Approximately 8,400 final examples of Buick's premium full-size four-door sedan will be produced before the model disappears. For 2005, the base Park Avenue gets a new grille and minor modifications to the rear end. Chromed front-fender portholes, previously limited to the Park Avenue Ultra, are installed on all models. Portholes first appeared on the front fenders of Buick models in 1949.
The final 3,000 sedans will be badged as Special Editions. Several hundred will have an optional black and platinum two-tone exterior. Chrome wheels will be standard.
Buick's full-size, front-wheel-drive, near-luxury sedan is similar to the company's LeSabre. Regular models use a 205-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6, while the Ultra holds a supercharged 240-hp version. The Park Avenue Ultra comes with more standard features and a higher price tag.
Even though the Park Avenue has larger dimensions, its basic appearance is the same as other Buick sedans. The Park Avenue rides a 113.8-inch wheelbase, and at 206.8 inches long overall, it stretches almost 7 inches longer than the lower-priced LeSabre.
A monochromatic trishield badge is visible on the hood and trunk lid. Special chrome-plated exhaust tips are installed.
Lower-profile tires on the Park Avenue Ultra are mounted on larger, 17-inch, chrome wheels. A Gran Touring suspension package is standard.
Seating for six occupants is standard in the roomy interior. The spacious trunk holds 19.1 cubic feet of cargo. New carpeted floormats on the base model are embroidered with the Buick name.
A five-passenger seating package includes a convenience console. Bright aluminum sill plates with raised ridges line the floor at the front door openings. Leather upholstery is standard. General Motors' OnStar communication system is included in the Ultra model but is bundled in an option package in the base trim level. Other options include a trunk-mounted 12-CD changer, a head-up instrument display and rear parking assist.
Under the Hood
A 240-hp, supercharged 3.8-liter V-6 powers the Park Avenue Ultra, while the base model uses a 205-hp nonsupercharged version. Both engines team with a four-speed-automatic transmission.
Side-impact airbags for the front seats and antilock brakes are standard. GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system is standard on the Park Avenue Ultra and optional on the base model.
Even though the Park Avenue Ultra is a great road car, its ride isn't as smooth as that of some sedans in its class. Occupants may be knocked around a bit when the car is on rough pavement, but the top Buick model is well controlled on any surface.
Smooth performance is a Park Avenue hallmark. Most buyers would probably be satisfied with the base model's engine. The supercharged version in the Park Avenue Ultra adds extra zest, and its operation is subtle.