QOTD: What's Your Favorite American Vehicle From the 1990s?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd whats your favorite american vehicle from the 1990s

Just after Christmas, we inquired about your favorite German car of the 1990s. The few of you who had awakened from post-holiday eat and drink signed in to share your top Teutonic choices. I suspect more of you are awake now that it’s springtime, and will be able to answer the same inquiry when it’s American flavored.

What’s your favorite American vehicle of the 1990s?

The decade of aero bodies, aero dashboards and lace alloys was also a great time for horsepower, safety, two-tone paint, and the requisite gold badges. I thought about the choice below for quite some time — as I drove home in my Japanese car, and then added some coolant to my other Japanese car. Anyway, America! My selection has a lot of -arge; large, supercharge, and maybe barge.

It’s the Buick Park Avenue Ultra. The Park Avenue was its own independent model for the 1991 model year, having separated from its former place as a trim level on Buick’s upscale Electra. Sharing the C-body platform with the similarly large Cadillac Deville, all Park Avenues were initially powered by the legendarily reliable Buick 3800 V6 (Series I). In 1992, the Ultra trim level was born. Upping the ante with more sporty exterior details, the Ultra received a different interior, as well. The party piece of the Ultra was the supercharger strapped to the engine.

Power was bumped from the base 170 horses to 205, as GM continued development of the 3800. Power in the Ultra increased to 225 for the ’94 and ’95 model years. In 1996, for the final year of first-gen production, Buick swapped the engine for a Series II version. Horsepower increased in the Ultra again, to 240. Along with the continual power updates throughout its six years on the market, the Park Avenue received side airbags, adjustable effort steering, adjustable suspension, and defeatable traction control.

The Park Avenue Ultra is a worthy recipient of one of the Best Of The 1990s awards when it comes to American cars. What’s your pick?

[Images: Buick]

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  • Porker Porker on Apr 05, 2018

    Best for long trip driving- my 1993 Sedan De Ville Most fun- My 1995 Buick Roadmaster Wagon (It was worth all to see the rice burners slink away in shame after getting beat by something with Woodgrain) Trucks- my 1995 Silverado ECLB- 350; 5 speed manual

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Apr 23, 2018

    For my money, as much as I love the tri-shield and the Riviera, I'd take the Oldsmobile Aurora over the "bubble Riv".

  • Mike Beranek This guy called and wants his business model back.
  • SCE to AUX The solid state battery is vaporware.As for software-limited pack capacity: Batteries are obviously the most expensive component of an EV, so on the rare occasion that pack capacity is dramatically limited (as in your 6-year-old example), it's because economies of scale briefly made sense at the time.Mfrs are not in the habit of overbuilding pack capacity just for fun, and then charging the customer less.Since then, pack capacities have been slightly increased via software because the mfr decides they can sacrifice a little bit of the normal safety/wear margin in the interest of range. We're talking single-digit percentages, not the 60/75 kWh jump in your example.Every pack has maybe 10% margin built into it, so eating into that today (via range increases) means it's not available to make up for battery degradation tomorrow. My 4-year-old EV still has its original range(s) and 100% SOH, but that's surely because it is slowly consuming the margin built into the pack.@Matt Posky: Not everything is a conspiracy to get your credit card account, and the lengthy editorial about this has nothing to do with solid state batteries.
  • JLGOLDEN In order for this total newcomer to grab and hold attention in the US market, the products MUST be an exceptional value. Not many people will pay name-brand money for the pretty mystery. I can appreciate the ambition of selling $50K+ crossovers, but I think they will go farther with their $30K-$40K offerings.
  • Dukeisduke They're where Tesla was when it started - a complete unknown. I haven't heard anything about a dealer network. How are they going to sell these? Direct like Tesla? Franchises picked up by existing new car dealers?
  • Master Baiter As I approach retirement, and watch my IRA and 401K account balances dwindle, I have less and less interest in $150K vehicles.
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