Buick Skylark (1997)

Buick Skylark (1997)Let me start out by admitting to a slight anti-GM bias in recentyears...since about, say, 1975. So imagine my surprise when I drove thiscomfortable, good-handling little Buick. Yes, I did say "good-handling."The GS is the Gran Sport package that's available to upgrade the suspensionon several of Buick's cars. And it turned this Skylark into quite apleasant little putt-putt. The GM four-speed automatic transmission was assmooth as silk, the six-cylinder engine was far more than adequate, theseats were squishy soft--which isn't a bad thing in a little car--and thehandling was surprisingly flat and precise. My conclusion: Surprisingly notbad!

Now, the downside. First of all, it's ugly as all get-out. This car firstcame out in the era when GM was still smarting from Taurus' success and wastrying to copy it by coming out with their own weird designs. I mean, toeach his own, but you can put a bag over this one's head. The otherdownside is the price: This is Buick's smallest car, and as tested--allduded up--the price tag of the Gran Sport came to well over $18,000. That'sa lot for an economy car, even a pretty comfortable, powerful,decent-handling economy car like the Skylark. But if you're one of thosepeople who really like the squishy, pampered comfort of big, old GM cars butfor some reason need or want a small car, this is definitely worth a test drive.



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