2003 Buick Century Overview

Century

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2003 Buick Century Overview

Starting to feel the crunch of lagging sales, Buick downsizes the 2003 Century to a single trim offering -- the Custom. Gone is the more upscale Limited, along with most of its standard features, which are now only optional on the Custom. The 2003 Buick Century does get a new cold weather starter and more padding in its headliner to prevent head injuries in crashes.

On the outside, though it still looks a lot like its Regal and LeSabre siblings, the 2003 Century adds an appearance package with new front and rear fascias and a graphite grille. That's about as flashy as this front-wheel drive mid-size sedan gets. Powered by a 3.1-liter, 175-hp V6 engine and 4-speed automatic, that is noticeably weak if carrying the six passengers the Century is supposed to hold, the Custom trim comes standard with dual front airbags, power features, automatic headlights, keyless entry, and dual-zone climate control. Traction control and a tire monitor, which were standard last year, are now optional, along with side impact airbags. OnStar, leather seats, and a CD player, which used to be on the Limited, have been added to the option list.

Two rows of bench seats sit in the 2003 Century, but front bucket seats can be substituted, along with a fold-down center console that houses CDs. Split-folding rear seats are available, but not standard, but the trunk offers a surprisingly roomy 16.7 cubic feet of space. Drivers say the interior is in desperate need of updating, though everything is ergonomically situated. Rear legroom suffers, and owners wish standard ABS would return. Highlights include a comfortable and soft ride, easy handling, and much appreciated high fuel economy. The 2003 Century is also reliable and earns three and four-star crash ratings, making it an attractive buy for Buick's target older driver.

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Century

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