Let me start by saying that I have owned some of the most unreliable makes on the road. Fiats, Alfas, Jaguars, etc. The Buicke Terraza, which we purchased new in 2005, has been the worst by far.
It now has 145k miles on it. I would have unloaded it years ago but after each expensive repair you think, "what else can go wrong?" The Terraza never fails to answer that question.
In the years since we have owned it, let's see.
It has had the transmission fail twice.
It has used about a quart of oil every 1,000 miles since it was new. GM says that is is within normal usage parameters. Hmm, I have had other vehicles with 300k on the odometer that use essentially nothing every 3k miles.
Have replaced every single suspension component, front and rear, at least once.
Front brake rotors are essentially an annual replacement. Dow not matter what brand rotor or pads, the rotors eventually warp.
Let's look at the components driven by the serpentine belt. Water pump, AC compressor, alternator, power steering pump. Yup, every one of those has been replaced.
All sorts of electrical issues almost since new.
CV axles. Yes. This as well.
Exhaust. Ok, that lasted a long time so not too bad.
Heater core leak. Been there, done that.
Leather cracking at front seats and arm rests. Yes, also a crack in the dash.
Steering rack. Yes. Last month as a matter of fact.
Engine mounts. If your Terraza has lots of noise and harshness, these arprobanpy shot.
I maintain all my vehicles extremely well and they tend to last a very long time. Frequent fluid changes, interior / exterior detailing, etc. Who knows what other problems this lemon would have if not maintained
It is reaonably quiet. Engine is harsh and could use a few more HP. Highway mileage is decent, around town about the same as my V8 SUV. Front seats are comfortable, rear seats have terrible leg room, third row is difficult to access. Front cup holders fall apart, few poor outlets poorly located.
Even though we now have a "new GM" my experience with the Terraza has left me saying, never again.
We've owned it for about 3 years now. The car came loaded with all the accessories (DVD, electric heated leather seats, electric doors). It does have a good engine, and nice acceleration but other than that, it's the worst lemon of a car I've ever owned.
We bought this car used and have had nothing but problems with it. The DVD player stopped working after about two years. The steering leaks, one sliding door doesn't work at all anymore, not even manually! The fob stopped working (even with a new battery), the strap to close the back gate broke, the warning bell that a door may be open goes off when you go over a bump and there's NOTHING you can do to make it stop. The door lock button had to be replaced, the driver side window fell off its track. The catalytic converter needs to be replaced. The rear gate leaks. Climate controls are HORRIBLE. It's impossible to keep the windows free and clear of frost in the winter. God forbid you try to change a headlight or turn signal on this thing yourself.
It truly amazes me that I don't see more people complaining about this car.
This is the car my family bought used a few years ago, and I wish they had done research first. It is better than the '98 Venture we had, but not by much. I will address build quality first, and frankly the build quality is disappointing. Basically the whole interior is hard plastic (the dashboard of my grandmother's '96 Bonneville is softer), and there are noticeable gaps between many of the panels. There is padding on the upper door panels, but it is very minimal. Fortunately, we have not had problems with the power doors like other people have. We have, however, experienced the very common light flicker problem.
As for how this car drives, that is also not very good. Acceleration is terrible, possibly because of the 3500 engine vs. the weight of the vehicle. Getting up to highway speeds requires stomping on the gas pedal, and there is a noticeable delay between pressing the pedal and any acceleration. Potentially dangerous. As for steering, it's not bad, but you are sharply reprimanded by a high-pitched squeaking and resistance if you try to turn the wheel with the brake pedal fully applied. When going over a bump, the entire car rattles. It is extremely annoying.
Interior comfort isn't that bad. The third-row seats are kind of stiff, but I don't think they've ever really been used. All other seats are comfortable enough. However, like I mentioned before, padding on the front doors is minimal. Legroom in the second row is barely enough, and the funny thing is that the third row actually has more legroom than the second.
Other miscellaneous things include: somewhat sub-par gas mileage (about 17 mpg), the unimpressive CD player (randomly stops working), and visibility (hindered by full-size rear headrests and thick C-pillars).
Overall, the only thing this car really has going for it is seat comfort. The gray interior is very blah, driving dynamics are not good, and build quality is poor compared to some of the other GM cars of the time (the Lesabre, for example). But it's what we have, so I suppose I'll just have to deal with it.
Although we bought this vehicle second hand with just over 100k it has had front end and electrical issues constantly that no one can fix. The computer has had to be disconected to keep the brakes from coming on while driving, no one could figure this out and all related it to the computer. Front end problems, electrical problems that no one including GM can figure out. The vehicle is comfortable to drive, but the headaches have been more then enough. Stay away from this vehicle.
get rid of vehicles with computers not only in this vehicle but all vehicles, go back to the basics when cars could easily be repaired.
I just bought my Terraza recently. It has been maintained so well that I'm pretty sure a family of ghosts drove it. It smells like new car, not a stain or a worn spot to be found. At a low 90,000km it looks as though it could have 10km on the clock - so I'm very excited just at how clean it is.
In my time driving it, my only complaint is the transmission. Sometimes it doesn't seem to know what it wants to do. I stomp it for power on the highway and it launches into 6000rpm and sounds like it's about to explode. A little scary - I don't want to face a tranny rebuild so soon in our relationship. Aside from that, driving around town and so forth, she's the smoothest ride I've ever owned.
Well, first and foremost, I love the autostart - it will become an invaluable feature come winter. Next, the power sliding door is nice although I see a lot of complaints on here regarding the power doors, so hopefully mine continues working as well as it has been. The van as a whole is just SO aesthetically pleasing. It's a handsome vehicle in AND out. I'm a little dumbfounded as to why it needs 500 cup holders though, lol. Regardless, it offers a lot of nice features and has a quality feel to it.
The transmission ought to be reconfigured to not be so spastic when moving at highway speeds. It feels very jumpy, low is too low, but fast sounds like the motor is going to blow. Around town it's amazing, but anything involving highway speeds makes me feel like I need to nurse it and carefully baby it over the hills or else risk damaging it.