Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Buick hails from the last century, which totally befits its model name. Let’s see if it might just be priced to be this century’s perfect “no eff’s given” ride.
A broken clock may be right twice a day, but a broken car… well, that’s going to be wrong no matter what time it is. Yesterday’s 2008 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid was just such a broken car, what with its dead high-voltage battery rendering it a tow-away. As was made clear in the comments, that didn’t sit well with the vast majority of you. Neither did the seller’s veiled admission that the Tahoe was a bit of a money pit, noting that they were done throwing cash at its repairs. All that made for a heavy lift for its $7,500 asking price. The in a 70 percent No Dice loss that price received proved it wasn’t nearly up to the task.
General Motors has always been a bit of a risk taker when it comes to product releases. In fact, the company has a long history of letting its buyers be the beta testers on its newer tech. Some of the time that technology — the Chevy Vega’s aluminum engine, Cadillac’s 8-6-4 V8, the entire Chevy Corvair lineup — cast a long shadow over GM’s perceived technical prowess. Other times, however, such as with cars like today’s 1994 Buick Century, the company showed it knew what it was doing.
That’s not to say that this Buick is in any way the best car ever built. Nor will it will ever be the quickest, the coolest, or the most secure and reassuring to drive in sketchy weather. What it will do, however, is probably go forever and not cost an arm and a leg to do so along the way.
The Century name goes back decades, but this generation, built from the ’80s through mid-’90s was the first of the line to adopt front-wheel-drive. The simple rounded box styling is anonymous but uncontroversial and allows for a roomy interior and lots of glass. In this model year the powertrain options were limited to a 120 horsepower 2.2 liter four and 160-horse 3.1 liter OHV V6. A four-speed automatic was the only transmission choice for either engine.
Unfortunately, the seller doesn’t bother to say which engine this Century has, only noting in the ad that both engine and transmission are “in perfect condition.” One would expect this to sport the V6, as that was the more common option when these were new, but neither engine will send you to the poorhouse.
The ad also claims that the car rocks new tires and “runs perfect.” It looks to have been pretty well maintained too. The blue metallic paint holds a reasonable shine and the spot of rust noticeable on the wheel arch seems to have been coated in something like POR15. As noted, the car wears fresh rubber and the wheels upon which those ride have been accessorized with a set of clean but chintzy-looking aftermarket wheel covers.
Inside, things appear to be in equally nice shape. This model year carries a driver-side airbag, but still maintains the federally-mandated passive restraints in the form of door-mounted seat belts. Those may be left buckled all the time simply to be shimmied under upon entering and exiting. That’s a much better solution than the motorized mouse belts that some cars of the era had, and the Buick’s belts can still be used in traditional fashion.
The rest of the interior looks comfy as heck, offering wide fabric-upholstered seating and power accessories to make you feel a little less downtrodden when behind the wheel. Mileage is a modest 127,000 and the car comes with a clean title.
Now, as we all know, the new car market has recently gotten all kinds of topsy-turvy owning to chip shortages, truck driver shortages, and the general global pandemic. That has driven values on used cars through the roof since demand has only slightly abated as people telecommute or too terrified to otherwise leave the house. That’s what makes this Buick’s $1,950 asking price something of an eyebrow-archer. That’s so low that you have to ask yourself, “what’s wrong with it?”
Maybe there’s nothing wrong with it. We are, after all, seemingly at the tail end of the car market surge with prices inching down once again. Another factor is that this Buick, for all its plusses, is a very mundane ride which doesn’t attract a lot of attention seekers. That may limit its audience to those just looking for good, solid transportation to get them to school, work, or to simply see another human face. This could be the perfect car for any and all of those tasks.
The question, of course, is whether it’s worth that $1,950 asking as it sits. What do you say, does it appear to meet the required criteria? Or, is there something missing here?
H/T to Dale Turner for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.