2001 LeSabre New Car Test Drive
In a market often ruled by fad and fashion, it is worth noting that Buick has called its basic full-size car 'LeSabre' for 43 continuous years. For the past 10 of those years, Buick likes to remind us, LeSabre has out-sold every other full-size car. Of course the definition of 'full-size' has changed a bit since 1959, when a unit-body car with V6 power and a 112-inch wheelbase would have been considered at best a 'senior compact.' Nostalgia aside, however, the current LeSabre provides all the room, comfort, and practicality demanded of a full-size car today, with modern fuel efficiency and advanced safety features that have earned it a double five-star rating in U.S. government crash tests.
Buick LeSabre was totally redesigned for 2000, and now moves into 2001 with new dual-stage airbags, 15-inch aluminum wheels for LeSabre Limited, and an oil-change interval that's been stretched from 7,500 to a full 10,000 miles. OnStar, GM's 24-hour on-demand navigation and driver-assistance service, is now factory installed on all LeSabre Limiteds and is optional on LeSabre Custom.
Two models are available: Le Sabre Custom ($24,107) and Le Sabre Limited ($28,796).
LeSabre Custom comes with front and side air bags, air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, cruise control, power door locks, power windows, power mirrors, AM/FM/Cassette four-speaker stereo, power driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment, adjustable steering column, automatic level control, theft deterrent system and a power trunk release.
The Limited model adds automatic dual-zone air conditioning, driver information center, upgraded Concert Sound II six-speaker stereo, remote keyless entry, heated power seats and alloy wheels.
For those who want better handling, the optional Gran Touring package ($235) comes with firmer suspension tuning, magnetic speed-sensitive power steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 16-inch wheels and fatter 225/60 all-season tires, and a 3.05:1 final drive ratio for quicker acceleration. Other options include traction control, leather seats, heated seats (for Custom) and a 12-disc CD changer.