What's New for 1998
Cruise control is standard on base models, OnStar Mobile Communications is a dealer-installed option, Limited models get a couple of electrochromic mirrors, and new colors are on tap inside and out. Second-generation airbags are made standard.
The LeSabre is the most popular full-size car sold to American consumers today, and has been for several years running. It isn't hard to understand why many buyers prefer this big front-driver. This award-winning Buick has a reputation for trouble-free motoring with accommodations for six passengers and a torquey V6 engine pulling the whole package around town.
LeSabre is available in Custom or Limited trim, and we recommend the Gran Touring Package, which includes very handsome alloy wheels, a more competent suspension, magnetic variable effort steering and automatic level control. Unfortunately, better seats aren't part of this option, and nothing short of a complete redesign can erase the nightmarish interior ergonomics.
Pathetically, two reminder chimes are standard. One tells the driver that the parking brake has been engaged for more than 50 feet. The other reminds the driver that the turn signal has been blinking for nearly a mile. These features are scary commentary on the abilities of the average driver in America.
Changes for the 1998 model year are few. Buyers can have the dealer install an OnStar Mobile Communications system, which is activated using a cellular phone in concert with a Global Positioning Satellite to get you help when you need it, and directions when you're lost. OnStar operators can even recommend a restaurant near you that features Indian cuisine, and get you reservations for dinner on a Friday night. Limited models get standard electrochromic mirrors inside and out. The rear view mirror features an integrated compass, and the left exterior mirror is also heated for icy climates. Four new colors debut (two blue and two green), while one new interior color is available. Custom models get standard cruise control.
LeSabre is good for transporting adults from point A to point B in reasonable comfort. That's about it. There is little to enjoy about this Buick, unless you thrill to the notion of jamming six bags of golf clubs into the trunk of your car. Priced in the upper 20's, LeSabre competes with such cars as the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis, both of which offer V8 power, more comfortable accommodations, larger interiors and rear-wheel drive. We can handle the Gran Touring model of the LeSabre, but prefer the bigger rear-wheel drive Crown Vic or Grand Marquis.