- The Washington Times - Friday, March 31, 2000

What a difference the new Century makes. My reference is not to the calendar year but to the 2000 Century that Buick calls their "luxury car for everyone."
The Century, like the millennium, contains loads of innovative devices to make life more enjoyable and fulfilling. This car has more power and safety features plus many thoughtful items causing a driver to feel pampered. Yet some may consider these amenities as ho-hum because they have been around for a while. But when viewed collectively on a car that sells for under $25,000, one's perspective could change. The total picture might be seen in a different light.
For example, my tester had traction control and anti-lock brakes. Years ago, manufacturers made much hoopla about the benefits of these components in unexpected slippery or emergency stopping situations. In the year 2000, they hardly get a mention. They're merely standard equipment on the Century.
Years ago, the spare tire was of concern; today the rubber on the wheels are just taken for granted. For the record, the Century comes with P205/70R all-season BW. Most readers will glance over those numbers and not consider that these long-lasting tires are included in the package. Incidentally, the miniature emergency spare allows for more trunk storage space.
Other unmentionables: steering column tilt adjustment, battery run-down protection and daytime running lights. They are part of the Century's equipment, but who cares?
This car has an air-filtration system. The days of a heater/air-conditioning system are 20th century stuff. Today, the heating, cooling unit filters the incoming air allowing allergy sufferers to breathe easier. And the temperature controls adjust to the individual preference of both front seat passengers.
Ever lock your keys in the car? You're not likely to in the 2000 Century. Unless you pull the key from the ignition, the doors won't lock. Better yet is the remote keyless entry. I put that in the same category as power windows and power side-view mirrors. I'm sure no one would ever want to regress into the dark ages of winding the windows or adjusting the sideview mirrors by hand.
After a few years, improvements that start out as options gradually become standard equipment, and then they are tweaked and improved upon. Same thing applies to the engine. A smooth running 3.1-liter V-6 engine producing 175 horsepower powers the Century. That's 15 more horsepower than last year, but Buick didn't make any hoopla about it. You and I have come to expect more and more. And that's what we're getting.
We want safer cars, too. By now air bags are old hat. We're now sitting in a compartment that protects us should the unthinkable happen. In this respect, the Century is halfway there. The driver's door has air bag protection, but the passenger has to cringe and hope for the best.
Leather seats add to the elegance, as do the six-way power controls. What really turned me on is the concert-quality sound system. The AM/FM/-CD-cassette system has tone control plus large, easy to operate buttons and dials.
The 2000 Century is a smooth riding, quiet, comfortable car that even pampered me when walking away from it on a dark night. The headlamps remained on to light my way. Of course, they went off a moment later.
Buyers have become accustomed to the latest advancements as we end the current millennium. We not only expect more, we demand it. So Buick has stepped to the plate and hit a home run with their new Century.

MODEL: Buick Century Limited
VEHICLE TYPE: Four-door sedan
PRICE-AS-TESTED: $24,380
MILEAGE: 20 city, 30 highway

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