1998 Buick Century Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of features for a low price
  • Mushy seats, seafaring suspension, noisy powertrain
List Price Estimate
$905 - $2,207

Used Century for Sale
None for sale nearby. Instead:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

How many of us know someone who owned a Buick Century between 1982 and 1996, aside from Avis or National? Buick moved more than two million A-body Centurys during this period, which means that more than one out of every 150 Americans brought one of these no-nonsense sedans home during the past 15 years. Wow. That's almost scary, isn't it?

For 1997, Buick trotted out an all-new Century sedan that put the 1996 model to shame. More room inside, more trunk volume, a more ergonomic interior and a solid structure were the core improvements to the new model, but one look at the smooth exterior shape of the 1997 model spoke volumes about the Century for the next century.

Wayne Kady, chief exterior designer of the new car, was looking for a shape that would have a long shelf life. "We purposely avoided anything that could be considered trendy," said Kady. No duh. The new Century is about as exciting to look at as a Dan Ackroyd movie. The most distinctive feature is the traditional chromed oval grille up front. Closer examination reveals a hand-me-down from the Riviera and Park Avenue; a character line running from the forward edge of the hood to the decklid along the bottom of the windows lends the Century a bit of class. Inside, the Century boasts contemporary styling, with large and legible gauges and controls facing seating for six passengers. Rear seating is elevated theater-style, lending an airy feel to the interior.

Two flavors are available. Custom comes fully loaded, unless you want a remote decklid release, retained accessory power, automatic ComforTemp climate controls and speed-sensitive steering. For these items, you've gotta pop for the Limited model. The wagon disappears, like Brontosaurus into the La Brea Tar Pits.

Hardware includes a 3.1-liter V6 engine good for 160 horsepower. A four-wheel independent DynaRide suspension and four-wheel antilock brakes are also standard. Battery rundown protection means the car won't suffer a meltdown in extremely cold weather. Families benefit from an optional integrated child seat and side-impact protection exceeds federal standards. Oddly, the smaller Buick Skylark comes standard with traction control, but this feature is not available on the Century at any cost.

Changes for 1998 are, ahem, limited. Two new shades of blue and one new hue of gray are available for the exterior sheetmetal, and the interior can now be colored Pewter Gray if you'd like. The dealer will install an OnStar Mobile Communications system if desired, which allows occupants of the Century to call a 24-hour hotline for roadside help, directions to that fancy buffet restaurant, or guidance from Tampa Bay to West Palm Beach.

Buick has a competent sedan with the Century. However, GM stablemates Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac have similar vehicles that differ mainly in terms of styling and content. The Chevy Malibu LS is an amazing value. Ditto the Euro-flavored Oldsmobile Cutlass. The new Olds Intrigue is simply gorgeous, and Pontiac's Grand Prix is one of our favorite sedans of any stripe. Buick Century brand manager, Anthony H. Derhake, says Buick's Century is "classic and contemporary without being trendy. It has a clean, enduring design with classic Buick themes..." That's the essence of the Buick Century, according to the marketing whizzes, so if this is what you're looking for in a midsized sedan, step right up.

1998 Highlights

The addition of second-generation airbags, three new exterior colors, one new interior color and the availability of OnStar mobile communications are this year's changes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Buick Century.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

1998 Buick Century Custom 4 Door Sedan
Bought this car used it's Canadian made. Has alot of things that go wrong for no reason and could have easily been remedied if addressed correctly during manufacturing processes. Replaced the fan blower because it's mounted upside down under passenger side it wore the spacer so it would hang up squeel and stop. Head Gasket is blown for no reason other than bad mixture of parts componants engine to Head cover two different metals that destroys the Gasket.Caused the coolant to mix with the oil.
Comfortable and smooth and 11 years old
This car has large comfortable seats, smooth ride, and a huge trunk. Nice for travel. If you need a trunk to hold 4 golf bags, this is the car for you. The only problems I've had are two windows quit working, the ABS needed repair, and the cup holders broke off. Had its first tune up at over 100,000 miles. If you use the door button to lock the doors when you get out, there is a delay after you shut the door before the car locks (in case you forgot keys or something). If you don't want the delay, you just hit the button twice, or you can use the key fob to lock it instantly.
Don't let the looks fool you
Ben Parrino,09/07/2015
Custom 4dr Sedan
She isn't the fastest nor is she the prettiest. But, our 98 Century is holding up remarkably well considering she's about 18 years old. The Odometer went out @ 154k about 9 months ago. These cars are known to have faulty wiring problems, as we have to have the driver door and another door open to control the windows, which is dangerous if you drive off forgetting you had a door partially cracked open. Otherwise, doing regular engine maintenance has kept her running like a dream. The maintenance guy was even like "Wow! Your cruise control still works. A lot of these cars don't have it anymore because they didn't take good care of the engine". So yeah if you take moderately good care of this car it will take VERY good care of you. Our buick gets very very hot in direct sunlight which is great for winter time. Also, if you have decent tires on yours, you can outdrive most AWD vehicles in the snow. And it's awesome. We were being told the engine might go soon, so we went out and bought a 2002 Regal LS to have for when this car goes out. But, honestly, since the mechanic fixed her up I think she's gonna make it to 200k hopefully, and we can just have the Regal sit in the parking lot for 4 months and use ole reliable to pay off new reliable.
1998 Century
Jeff Nade,04/12/2002
The strong points of the car are reliability and a soft comfortable ride, which are the two reasons why I bought the car. Vehicle tends to bounce when going over bumps. Handling is soft and not precise.

Features & Specs

See all Used 1998 Buick Century features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1998 Buick Century

Used 1998 Buick Century Overview

The Used 1998 Buick Century is offered in the following submodels: Century Sedan. Available styles include Limited 4dr Sedan, and Custom 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Buick Century?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 Buick Centuries are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Buick Century for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Buick Century.

Can't find a used 1998 Buick Centurys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Century for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $17,356.

Find a used Buick for sale - 4 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $22,317.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Century for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $14,608.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,439.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 Buick Century?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Buick lease specials
Check out Buick Century lease specials