What's New for 2001
New rear-wheel house liners promise a quieter ride on wet roads, a special appearance package is offered and OnStar in-vehicle safety, security and information service is now standard on Limited models.
Back in 1997, a revamped Century hit the showrooms with a bigger, more ergonomic interior and roomier trunk, all wrapped in smooth, flowing sheetmetal that Buick stylists hoped would have a long shelf life. It appears they got their wish. Now five model-years old, today's Century has been growing in popularity each year, proving we shouldn't underestimate the market power of America's senior citizens, rental car companies or business-class road travelers.
Not much has changed for the 2001 model year. New rear-wheel house liners are supposed to minimize road noise and a special appearance package is now offered that includes monochrome exterior paint, blacked-out trim and 15-inch chrome alloys. An inside emergency trunk release has been added to all Centurys, just in case a child decides to play hide-and-seek. Other features include cruise control, a six-way power driver's seat, and an AM/FM cassette player with steering wheel controls. Opt for leather and you'll also get uplevel mirrors, seating and audio.
All Centurys receive the stalwart 3100 V6 that makes 175 horsepower and 195 foot-pounds of torque. The Century's smooth-shifting, electronically controlled, four-speed automatic transmission puts the power to the pavement. Inside, dual-zone climate controls are standard on all models. Electronic dual-zone climate control, which replaces slide-and-knob controls with push buttons and LED and digital indicators, is standard in the upper-level Special Edition and optional on the Limited.
Century comes standard with such features as remote keyless entry, automatic power door locks, daytime running lamps with Twilight Sentinel (which automatically controls the headlamps based on lighting conditions), door courtesy lights, battery rundown protection, antilock brakes, traction control, a tire inflation monitor and GM's PASS-Key II theft-deterrent system. OnStar in-vehicle safety, security and information service is now standard on Limited models.
Century stacks up well in the high-volume midsize sedan market, where it shows continued sales strength against its domestic rivals. A decent safety record and solid build quality make it an enduring favorite, while earning it ''top buy'' acclaim from more than a few consumer publications and rating organizations along the way. With the highest customer-loyalty rating in the segment, Century buyers seem prepared to stick with this Buick well into the new century.