- The Washington Times - Friday, June 16, 2000

Is there a car loaded with thoughtful luxurious features that goes beyond my wildest dreams? The answer is yes. It's the 2000 Buick Park Avenue Ultra.
This car took me by surprise when a message on the instrument panel informed me a tire had low air pressure. Sure enough, the left rear tire was about 7 pounds low, but I would have never suspected as this tire had the same profile as the other three tires.
This unobtrusive message center divulges loads of information by simply pressing a button. And the dial on the speedometer will immediately shift from miles per hour to kilometers by the simple touch of a button. While on the subject of buttons, all the controls use large buttons or dials, which are easy to operate while driving.
Driving down a wet, slippery road, I had to make a quick zigzag movement to avoid an accident. StabiliTrak saved me. This feature sensed that my quick turning was causing the car to lose control. And presto, StabiliTrak kept me on course without any input from me.
Of course, had I become involved with the accident, and that other car creamed me from the side, my side air bags would have popped out and protected me. That, too, falls in the unseen thoughtfulness category. Incidentally, had my grandson been riding in the back seat, the Park Avenue Ultra has child seat tether anchors that would have kept him intact. But let's get on to more pleasant things.
The Park Avenue Ultra is a handsome-looking car displaying smooth oval lines, with a slight crease running down both front and rear doors. The wide headlamps sparkle and Buick's traditional waterfall grille provides a positive look of elegance. This six-passenger sedan definitely measures up to the appearance of an expensive $39,000 car. Yet what isn't apparent are all the driver conveniences. They impressed me as being well above the ordinary.
There are two remote keys available for the Ultra. As the driver approaches the car and unlocks the doors, the seat adjusts to that driver's preference, including the positioning of the sideview mirrors, lumbar support and rearview mirror. Each driver's choice of AM and FM radio preset stations and volume are automatically readjusted with that simple touch of the remote key button.
That's not all. As the Ultra programs the car to that specific driver's liking, it also readjusts the climate control, fan speed and passenger climate. These fobs can be programmed to activate or deactivate delayed locking, depending on each driver's choice.
Another thoughtful device is the Battery Rundown Protection. If lights are left on, they shut off 10 minutes after the ignition is turned off. And should the driver forgetfully leave the key in the ignition, the doors won't lock.
The headlamp switch can be forgotten. The twilight sentinel senses the darkness and thoughtfully does the job for you. Even the windshield wipers automatically turn on when it senses a little moisture. This could result in many on/off switches becoming a thing of the past.
A real turn-on, however, is the supercharged 3800 V-6 engine. Linked to a smooth electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, this quiet power plant does a superb job. And handling is better than expected considering the size of this car. Speaking of size, that may be its one shortcoming. It requires a lot of room in the garage.
I've only touched on a few thoughtful features Buick's flagship offers. Even after driving this beauty one full week, I'm not quite sure that I'm aware of all of them.

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