1999 Buick LeSabre LimitedEnlarge Photo
The next-generation LeSabre arrives in showrooms as a 2000-year model in the first quarter of this year. With a 1.4-inch-longer wheelbase and a stiffer body, it offers a smoother ride, according to Buick. The new rear suspension eliminates "dive" during hard braking, while the optional variable-effort power steering offers more predictable handling. The 2000 LeSabre will be built on the G-body platform from the Oldsmobile Aurora, which promises better ride and handling and less road noise than the current model. The LeSabre will retain the 3.8-liter 3800 Series II V-6 engine which is rated at 205 horsepower (hp) and 230 pound-feet of torque. Safety enhancements include a crush-resistant roof for rollover accidents and added side airbags. Self-aligning head restraints for front passengers adjust themselves to curtail whiplash during rear-end collisions.
The rest of the product enhancements are focused on ride, handling and power improvements. And the Riviera has been dropped from the line. All Buicks get lower-powered airbags for 1999. All Buicks for '99 again offer GM's OnStar as a dealer-installed option. OnStar is an in-vehicle communications system that links drivers to a center that provides assistance, such as emergency services and navigational and travel support.
The Regal LS receives more power. The LS' naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V-6 engine is now rated at 200 hp (up from 195) and 225 pound-feet of torque (up from 220). The LS also has a refined standard suspension for improved ride and handling. The supercharged GS and the LS both have enhanced traction control systems. New safety features include an enhanced and more efficient four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system for LS and GS and a new tire inflation monitor for the LS. Buick is also producing two special-edition models, the GSE and LSE, for 1999.
The Century has a more efficient anti-lock braking system and a new standard traction control system that regulates engine output and operates at all forward speeds and in reverse. New safety features include a standard tire inflation monitor. Buick says the suspension has been refined for better ride and handling.
The Park Avenue and Park Avenue Ultra have an enhanced Concert Sound III entertainment system. The taillamps on the Park Avenue now look more like those on the upscale Ultra, and the Ultra gets standard Michelin tires.