1999 Buick Century Review

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of features for the price, solid reputation.
  • Mushy seats, powertrain lacks quiet smoothness of a luxury car.
List Price Estimate
$1,060 - $2,568

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Vehicle overview

Buick moved more than 2 million A-body Centurys between 1982 and 1996, which means that more than one out of every 150 Americans brought one of these no-nonsense sedans home during the past 15 years. It also means we shouldn't underestimate the market power of America's senior citizens, rental car companies or business-class road travelers.

Back in 1997, Buick trotted out its 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 revamped version, but it also came wrapped in smooth, flowing sheetmetal. Wayne Kady, chief exterior designer of the '97 model, had said he was looking for a shape that would have a long shelf life. "We purposely avoided anything that could be considered trendy," he explained. To that end he succeeded, for while traditional Buick buyers might describe this car as clean or classic looking, younger buyers will likely find it as bland as baby food.

The '99 does nothing to change any of that, so if you happen to like the look, you're in luck. Ditto for the interior design, which is certainly contemporary, thanks to large and legible gauges and controls facing a cabin roomy enough to carry six comfortably. Rear seating remains elevated theater-style, lending an overall airy feel to the interior.Century still comes in two flavors, the well-equipped Custom and the positively pampering Limited model, which includes features such as Dual ComforTemp climate controls (with standard Air Conditioning) and Magnetic variable-effort (speed-sensitive) steering, along with several comfort and convenience upgrades. Power comes from GM's 3.1-liter V6, good for 160 horses.

The big news this year is that Buick has addressed a couple of our previous dislikes. First, Century's seafaring four-wheel independent DynaRide suspension has been revised with increased shock valving and larger front and rear stabilizer bars. That should reduce the floating ride sensation and overly soft body roll. Also, a traction control system, not available on any '98 Century at any cost, is now standard on both models.

Buick also says that improved electronics have allowed for upgrades to Century's cooling fan monitor, standard four-wheel antilock braking system and audio speakers, with an optional eight-speaker Concert Sound III system now available. You can even opt for electrochromic outside rearview mirrors that automatically dim when bright lights approach from behind.

On the safety side, a tire inflation monitor is now standard, an integrated child seat is optional and side-impact protection exceeds federal guidelines. Again this year, your 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 sound 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.

Nonetheless, a good safety record and solid build quality makes the Buick Century an enduring favorite, while gaining "top buy'' type acclaim from more than a few consumer publications and rating organizations. If this is what you're looking for in a mid-sized domestic sedan, step right up.

1999 Highlights

The year 1999 brings a host of safety improvements, many of them standard. Additionally, the suspension has been retuned for less body roll, the sound systems have been upgraded and one new paint color, called Auburn Nightmist, has been added.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Buick Century.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

my first real car
bought it at 126,000 miles from an old dude here where i live in north east montana. all highway miles. thing was so quite that it was running and the only way i knew it was on was to pop the hood and see that the belt was spinning! im 20 and i love this car. the engine isnt a brute. but the car isnt that heavy either. its got enough power to do everything you need it to do. pull onto the interstate, get on it, and before you exit the ramp your up to 75. brakes are great. starts in -40 weather, seats you can fall asleep in (quite nice for the girlfriend also ;) haha) its a great car. you just gotta know how cars work and keep up on the matience and it will last forever.
Inside is boring as others have stated, nothing outstanding. Bought with 42K miles on it. Does start every time. Have had issues with intake manifold gasket 2 times. $600.00 each time to repair. Some bands in tranny broke at 142,000 miles, around $750.00 to repair. Went thru tires like water thru a siv. Had to have EVERYTHING replaced including struts and mounts. Have replaced every window motor, now 2 more are out. Replaced egr valve. Seems everything carbons up quickly, just have to make sure to use a good quality cleaner every thousand miles or so. At around 60,000 miles, anti-freeze jelled up and have to have radiator replaced, heater core removed and cleaned. cruise control broken.
Way better than expected
Purchased this in 2007 when I had a vehicle emergency. Needed a car, and this was going for $3500 with only 89K miles. I figured I'd drive it until I found the car I was looking for. Now 5 years and 100K miles later I'm still driving it. It's going on 200K miles, and I still haven't had to replace anything! The miles I've put on it have been all highway, but it just won't die. Oil changes every 6000 miles, and one set of tires. I've done nothing else. Reliable and cheap if you are picking one up used, but a word of caution...don't purchase this car if you are around 40 years old. You are almost guaranteeing early onset of a mid-life crisis, which might result in your purchasing a Corvette.
My First Car
I have to say, driving a Buick Century for my 16th birthday wasn't the most stylish thing, but I loved it! This car has about 150,000 miles on it and has had no problems. (just a few minor things) The gas mileage is pretty decent in this car. The seats are unbelievably comfortable. The stereo works incredibly well and is loud. Drives wonderfully on the highway, and surprisingly does good in snow, etc. Back seats are comfortable and offer tons of room. I would actually recommend this car over the car I drive now (Jeep Liberty). This was my first car and I still loved it, and I'm sure I would buy one again if I had the choice.

Features & Specs

See all Used 1999 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 1999 Buick Century

Used 1999 Buick Century Overview

The Used 1999 Buick Century is offered in the following submodels: Century Sedan. Available styles include Custom 4dr Sedan, and Limited 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Buick Century?

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Which used 1999 Buick Centuries are available in my area?

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Find a used Buick Century for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $17,050.

Find a used Buick for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $24,197.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Century for sale - 1 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $9,670.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 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