Developed from the same basic design as the midsize Buick Regal, the four-door Century sedan has more conservative styling and appeals to an older group of buyers. Although sales dipped by nearly 9 percent during 2000, to 143,085 units, the Century has been a long-time rival of the full-size Buick LeSabre in the race to be the most popular Buick model.
Although its styling is related to that of the jauntier Regal, the Century has a different grille, rear styling features, body trim and wheels. That makes it relatively easy to tell the two apart at a glance. Both Buicks are four-door sedans and ride a 109-inch wheelbase, but at 194.6 inches long overall, the Century is a little shorter than the Regal. Both models are 72.7 inches wide and stand 56.6 inches tall. Painted aluminum wheels are now available in a special Appearance Package.
Other than the Centurys bench seats and six-passenger seating capacity and the Regals sportier front buckets, these cars interiors are very similar. Both the Custom and Limited versions of the Century have a three-place front bench seat with a folding center armrest that includes storage space. Front buckets are available only as part of the Touring Package for the Custom Special Edition.
Standard equipment on both models includes dual-zone air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, remote keyless entry, cornering lamps, an AM/FM radio, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The Limited sedan adds variable-assist power steering, cruise control, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-way power drivers seat, heated mirrors and a cassette stereo system.
GMs satellite-based OnStar communication system is standard on the upscale Limited and the Custom Special Edition, and is a factory-installed option for the base Custom sedan. Trunk capacity totals 16.7 cubic feet.
Under the Hood
A 3.1-liter V-6 engine produces 175 horsepower and drives a four-speed-automatic transmission. The higher-performing Regal, by comparison, holds a 3.8-liter V-6.
Antilock brakes, a tire-pressure monitor and traction control are standard. A side-impact airbag for the drivers seat is included with leather upholstery, which is standard on the Limited and optional on the Custom Special Edition sedan.