Used 1996 Buick Park Avenue Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

Ultra gets new Series II supercharged engine as standard equipment, as well as magnetic variable effort steering gear. Colors and trim are revised, battery rundown protection is added, and long-life engine components keep the Park going longer between maintenance stops.

Vehicle overview

Sporting flowing, Jaguaresque lines, a long list of standard amenities, and all the luxury most buyers require, the Park Avenue offers value, style and performance in one reasonably priced package.

Look at the facts. This is a big sedan, able to accommodate six people and a good portion of their belongings. Fuel economy, a negligible issue what with all the cheap gas in the States, averages 24 miles-per-gallon. The Park Avenue blends European savvy and traditional Detroit luxoyacht feel into one very attractive package. Almost every imaginable feature is standard on this car, and base prices start around $27,000. The performance-oriented Ultra's supercharged V6 gets it to 60 mph much quicker than a Chrysler LHS, and its braking and handling are on a par with the much ballyhooed $45,000 Cadillac STS. This thing is a relative bargain.

For 1996, the supercharged Series II V6 debuts in the Park Avenue Ultra. Output is up 15 horsepower. The Ultra also gets magnetic variable effort steering. Colors change inside and out. Lockout protection is provided for the power door locks. Personal Choice allows drivers to program several remotely controlled features. Battery rundown protection is new for 1996, as are long-life spark plugs and engine coolant.

The only shortcoming this Buick has is the interior. Like the Roadmaster, the Park Avenue is chock-full of shoddy, shiny plastic trim. Ergonomic and aesthetic design were phrases the designer was apparently unfamiliar with. In trying to make the inside look as Jaguar-like as the outside, Buick succeeded in making the interior more reminiscent of an early Seventies Lincoln than anything out of Coventry.

So what if the Park Avenue doesn't give enthusiasts heart palpitations. It offers an outstanding blend of functionality, power and luxury that many premium sedans lack.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.