SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Ever since the Park Avenue was introduced, it separated itself from the crop of U.S. luxury cars by its good packaging and attention to detail. While the division primarily appeals to traditional U.S. buyers, lots of import luxury car intenders would be wise to give it a look.
Park Avenue customers prize roominess, rich accommodations and a quiet, comfortable ride — as well as value. The most significant change in the last Park Avenue redesign involved adopting the body structure and chassis systems introduced in the Buick Riviera. Park Avenue is in fact a second-generation architectural design with a host of enhancements.
Park Avenue's robust architecture delivers a wealth of benefits: a quiet, solid ride for the life of the vehicle, superior road manners and responsive handling, safety-cage construction for outstanding crashworthiness and superior comfort. The Park Avenue is slightly larger than other near luxury competitors in practically all major interior and exterior dimensions. For example, the wheelbase was lengthened three inches to increase the room available for the driver and five passengers and improve the ride. Trunk utility is excellent because lift-over height is lower and the width of the opening is maximized with the use of diagonal cutlines for the decklid.
I especially applaud the seat-mounted safety belt system for front passengers, designed so the shoulder belt fits comfortably irrespective of seat position and occupant size. This is a safety feature initially introduced on upscale Mercedes sports cars, but deemed too expensive to install in most of their line. In the event of an airbag deployment, the doors automatically unlock in 15 seconds.
The car's engineers placed a strong emphasis on perfecting fundamental ride, quietness and comfort attributes. Engineers used state-of-the-art approaches such as torque-axis engine mounting and triple door seals to enhance comfort and quietness.