Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Best Vehicle I've Owned to Date
Pros: The look - this vehicle seems to be unique
Cons: Maintenance costs seems to be higher than expectedI owned a Mercury Mountaineer and drove it for 250K miles before it was time to look for a new Mercury Mountaineer. I really thought there was nothing better when it came to the balance of price and reliability - I stumbled across a Buick Rainier (used) test drove it. Interior leather, heated seats with all the bells and whistles for $3000 less than a compareable Mountaineer. To date, I have put 40K miles on it, and still love it.
Pros: Quiet and comfortable, I can actually hear
Cons: Not much space in the front seat area for storage
Advice: Check out every part of the vehicle and look for the factory defects because you will find some more than likely if you look close enough....check out that rear tailgate glass...it was a factory defect...they had not attached a rod that enabled it to lockWe have only had our 2007 Rainier for two weeks. There was a chip in the side trim, loose screw under hood lid, radio lights were going on and off and tailgate upper glass would not lock. All of these things were found after vehicle was purchased. But, dealer took care of everything at our convenience. Comfort is great, in fact with the 8-way power seats and our back trouble that was a main selling feature for us. I find the steering to be very quick and can get away from you around turns if you are not very careful. Smooth and Quiet, WOW! We drove every SUV out there and compared and this was the only one that met all our needs. The only thing it is missing is storage areas up front for eyeglasses, kleenex or such. Regardless, we love it so far and are getting 21.5 mpg so far and expect to get more as the engine gets broken in good. My sisters Rendevouz didn't get very good mileage at first and has increased as time goes by. The inline 6 engine is plenty powerful and don't understand why anyone would really need more power in this vehicle. It is great!
Advice: Make sure you know your warranty!I can sympathize with the others who have had transmission problems. Our 2004 Rainier with 28000 miles on it has been in the shop 6 times since Christmas 2005. The first couple of times, the technicians did not 'notice' the obvious shuddering/stuttering of the vehicle. Now, they acknowledge it, but always claim that it has been fixed by recalibrating the transmission. I am about to take it in for the 7th time, of course now the cruise does not work and the engine light is on. All I can say is 'thank God it's under warranty'. I have always said that I would always buy American, but this vehicle and the service problems have changed my mind!
Pros: Live close to dealer.
Cons: What I paid for this car.
Advice: Shop around for alternate brand.I paid $3,700 more to get a 2006, however I got a 2005. This vehicle is no where near being a 'Buick'. I have owned Buicks since the 70's, Park Avenues since 1987. An 87, 93, 2000, 2004. I thought that the Rainier would be comparable. The fender and bumper panel are mismatched, the ride is horrible, the environmental system has a mind of it's own, necessating turning off the auto setting. Remote door locks will not program to identify each driver. Rear seat configuration has 64/40 reversed. Inadvertenly left key in ignition, in garage, and computer drained battery. DIC not as functional as the Park Avenues. Do not attempt to contact Buick through their web site, no one is home.
Pros: automatic leveling system
Cons: The fact that my transmission went
Advice: Beware - Transmission defectsPurchased 2004 Rainier on June 2004. I have 16000 miles on it. Transmission went and GM will not cover under warrenty claiming that I drove it thru a flood which I did not. Has anyone else experianced any problems like this.
Cons: No factory or dealer support
Advice: Buy the six cylinder or another SUVThere is a loud thump every few seconds from the climate control system. GM has so far refused to do anything about this terribly annoying noise. They say it is common in the V-8 models?
Pros: Buick's 'Quiet Tuning' that really quiets coarse pavement noise
Cons: The lack of fully-extendable visors like other GM SUV's have
Advice: Take it out on the highway and see how well it performsAfter 5 years in a '99 Blazer I was looking for an upgrade for under $50k. I was disappointed in all the foreign and domestic SUV's that were supposed to be quiet and smooth. I nearly passed up the Rainier until a friend gave me a ride in his TrailBlazer and I read that the Rainier was even quieter yet. After driving one I was sold. It is extremely quiet, smooth and comfortable. The air suspension eats up bumps like marshmallows. The inline 6 has plenty of power (275 HP). The standard equipment list is impressive. They even give you an air hose with guage so you can pump things up from the onboard compressor! I can't say enough good things about this SUV and how much I like it.