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1997 Buick Skylark

  • 1997 Buick Skylark Custom Coupe
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      150/155
    • ENGINE
      2.4L I4
    • MSRP
      $15,970
  • 1997 Buick Skylark Custom Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      150/155
    • ENGINE
      2.4L I4
    • MSRP
      $15,970
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1997 Buick Skylark Review

Strange design on an otherwise decent compact.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Buick Skylark came out in 1992, and until 1996, it remained an extremely strange looking and somehow bulky compact. The interior design takes up useful space, and the funky design inside and outside made the Skylark a poor seller. With a more conservative design on the outside and more standard features on the inside and under the hood, the Skylark deserves a look even if the design still needs a little more tweaking.

The Range

Body Styles: coupe, sedan
Engines: 3.1-liter V-6, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Buick Skylark Custom, Buick Skylark Gran Sport

What's New

Buick adds a few standard options for the 1997 Skylark. These new standard features include storage in the front armrest, new color options, and an improved set of speakers. Other revisions remain minimal for the Skylark this year. In 1996, the Buick Skylark's design became more conservative than previous models.

Exterior

The 1997 Buick Skylark comes in over 30 colors. Despite the toned down design, the Skylark still has many sharp edges, strange creases, and bulky bulges. Standard exterior features include 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear window defroster. Exterior options include a keyless entry system and a moonroof.

Interior

The interior of the Buick Skylark feels extremely cramped with low seats and poorly placed driving instruments. Like the exterior, the interior has a lot of strangely shaped design features that take away from the usefulness of the space. The interior comes standard with an overhead console, air-conditioning, and an AM/FM radio. Many of the options for the Skylark Custom come in the Gran Sport, including an AM/FM/cassette stereo and cruise control. Other options include leather seating, an AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo system, and a power driver's seat. Unfortunately, the interior of the 1997 Buick Skylark lacks in practical design.

Performance & Handling

The changes in 1996 came with the new standard engine, a 150-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The standard engine makes 167 lb-ft of torque. The 1997 Buick Skylark Gran Sport offers a 155-hp, three-liter V-6 engine in its place, and this engine gives more acceleration and improves city driving. Standard traction control and anti-lock brakes make for decent handling. The Gran Sport also features cruise control. The decent fuel economy means more time on the road and less time and money filling up.

Safety

The 1997 Buick Skylark comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes and traction control for safer handling on the road during inclement weather. Front driver and passenger airbags come standard as well. An anti-theft alarm system deters crimes. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests it for driver's side impacts, giving it five out of five stars for safety, and the NHTSA awards the passenger side four out of five stars for safety.

EPA Fuel Economy

Buick Skylark Custom: 22/32 mpg city/highway
Buick Skylark Gran Sport: 20/29 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Twin cam engine
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • Lack of interior space and legroom
  • Strange driving position
  • Low rear seating

Sum Up

Strange design on an otherwise decent compact.

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