Used 2004 Buick Rainier

2004 Buick Rainier
List price range
2004 Buick Rainier

Pros

  • Strong drivetrains, upscale exterior treatment, decent off-road ability.

Cons

  • Same old plastic inside, extra features jack up the price.

Used 2004 Buick Rainier for Sale

Buick Rainier 2004 CXL Plus Rwd 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
188,912 miles
Used 2004
Buick Rainier
CXL Plus
ListNot Listed
View Details
Dealer Notes
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Buick is aiming to offer Lexus-like quality and design and the Rainier is a step in the right direction, but there's still plenty of catching up to do.

2004 Highlights

The Rainier is an all-new SUV for Buick. It is based on GM's capable midsize SUV architecture which also supports the Chevy TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. The Rainier is available with a V8 power, but there is no extended-length version.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2004 Buick Rainier.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Not your average College Student's Car!
mannyr5653,12/30/2013
Being only 19, this isn't car most college guys have. Im the only one on campus with one of these! Ever since I bought my Rainier, It has been nothing but good to me. It has proved to be a reliable, luxurious, and all around great vehicle. Only repairs I've done are oil changes and new brake pads. This truck is extremely comfortable and surprisingly easy to drive. The V8 is very powerful, and can get up and go. Highway driving is awesome, the rear air suspension really makes the ride a million times better. The AWD is awesome when driving in snow and rain, it has kept me out of a lot of trouble. It really is a hit or miss with the rainier, either you get a good one or you get a lemon.
More Electrical Problems
brassones,07/29/2011
My Rainer has had soo many electrical problems. 1. No speedometer for over 2 yrs 2. No gas gauge for 1 yr 3. The ambient temp sensor was knocked loose because the water pump dislodged it causing the A/C to quit working. So its 100 degrees outside and the rad out says its -14. Cost me $600 to repair 4. And not to mention every once in a while when you hit a bump wrong at night, the headlights will just quit. And I have checked connections. Anyone else have ideas or comments.
What an amazing vehicle!!
LAUGH1969,08/31/2003
I narrowed my search down to the GMC Envoy SLT, and the Rainier. I decided to go with the Rainier, and I am so glad I did. It is so much more luxurious, comfortable, classier, and sooooo much quieter then the Envoy. Buick did an outstanding job, I would recommend anybody that is in the market for a "Refined Utility Vehicle", as Buick calls it, to defiently look at the Rainier. My wife owns a Buick Rendezvous, both of Buicks trucks are so much nicer then the competition. To me, and to others who drive it, will see how it is a smaller, five passenger version of a Cadillac Escalade.
Buick Rainer V-8
shadav,12/10/2011
I have owned several Buick's and this is by far the worst one I have owned. The one I traded in had 143,000 miles on it and was still running perfectly. With the Rainier, I began have trouble around 60,000 miles. The instrument panel had to be replaced, then the air conditioner blew hot air on the passenger side. Then it was the transfer case, then the air bags used in the suspension area began leaking. At this very moment, it is parked in my garage with a broken water pump. I haven't driven it in 4 months. Instead, I bought a used vehicle that I paid cash for to get around town in. It has been much more reliable than the Buick.
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
275 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
275 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
275 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
275 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2004 Buick Rainier features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Acceptable
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 2004 Buick Rainier
More About This Model

The gentrification of the SUV continues apace, and the trend is hitting something of an attitudinal apogee, some might say it's approaching royal standing, as Buick's latest entry comes to market.

That would be the Rainier of the five-seat, V8-powered variety, not the Rainiers of the ruling-Monaco-from-a-castle-on-the-Riviera variety.

Connoisseurs of mountains will know that the Rainier name also applies to a noteworthy peak near Seattle. In Buick's eyes, this all ties together quite nicely in an enlightening and evocative manner, helping SUV shoppers to understand that the Rainier will offer something unique and worthy of its premium-priced position.

The overall marketing posture would be ''rugged elegance,'' and a test session with a preproduction version of the 2004 Rainier suggests the old ''doctor's car'' division of General Motors is onto something.

Rainier's ability off-road is a given, since it shares the midsize SUV architecture that already carries the GMC Envoy, the Oldsmobile Bravada and the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, which won this continent's most prestigious award in 2001 when it was named North American Truck of the Year by a group of independent automotive journalists.

This is serious street cred, or, in this case, off-street cred. So if you're really inclined to expose your SUV's undercarriage to dirt and rocks and mud and other yucky stuff, go right ahead.

A much likelier scenario is that the only non-pavement time the Rainier will see is when it goes up the gravel drive to the clubhouse at the country club, and this is the sort of experience Buick has crafted the Rainier to excel at.

Buick has always been one of GM's upscale brands (it's most famously known as ''the doctor's car''), but with Cadillac going farther upscale into the fight for world luxury car domination (''Escalade rules, Dawg''), this leaves a lot more room for Buick to offer premium products to a discerning clientele.

Bob Lutz likes to say that Buick is going to become America's Lexus, and the marque's executives smile and nod indulgently at this description because he is GM vice-chairman and product Pooh-Bah. But there's no chance of seeing that as Buick's official tagline, so instead we will be asked to appreciate the value of QuietTuning as an engineering philosophy.

Anyone who's ever been exposed to the more recent Lexus models will immediately see (and not hear) the connection and understand the appropriateness of the term, since Toyota's luxury brand is rightly famous for building the quietest cars in the world. This is a very important attribute in a car with a premium price tag because North American consumers widely believe that a quiet car is critical if a vehicle carries a bigger sticker. Consumers also tend to equate quiet with quality, though this is not always the case. It is in Lexus, however, and GM hopes to make the same claim with Buick.

On the strength of our time in the Rainier, we think Lutz and company may have a shot at it.

As much as we appreciate Rainier's SUV siblings, it's difficult to envision them in the same league with the Buick in terms of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), at all speeds and in all situations. Bridging this NVH gap involved considerable effort to reduce the noise at its source, and to block it out if that didn't work. So there is considerable use of sound-deadening material, including laminated glass on the windshield and the front side windows.

The overall sense of QuietTuning in the Rainier is that of a more refined and substantial car, and that's a good thing for a premium vehicle to convey. If Buick can replicate this with the next SUV it has coming (joining Rendezvous and Rainier) and the three sedans it wants to build, then it will clearly be onto something good.

It doesn't hurt Rainier that it's the only member of the midsize GM SUV family to get the Vortec 5.3-liter V8 in the short-wheelbase, five-seat configuration. With those other models, you have to go to the longer and heavier seven-seat versions to upgrade from the 4.2-liter inline six.

The 4.2-liter six puts out 275 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 275 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm, and it must be pointed out that 90 percent of that torque is available at virtually all points on the tachometer. Anyone who knows this engine well is a big fan, and that would include us.

But the V8 delivers 290 hp at 5,200 rpm and 325 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, with most of that available across a wide rpm range, and that is simply more power at any given time, which is attractive to a lot of people, also including us.

Both engines are attached to the same transmission — a four-speed electronic automatic, which has been wired to deliver seamless power in the V8 as well as in the inline six.

You can't go wrong with either powertrain in the Rainier, but the V8 is particularly sweet.When it comes to style, Buick and GM have also done a solid job in elevating the Rainier to a level equal to its QuietTuning ride.

This is most obvious from the front end, where Buick's signature grille works very well with an overall package that will be distinct from GM's other SUVs, turning Rainier into possibly the best-looking truck-based SUV on the market.

Inside you'll find a rear seat that folds down to create 85 cubic feet of storage space. The front seats are heated and equipped with a memory feature, and dual-zone climate control is standard. GM's OnStar service and a DVD-based navigation system come standard as well. Options like a DVD video player and XM Satellite Radio can further heighten the Rainier's premium status. On the whole, there's a rich and expansive feel to Rainier's interior, which fits the tone the company is trying to strike.

This naturally leads to the question of pricing, for which Buick has so far not announced. We can expect it will be more expensive than any of the five-seat models from Chevy, Olds and GMC, however, since Rainier is a genuine premium product.

Thankfully, it isn't just badged as such, but actually feels that way.

Used 2004 Buick Rainier Overview

The Used 2004 Buick Rainier is offered in the following submodels: Rainier SUV. Available styles include CXL AWD 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), CXL Plus Rwd 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), CXL Plus AWD 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), and CXL Rwd 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2004 Buick Rainier?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2004 Buick Rainiers are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2004 Buick Rainiers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Rainier for sale - 4 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $10,473.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Rainier for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $18,736.

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Should I lease or buy a 2004 Buick Rainier?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Buick lease specials
Check out Buick Rainier lease specials