Need to replace old Buick LeSabre - what to buy?

Can you recommend a car under $10K to replace my old Buick LeSabre?
I like Buicks, but will consider other brands. My ideal next car would be Buick Century. Too bad they stopped making them in 2005. I can’t find any in my area.
Here is what I’d like to have in my next car:

  • mid size car or a small SUV with a tight turning circle.
  • comfortable and quiet
  • good acceleration and braking
  • as few electronics as possible - less stuff to break down
  • I don’t need Tracking Control
  • I want hydraulic steering
  • good visibility thru front, side and back windows. No high trunk line that obstructs back view
  • easy to switch lanes and park
  • good reliability record
  • I’d like to be able to service my next car at my small shop auto mechanic



Ford Fusion



Available V6

Good reliability, but check it out for yourself

Priced fairly

Good bang for the buck

Hydraulic steering

Not sure about the turning circle

Common as dirt, so the local mechanic shouldn’t have a problem servicing and getting parts

Try if you really want a Century (Searches Ebay,Craigslist,Autotrader) Fusion would be a good idea if you can get a fairly low mileage one for the price.

I’d second the Fusion. It was also sold as a Mercury Milan (with very minor differences in grille and lights). It’s a reliable car with conservative styling and good rear visibility. It sold well so plenty are out there and it doesn’t sell for premium prices like the Camry and Accord, being a Ford (it was mostly engineered by Mazda.) The older Mazda6 shares quite a bit with the Fusion and is also easy to recommnd. The previous generation Hyundai Sonata (not the current one) is another car with traditional styling, decent build quality, and modest resale values. The Nissan Altima is a bit swoopier so may not suit your tastes as well, but it also sold in large numbers, is basically a good car, and doesn’t command the premium pricing of a Honda/Toyota/Subaru. The mid-sized class is the most competitive around and that competition has forced automakers to make better cars. There are few real duds in the class.

Under $10K puts you in a used car. You should be able to find a Buick Century in great shape for under 10K.

My Buicks all had bucket seats and consoles. At any rate, if you like the feel of the Lesabre, take a look at the Impalas or Malibus. There are tons of them around as rental returns and prices are lower.

Thanks for all your opinions everybody! I will look into Fusion, Impalas and Malibus. Basically, I’m trying to avoid driving a computer on wheels, if it’s possible at all. When did they start making cars with a signal from gas/brake pedal going to computer first, then to steering column? I don’t mind to buy a bit older car as long as it has a hydraulic steering.

Electronic gadgets are a double edged sword. They can make cars more reliable(fuel injection), but they can also cause loads of havoc when something goes wrong(O2 sensor causing a fault code that places will replace the catalytic converter instead of the sensor). Driver aids, such as blind spot monitoring, do help if you do a lot of freeway travel

Stay away from Honda if you want a quiet ride; they tend to be noisier than the competition. Comfort is a relative thing, and you may not like the way a Fusion feels after half an hour in the driver’s seat, while one of us might be able to drive several hours without problems.

High trunk lines are the norm today, it allows extra cargo room AND better aerodynamics for better MPGs. If that’s a problem, then a backup camera will help tremendously in that area(they’re being mandated, or talking about mandating them, really soon).

There is no modern car that isn’t heavily computerized. Not one. The cars that aren’t are all gerring pretty old now and the mid-seventies and eighties was mostly NOT a good era for cars. You’re just going to have to live with a few computers if you want a reliable car.

Hydraulic steering is easier to find. Electric power steering only became nearly universal with the latest generation of cars. Even going back five years will find you plenty of cars with hydraulic power steering. There are also cars with hydraulic assist with an electric motor providing the pressure. That typically gives better steering feel than pure electric assist, but is also more expensive/compicated.