Why should Buicks be more reliable than other GMs?

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As any _Consumer Reports_ reader knows, very few GM vehicles end up on the recommended used car list.
The only GM cars on the recommended list are Buicks and Saturns. I
can understand why Saturn would be of better quality than other GM makes - the company was set up to be different from the other GM makes and run more like Honda and Toyota. But why are Buicks better in quality than Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, and Cadillacs? GM is the company infamous for selling the same car under a variety of different names.
If Saturn and Buick are so great (or at least passable) while Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Cadillac are so awful (judging by how many show up on the CR "used cars to avoid" list), why can't these other divisions be more like Buick and Saturn?
Jason Hsu, AG4DG usenet AAAATTTTTTT jasonhsu.com
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Cars that cost more money are usually built with better materials or more emphasis goes into those materials.For Example, we will compare the trunk compartment of three cars from my family.
1989 Chevy Cavalier Z - 24 Convertible 1991 Cadillac Brougham De Elegance 1991 Pontiac Bonneville
The 89 Chevy had a black " Felt like " material covering the steel trunk floor and a portion of the inner wheel wells. The piece covering the trunk floor slid all over the place and would end up balled up in the corner from heavy items sliding around in the trunk. A piece of carboard was pressed in behind the backseat. There was nothing covering the rear quarter panels to protect them. A black piece of fibreboard covers the spare tire well.
The 91 Bonneville has thick sound deadning material on top of the trunk floor and is topped by a grey, slightly heavier weight felt like material. A piece of cardboard is pressed in behind the backseat. The wheel wells, tail panel and quarter panels are covered by a form- fitting carpet like material. A formed plastic cover covers the spare tire well. The inside of the trunk lid has a carpet - lined fiberglass trunk lid liner.
The 91 Cadillac has thick sound deadning material on the floor of the trunk and is topped by a heavy weight carpet. There is a full width two-sided matt, one side is rubberized, the other side is carpeted. and that sits on top of the carpet. The quarter panels and wheel wells are covered with a heavy weight carpeted carboard with sound deadning material attatched to the back side to block out road noise. The spare tire ( exposed ) sits up on a slight ledge and has a carpeted covering. and behind the tire is a small piece of heavy weight carb board behind the rear seat. There is also an automoatic power pull down for the trunk lid.
More sound deadning materials are used behind the Cadillac door panels, in the roof, under the dash. etc where a less expensive car wouldn't have such materials
The Bonneville and Cadillac also have a plastic sheet glued to the inner door to act as a water barrier, whereas the Cavalier had a piece of heavy black paper glued to the inner door.
This is just one example of how different materials can be applied to different models. Other manufacturers do the same thing with their different models.
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE ~_~_~270,000 miles_~_~_
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Harry Face wrote:

My old LeSabre has this same deal. Vacuums up real nice. :)
Buicks are good because they get most of the features of the Cadillacs but none of the frills and extra cost. The sound deadening and carpets and such are identical in both lines from what I can tell - at least in the LeSabre and Park Avenue.
The LeSabre Limited is a superb car because it sells for about $27K after rebates. Maybe $2K more for options, but it's pretty nice in its base form.
That's a 205hp 6 passenger car with leather, ABS, and so on. The only other car that competes for the power/space/price is the Avalon. You either have to go smaller like an Accord V6 or jump to luxury cars if you want a full-sized V6 other than these two.
Well, the Ford Crown Vic(in various labels) also competes, but isn't nearly as reliable.
The Custom is $22.5K after rebates. That's amazingly inexpensive considering the engine is identical to the more expensive model. I don't think you can get Camry V6 for instance, for that little money. Me? I'd get the Custom and option it out as On-Star and alloy wheels and such aren't really important.
The OP that was interested in a Buick - he should look at the Avalon as well. It's basically a Lexus minus the plushness. More reliable than the Buick or Mercedes, actually - a fine car and under $30K out the door.
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The LeSabre and Avalon are both reliable vehicles but so are the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis very reliable cars, that MORE than compete with the LeSabre or the Avalon. They have more room inside, a bigger trunk and a sweet 240 HP 4.6L V8 engine. Fully loaded with leather and all the bells and whistles for a MSRP of only 25K. Current rebates are up to $4,500. Some well equipped lessor models are available under 18K, with rebates.
EPA fuel figures for each;
Model        Engine    CAFE Avg. fuel cost LeSabre     3.8 V6 20/29     $1,011 Avalon     3.0 V6 21/29    $ 970 Crown Victoria 4.6 V8 18/26     $1,162
If I were in the market I would at least drive and price one of them before deciding on any lesser V6 car.
mike hunt
Joseph Oberlander wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

All three are nice deals, actually. Why pay $35K for a Volvo with a tiny engine?
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*MOCK NOT THE VOLVO!* I will now go drive my '75 245DL wagon, with it's I4 displacing less than the bottle of Coke in my fridge, and pretend I'm cool.
Sarcasm aside, Volvos (at least the older ones) knock down relatively impressive fuel consumption numbers and go forever--I've got a quarter million on mine, and it has (admittedly barely) enough nut to drive around with a ten bolt rear, a couple wheel/tire assys, a battery, boxes of shit, and most of the trim and interior widgets from a '49 Fleetmaster in the back. If the new ones go as long with as little attention as the older ones, I could justify the purchase price.
On Tue, 21 Oct 2003 00:58:34 -0600, Joseph Oberlander wrote:

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Marky wrote:

I agree. OLD Volvos are slick. The new ones? Ehhh...
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I'm thinking of buying a USED Buick for my next car, not a new one. The limited availability of ABS on new base Toyota Corollas and the lack of ABS on new base Honda Civics give me reservations. I'm not about to spend $14K on a car that lacks ABS or pay $3K more just to get them. (I'm hoping this changes in the 2005 model year.)
On the other hand, antilock brakes have been standard on even base-level Buicks and Saturns for years. Buicks depreciate very rapidly, and I'm hoping this can be attributed to the shrinking market for them rather than any quality issues. According to Edmunds, a 3-year-old LeSabre is about $11K on the private market, and a 3-year-old Century is about $8K on the private market. The LeSabre has the advantage of the 3800 V6 that everyone on this group considers ultra-reliable. According to this group's consensus, the 3.1L V6 in the Century is decent but not the greatest.
I don't care about prestige, leather seats, luxury, plushness, performance, styling, or image. I just want my next car to be reasonably reliable, safe, and economical. Believe me, if I wanted an SUV, and a new Pontiac Aztek were safe enough, reliable enough, and priced at only $10K, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.
Jason Hsu, AG4DG usenet AAATTT jasonhsu.com
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Jason Hsu wrote:

Oh - LeSabre and Crown Vic are *superb* used values. Depreciate fast, and yet are good, solid values. Toyota and Honda are very poor used, as they retain too much value to be a bargain.

My parents bought 3-4 year old Buicks for 8-12K for decades. Surburbans and Yuknos also drop in value fast the first few years.
The LeSabre

The 3300 is great. Replaces the 3100. Basically, it's equal to the original 3800 II in power and torque(about 170-180hp) but gets 2mpg better as well as being a hundred pounds or so lighter.

Never understood SUVs - a nice large car is just as safe and a TON easier to drive.
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Don't forget the Bonneville and the late Aurora which share the same platform.
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Neo wrote:

Yeah - you can keep your Accord V6 and Audi A4 - I'd spend the same money on a bigger, plusher car with more power.
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God rest the '94-'96 Impala SS. Now *that* was a "bigger, plusher car with more power." Anybody driven a Merc Marauder? Do they stack up?
On Tue, 21 Oct 2003 15:53:42 -0600, Joseph Oberlander wrote:

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Sort of a moot point when you consider you can still buy a Marauder, you can't buy a V8 Chevy.
mike hunt
Phillip Schemed wrote:

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On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 17:58:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

Hopefully GM will bring back the RWD Impala and Monte on the next redesign. That's the rumour...hopefully it's true.
If not, bring the Holden Commodore over here and sell that.
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According to the latest stockholders report the rest of GM, like Cadillac, IS returning at last to RWD. The first RWD V8 will be the big Pontiac in 2005. Chrysler is returning to RWD as well, in it larger vehicles.
mike hunt
Brad Clarke wrote:

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On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 19:02:01 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

Actually, the GTO is coming in 2004, it'll be RWD with a 5.7L V-8...

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The 2004 GTO is an import, that has always been built as a RWD Holden, in Australia, not one of the current FWD vehicles that is reverting to RWD..
Mike Levy wrote:

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On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 14:41:57 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

However, GM will need to re-design all the FWD vehicles to make them RWD. All the FWD cars have transverse engines, so the engines will have to get turned 90 to make it work. I see the import of the GTO as GMs first move to RWD vehicles...

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Actually Cadillac was the first GM division to return to a domestically built RWD model last year.
mike hunt
Mike Levy wrote:

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