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.
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.
I was drawn to the Buick Terraza because it had lots of bells and whistles and low miles (29K). I have owned this vehicle for a little over 2 years and it has been nothing but a pain. Have replaced Wheel Hub Assemblies and control arms twice. Replaced lift gate struts at 50k. Automatic door stopped working and warning bell continuously dings while driving unless fuse for radio is pulled. ABS, Stability Control and Traction Control warning lights come on for no reason. DVD player gets hot to the touch. Plastic molding on the doors has come off.
I have regular & scheduled maintenance done and drive it with respect. Do yourself a favor stay away from this vehicle.
Dvd player, wood grain, roomy, nice interior, not bad gas mileage, cup holders.
I'm just glad they don't make this vehicle any longer. Electrical
and front end issues. Major design flaws in those areas.
1)Oil leak between transmission and engine. 2)Electrical problems:Alternator and battery replaced because headlights and interior lights were dimming and going bright.3) Radio replaced due to background noise. DVD player had background noise still after noise suppressor added to +12Volt line.4) Stability control module replaced. 5) Electronic brake module replaced. 6) Power window control module replaced due to retaining clips broken. 7) Wind noise present: replaced sliding door molding. Still had it. 8) Ground effects coming off. 9) Something rolling around loose in steering wheel. Most failures occurred by 16,000 miles. The rest occurred before 30,000 miles. Do not trust this van!!
1) DVD Player. 2) Backup sensors. 3)Duel powered sliding doors. 4)Remote engine start.
1) Better drink holders. Drink holders could not accommodate different cup sizes and 20oz drinks. 2) Entrance to 3rd row seats needs improvement. 3) Better storage of 3rd row seats. They take up to much room when laid down. 4) Space between front seats and 2nd row seats is not adequate.
I replaced a GMC Suburban with this van. I needed lots of cargo space and this has just 1.5 cubic feet less than my Suburban with the middle seats out and the rear seats folded flat. The storage in the rear, appearance and features sold me on this car. According to the computer, I get just a little better mileage than on the sticker. 18+/24+. I get especially good mileage on the highway. Accelerating really seems to burn gas. I got this van to take to dog shows and it is perfect. Mine has everything but heated leather seats. I would ordered that. I did not get good service from this particular Dealer.
Styling, storage, great mileage for the cargo capacity. Electric back doors on both sides is extremely handy and they do have child locks.
The next year they added power rear doors (good idea), I would have liked to be able not to have the DVD player as I only haul dogs. I can't take out or install the middle seats by myself so that could be improved.