Buick Park Avenue Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.50/5 Average
192 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

Park Avenue. Monopoly buffs and New Yorkers hold that name dear. And so do those whose automotive tastes run toward old-school American luxury, the kind that's reflected in the Buick Park Avenue. To these folks, soft, pillowed seats, smooth and quiet powertrains and a ride quality that shields occupants from the nasty noises and jolts of the outside world are of paramount importance.

Originally introduced in the mid-1970s as a super-posh trim level for the Electra model, the early Park Avenue boasted velour upholstery so thick and soft you'd swear you were sitting on Queen Victoria's sofa. Other hallmarks of this 455-cubic-inch, V8-powered, disco-era bruiser included more faux wood trim for the cabin and more chrome trim for the body.

Downsized in 1977, the Electra Park Avenue was still a big car that could be powered by a large V8. A more serious downsizing program took place in the mid-'80s that saw the big Electra morph into a slimmed-down, squared-off sedan that was much shorter and lighter. The powertrain did an about-face as well, as the new Buick flagship adopted front-wheel drive and exclusively used fuel-efficient V6 power.

The dawn of the 1990s saw the Buick Park Avenue transition from a trim level to its own model when it replaced the Electra. Slightly larger than the boxy '80s version, this Park Ave boasted an elegant, softly curvaceous body. An available supercharged V6 sated the appetites of those who longed for the thrust of the distant past, while luxury features such as dual-zone climate control kept the hedonists happy.

For 1997, a more polished Park emerged and loyalists of the isolationist school of auto design were not disappointed, as the big Buick still prioritized a plush ride over precise handling. For the new millennium, however, Buick's managers decided a changing of the guard was required. The Park Avenue (and the LeSabre) was replaced by the Lucerne.

Most Recent Buick Park Avenue

The most recent Buick Park Avenue, produced for the 1997-2005 model years, served as the brand's flagship large sedan. This model's stiffer platform improved ride and handling characteristics and also minimized the chance of any squeaks and rattles as compared to the previous generation. Styling was evolutionary, with the same silhouette shaped with smoother body sides and crisp fender peaks. The cabin redesign included larger gauges and more easily used controls, though storage spaces were in short supply and the radio still had too many small buttons.

Base and Ultra trims were offered, with the latter providing additional luxuries such as leather seating, a power passenger seat and an upgraded audio system. With the front bench seat, the Park Avenue could seat up to six passengers.

Engine choices were a tried-and-true pair of 3.8-liter V6s. The standard Park Avenue came with the naturally aspirated version (205 horsepower), while the Ultra boasted the supercharged version (240 hp). Both models drove their front wheels through a four-speed automatic.

In a review of the Buick Park Avenue Ultra, we lauded the car for its strong acceleration (zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, surprisingly good steering and traditional ability to gobble up vast amounts of Interstate in supreme comfort). Noted downsides included disappointing interior build quality and mediocre braking performance. Some drivers will also find the car's ride quality to be overly floaty, especially if the car isn't equipped with the suspension-stiffening Grand Touring package.

Key upgrades through the years include available OnStar communications in 1998, stability control (standard on Ultra) in 2000, available park assist in '01, and a new grille, 17-inch chrome wheels and the addition of fender "portholes" for the '03 Ultra.

As a used car consideration, the Park Avenue fares respectably. Draws include relatively low pricing, a roomy interior, good engine performance and fuel economy, and the pride of owning something that truly fulfills the "rides like a Buick" cliché. Potential buyers might want to also check out the Toyota Avalon, as it provides very similar traits.

Past Buick Park Avenues

The previous generation of the Buick Park Avenue was produced from 1991-'96. Well-equipped base and more luxurious Ultra versions were offered. With its curvaceous body and (on the Ultra) supercharged V6 power, this Park Avenue was a showroom star for the tri-colored-shield division of General Motors.

Initially, both Park Avenues came with Buick's bulletproof 3.8-liter V6 that made 170 hp, but for 1992 the Ultra received a supercharged version that pumped out 205 hp. There were a few other upgrades during this model's run as well. In '94, the Ultra got 20 more hp and heated seats were a new option. The base Park Avenue got its power boost for '95 so it made 205 hp. The last year ('96) of this generation saw the Ultra receive the Series II supercharged V6 (with 240 hp) and variable-assist steering.

Whether one chooses the standard Park Avenue or the Ultra, this Buick is a solid choice for a used luxury car thanks to its comfortable ride, power and admirable fuel efficiency.

Prior to this Park Avenue was the 1985-'90 version, which marked a major downsizing of the model and a switch from rear- to front-wheel drive.

User Reviews:

Showing 31 through 40 of 192.00
  • RodeMaster Takes on the Ultra - 2005 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    If the classic Buick Port Holes, dont grab your eye, the unbelievable performance of the supercharged engine will. I love this car. I scoff at the Edmunds reviewer who called the ride floaty. The Ultra package provides excellent tires and handling, but still provides a comfortable ride. The BOSE sound system was great. Mechanically, perfect--no warranty or other work, great gas mileage and the supercharger offered up excellent mileage. While certainly appealing to a true Buick buyer from the looks, the leathers were very nice, and the interior fit and finish were excellent.

  • Disapointed with vibration - 2003 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    Overall the car looks good and is comfortable. But on the highway I have had a bad experience with vibration. The dealer has re-balanced the tires over and over. I have had the tires balance myself two times. Changed tires to different brand. Still this vibration at highway speeds. (Above 65 to 80) Still working on the problem. Could be a design problem. Not what you would expect from a car that cost over $30,000. Could be a lemon?????

  • 170,000+ and going strong!! - 2000 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    I have owned this car for only 16months but bought at 123,000 miles and let me tell you I about live in this car. Last month I purchased a Pacifica and hated the ride of that thing not to mention the lousy gas mileage...fortunately I still had my old Ultra and am now back to driving it. This car starts every time and although its older I can say I will continue to make repairs as needed in order to keep this car. I have owned quite a few automobiles in my life and this one beats them all!!!

  • Park Avenue - 2005 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    I have driven this car for over a year and have very few complaints. i had a Cadillac Seville that was two years old and was totaled in a an accident. The Buick is not as fast. Cruises just as well and gets 3 to 4 mpg better. I also have grown to like the seating. It just took some getting use to. This a good car for long miles and and highway cruising. I would buy another one to repalce this one.

  • Fabulous -Park Avenue - 2005 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    No bumps, noise or shimmys felt. Runs like a champ when you need to pick up speed and pass. Self adjusting seats are just what is needed as my husband and I share the car...no need to readjust mirrors on sides, it does that automatically too depnding on the driver.

  • Great Car for the money - 1999 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    This is my third Park Avenue, and it is by far the best. It gets great gas mileage and handles well for its size. You do need premium fuel, however. Ive had few maintenance problems. I plan to trade the car for a new 2005 Park Avenue Ulrta because it has 77,400 miles on it, and GM is going to stop making the model. I love this car, and hope that the new one will be just as good and will serve me well for five years or more years as this Park Aveenue has done. Park Avenue Ultra is a great car, and Im sorry to see it go.

  • good car - 2005 Buick Park Avenue
    By -


  • My Buick - 2003 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    It has been apleasure to own and drive this automobile. Routine service by the dealer has been excellent.

  • Happy with Park Ave - 2004 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    This is my second Buick Park Avenue, the first one I put more than 200,000 miles on & it was still a good car that we sold to someone who only drives around town. I still see my other one on the road. I have found the comfort and handling of the Park Avenue to be very very good as I am on the road quite a bit with my job.

  • Enjoyable Car - 1998 Buick Park Avenue
    By -

    Bought used after it sat for one year and had many problems that were fixed under warranty and those have not reoccured. Interior trim needs better attachments - snap ins do not hold, gave up on trim on side between front and back, exterior door handle broke, cassette player broke 2 weeks miles after warranty expired. Note on seatbelt - there was a recall.

Buick Park Avenue Reviews By Year:
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