Used 1997 Buick Skylark Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1997

Skylark gets minimal revisions this year. The standard equipment list is expanded.

Vehicle overview

Give Buick's styling department credit for trying something new back in 1992. Too bad it didn't work very well. The Skylark's funky curves, creases, bulges and sharp edges inside and out combined to create quite a jarring spectacle. The result? The car was found more often at your local Avis lot than in private driveways.

Last year, Buick toned down the Skylark. Current front styling is far more conservative than the original design, and stylists have done what they could with the rear end. Side moldings are subdued, and now sweep front to rear less dramatically. Inside, the interior has been redone, and looks far more contemporary than the originaly bizarre arrangement. Dual airbags became available for the first time. Combined with a new standard engine, a 2.4-liter twin-cam good for 150 horsepower, and a revised antilock brake system, the Skylark made a quantum leap in marketability for 1996

This year, changes are understandably minimal. A front seat storage armrest is standard, and all Skylarks have an uplevel speaker system installed. Powertrain isolation is improved this year, and two new exterior colors debut. No longer available is a red interior (replaced by Pewter Gray), or Jadestone leather upholstery.

Until 1996, we found the Skylark to be an aberration, offering little value in the compact class. These days, we think it deserves a look, particularly in comparison to corporate cousins the Pontiac Grand Am and Oldsmobile Achieva.

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.