2002 LeSabre New Car Test Drive
Buicks are largely about tradition. And to uphold that tradition, Buicks have been, well, large. Large interiors, large engines, large amounts of lavish trim, softly suspended on a Saurian wheelbase, effortlessly pointed toward the far horizon.
The first LeSabre, which debuted in 1959, broke from Buick's traditionally massive style. It was long, low, and sleek; boldly sculptured but sparely trimmed, capped by a tight little greenhouse like the canopy on a fighter plane. But it brought all those other Buick virtues with it into a new era.
How appropriate then, that the current LeSabre upholds those same traditions in a far more challenging time. The days of 126-inch wheelbases and 6.0-liter V8's are surely gone forever. But the full-size comfort they provided, and the full-size values they conveyed, live on in LeSabre for 2002.
Buick LeSabre was totally redesigned for 2000, and acquired a longer list of standard and optional equipment for 2001. The equipment list expands again for 2002, but otherwise LeSabre remains unchanged.
Two models are available: LeSabre Custom ($24,290) and LeSabre Limited ($29,990).
LeSabre Custom comes with front and side airbags, air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, cruise control, power door locks, power windows, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/cassette four-speaker stereo, eight-way power driver's seat, adjustable steering column, automatic level control, a theft deterrent system and a power trunk release.
The Limited model adds automatic dual-zone air conditioning, a driver information center (now in Spanish as well as English), OnStar global positioning, an upgraded Concert Sound II stereo with cassette and CD, ten-way power seats with heat and leather upholstery, and alloy wheels.
A $1,624 Best Seller Package and a $2,904 Luxury Package add many of the Limited's conveniences to the LeSabre Custom.
For sharper handling, choose the Gran Touring Package ($235), with firmer suspension tuning, a rear stabilizer bar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 16-inch wheels wrapped in fatter 225/60 all-season tires.
Traction control is available for $175. A Driver Confidence Package for LeSabre Limited ($730 with the Gran Touring Package) includes StabiliTrak stability control, a head-up instrument display, and puncture-sealing tires.