If you’re in the market for a new car, you may be surprised to hear just how practical Buicks can be. While some people may argue that they look like cars built for elderly drivers, those people have probably never owned one. It’s easy to have misconceptions when all you have to base an opinion on is aesthetics, but a Buick is far more than just a comfortable interior. Depending on the model, it can be commonplace for a Buick to last up to 300k miles, and while that’s an impressive feat by itself, it’s still only one of many things that make Buicks the best bang for your buck. If you visit your local Buick dealership, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be able to find something that will last you years, at an affordable price.
The LeSabre was discontinued in 2005, but just based on how many of them are still on the road today we decided to include it in this list. It might not be an exciting or attractive car, but the LeSabre is a dependable vehicle that will get you where you need to go, and at a great price. When it comes to performance, each one is equipped with a Buick 3800 Series II engine and has an output of 205 horsepower and 230 lbs-ft of torque. If the car is fully loaded it can feel a bit sluggish, and it takes turns a bit wider than other vehicles in its class, but these drawbacks don’t keep the LeSabre from providing a smooth, comfortable ride overall.
Comfort is a major highlight of the LeSabre (and a majority of other Buicks), and it’s easy to see why. The cabin is quiet and spacious, and the seats are supportive yet incredibly cozy. If you’ve ever seen videos online of quirky people with driveable sofas, you can just assume it’s somewhat similar to that but with better handling and safety ratings. On top of its roomy cabin, the LeSabre’s trunk is also particularly sizeable, with 18 cubic feet of storage space.
The average asking price for a 2005 LeSabre is under $5,000, making it an excellent choice for anyone in need of something reliable and affordable. It’s not the only older Buick that still holds up, either. Buick models have proven their longevity consistently over the years, demonstrating their persistence time and time again just by continuing to function. Some people end up driving one for so long that deep down they actually hope it dies just so they have a reason for a change of setting. With endurance like that, it’s hard to knock Buick’s older models for their more basic designs, especially when they’re priced so reasonably and can most likely be found at many Buick dealership near you.
The Regal Sportback is similar to previous Regal sedans, save for a few key differences. First and foremost, the entire car is longer thanks to the wheelbase being extended by 3 inches. It also more than doubles storage capacity in comparison to earlier models, delivering a whopping 31.5 cubic feet of rear cargo space. This is due not only to the length of the vehicle but also in part to the implementation of a hatchback rather than a more traditional trunk. The ability to fold down the rear seating compliments storage even further, bumping the total capacity to just over 60 cubic feet.
A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard, giving the Regal Sportback an output of 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The standard front-wheel drive comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission, while the all-wheel drive model has an 8-speed automatic. If you opt for all-wheel drive, you’ll see its torque boosted up to 295 lb-ft.
Acceleration is a high point for the Sportback, able to hit 60 MPH in 6.3 seconds. Steering is sharp and braking is strong, but as is to be expected from a Buick, the most significant advantage comes from its overall comfortable interior. The cabin is especially silent, and a suspension built for comfort helps it deliver a calm and relaxing ride.
The Encore is a great pick for fans of crossover SUVs. Not only is its handling on par with what you would hope to find in a solid crossover, but it also has a host of available features as well as Buick’s trademark comfort. Despite its smaller size, the Encore provides a good deal of legroom for front-seat passengers, and while the rear isn’t quite as spacious it still doesn’t feel cramped or uncomfortable. It should come as no surprise that the Encore is an exceptionally quiet ride too, following the pattern set by other Buicks before it.
The Encore offers a choice of two different 1.4-liter engines. The standard engine delivers 138 horsepower and 148 lbs-ft of torque, while the optional upgrade has an output of 153 horsepower and 177 lbs-ft of torque. The 153 horsepower engine also features start-stop technology to help bolster its fuel efficiency. Thanks to its size, the Encore is a remarkably maneuverable vehicle, able to take tight turns with ease and grace. It’s not perfect, and some people require a little more punch than what the available engines can produce, but unless power is your main focus you’ll be served well by the Buick Encore.
While not the most nimble vehicle on this list, if you’re looking for a reliable family SUV with a comfortable interior, look no further than the Buick Enclave. With seating for up to seven, even larger families can fit comfortably. The second and third rows of seating are particularly spacious, and the rear seats can all be folded down to create a massive space for cargo. At this point it should go without saying that the Enclave has a quiet and cushy cabin, but if you’re considering a vehicle to help carry around your kids then you know it will likely be important to maintain peace and calm in whatever way possible (and kids can’t fight with each other when they’re asleep).
There’s only one engine available, a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower and 266 lbs-ft of torque. Whether you opt for all-wheel drive capabilities or not is up to you, either way, the combined city/highway fuel economy of the Enclave is around 24 MPG. Handling is pretty average for an SUV of its size, and the same can be said for acceleration. Where it truly stands apart from its competitors is in its numerous standard and available features, providing things like an 8” infotainment display and remote start technology on even base models for no added cost. At the end of the day, the Enclave delivers an interior worthy of a luxury brand SUV, but at a much more reasonable price. If you find one of these on the lot of a Buick dealership it’s sure to be a steal.
Somehow, despite all this, there are still a massive number of people who are unable to separate Buicks from the stigma that surrounds their older models. Many prospective buyers gloss right over cars that they would otherwise love, but that’s their loss. It is certainly worth the time to check out a new or used Buick dealership and see what’s available. Whether you need a cheap used car due to financial restrictions or a brand new luxury vehicle for your family to enjoy, Buick is a reliable brand that will get the job done at the right price.