. Compared to the rest of the forums here on "sedans" there are few complaints on the 2001 Lesabres. Seems as though everyones happy with theirs.
    Art
  • artwisartwis Posts: 66
    Both our Chevrolet truck and venture van have the black type carbon on the end of the pipe as you describe. They both have been good vehicles and run just fine so I feel it's normal.
    Art
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Check out the new Bonneville SE and possibly an Impala LS while your looking. Both are terrific cars and I can personally attest to the Bonneville SE - my car. Both of these cars come std with buckets and console if that interests you as it does me. Mechanically all 3 have the same power train. The Impala is marginally smaller - (all but unnoticeable) and is less expensive but handles a bit better. All are great cars

    Good luck

    Ken
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Ditto Ken's comments. I own a 2000 Bonneville, which is essentially the sibling to the LeSabre, and those of us on the Bonneville forum are also very pleased with our cars. If I'm not mistaken, the LeSabre is consistently GM's best-selling full-size sedan. It doesn't have the high-zoot appeal of the "imports" but for us practical, salt-of-the-earth, patriotic types, the LeSabre is a very appealing vehicle. Buy a Buick! It's built in Michigan, and you can't beat 0% financing! Or better yet, go for the Bonneville (if the styling appeals to you, it's a zippier car). Impala had some teething problems for the first couple of years, but I think most of those have been worked out. It's less expensive and very practical, but not as luxurious as the LeSabre or Bonneville.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    2000/2001 LeSabre has been named one of the safest cars of all times by NIHS..others (that I remember) are the latest Passat and Civic.
  • First of all to artwis - welcome to the Lesabre Forum. I also own a 2000 LeSabre Limited and am very satisfied with it.

    macarthur2 - I have the same black carbon buildup that you described, so I would think that it is pretty normal.

    tpken - Good to see you on the Forum again !
  • In the October Consumer Reports, they had a report on tires and winter driving, giving the Firestone Affinity tires low marks for handling in the snow. I had no problems last winter, but now I have 25,000 miles on the tires. I am thinking of changing to Michelins before the snow season starts since they were rated the best for snow handling. I appreciate any comments to help me with my decision. Thank you very much.

    Neil
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    I'm in the same situation with my 2000 Bonneville SE. I've got 38K on it now and like you, had no problem at all last winter in all our snow. I was considering Goodyear Aquatread III till I read their miserable snow rating in CR. Not sure where to go now. Which Michelins are you considering?

    Ken
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    I have the same dilemma....Actually I had quite made up my mind to go for Michelin Rainforce...now I am not so sure.

    Good info about snow tires here:

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/jk/at_011101.htm
  • I am considering purchasing a 2002 LeSabre and would like to know how folks like its stereo system. I would opt for the cassette and cd player model. Thanks.

    Rick
  • I have the same system in my 2000 LeSabre Limited and I love it. The best part is having the radio control's on the steering wheel. It makes it so easy to use the system while you are driving. The controls are easy to use. The feature that I like the most is if you are taking a trip, you can push a button and it will find the station's in the area with the strongest signals. If you push it again, it will return the settings to your normal station's when you get back home. Saves time looking for station's while you are traveling.
  • stan13stan13 Posts: 14
    Re: the Le Sabre Sound System: I have a 2000 Limited and although the radio is feature-rich, the sound is at best mediocre. It is one of the few disappointments in an otherwise excellent automobile.
    I believe this has much to do with the average quality of the speakers and poor placement of the front speakers. The sound does not surround you or envelop you such as is the case with some premium sound systems in other auto marques. The sound is very restrictive and leaves one dissatisfied. Unfortunately, there are no aftermarket units available for replacement. The only possibility might be an upgrade in the speakers. I have not yet tried that for fear that I might spend money and find it has not improved it enough to make a difference. Just my opinion. Perhaps the 2001 has seen an improvement..but I doubt if "The General" would be bothered to spend the bucks to upgrade the sound. After all, they're selling bunches of LeSabres, poor sound or not.
  • Does anyone else have a pronounced whine coming from the alternator, noticible until you shift into high? You can hear each shift, whine goes down as rpm's fall. I had a similar noise in my 1994 but less loud. The alternator seems to be working ok. Has anyone installed a new or rebuilt alternator because of this problem and has the noise gone away. I'll have this car for another 5 months, then sell it and find a low mileage 2000 DeVille. This is my last Buick. My 2000 LeSabre had a creaking noise from the front end when you made a sharp turn and the dealer's comeback was that "nothing was broken so tough luck"- ditto with the zone people so hopefully Cadillac will stand behind their product. The best LeSabre I ever had was the 1990 -should have kept it. Karl Spence
  • I never understand?

    Can someone kindly tell me?
  • It is French for "the sword". Buick used it in 1959 for first time.

    LeSabres used to be the "cheap" full size Buick, usually seen with dog dish hubcaps. Now it's one of the biggest selling GM cars, outselling the Park Ave.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    I'm thinking about buying a LeSabre and would like some feedback. Any negative comments about the 2001 or 2002 models? How bout squeaks, rattles, and cabin vibrations? These I can't tolerate because they come and go and are difficult to pinpoint.
  • Definately take one for a drive or better yet rent one for a weekend or short trip. The car sells itself pretty well. Rear seat cushions are a bit too soft. Good power, great highway mileage, slightly firmer ride than the older model. I have had no trouble with my 2000 Lesabre, the first year of the new body style. It gets better mileage than what the magazine road tests say it does. Competition for comparison would be the Mercury Grand Marquis which is physically bigger but the interior dimensions are the same. Try one out.
  • Personally, after the problems I had with a suspension creak in my 2000 LeSabre that the dealer and zone service guy was unwilling to fix I sold it and won't buy another Buick. A year old Cadillac is the same price with a better warrenty and lots more for the money. People here are selling 2001 DeVilles for $26,000 with 28k. Who would spend the same amount for a LeSabre Limited? Anyway - for the person who was considering a 2001 or 2, drive the exact car you are buying before you take delivery. Make shapr turns and see if the suspension creaks when the car rights itself. In my numerous trips to the dealer I discovered that several other 2000 owners had the creaking problem. Other than that -the car is fine. Nothing out of the ordinary and a plain interior on the base model but everything fits and works effortlessly. Really good mileage (28-32) on the road and no cabin rattles. Much better than the 92-99 models.
  • I think this one died in December, what do you say we give it an honorable burial?
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Interesting to speculate as to why this immensely popular automobile has such a dearth of interest here. Certainly the average age of the buyers is in the same range as that for Lincoln Town Car and DeVille which seem to have postings. I guess one might figure that there simply is not much to be said when a car just delivers what it promises mile after mile which seems to be this car's reputation. Still, it's a shame there is no discussion to monitor for those of us with similar cars like my Bonneville.

    Vtech - you still around buddy? Anyone else? If not I suppose it's time for archive here.

    Ken
  • The transmission in my 87 LeSabre went south at 90K miles.

    I know it was maintained properly, because it has been in the family since new.

    TB
  • When did the trans die, and what went on it?
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    Age is a factor too, not just miles.
  • Clutch material came off the clutches and clogged the filter. However, I'd driven other cars of similar age, such as a 66 Nova with a powerglide in the early/mid 80's, a 75 Buick after that, and four years ago I sold a 79 Ford Fairmont I'd driven for three years. This is the first old car with a transmission failure. Of course I've had two newer ones experience failures...

    When warm, the car would not go in any gear, including reverse. Stop and go traffic killed it.

    Now after a rebuild, it is much smoother than ever.

    TB
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