2004 Buick Rainier CXL Plus AWD 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
I purchased my Rainier back in 2007 with 40K miles on it. It was a Dealer certified used car. I have put nearly 200,000 miles on it to date and other than a few issues I have to say its one of the best cars I have ever owned. Other than normal maintenance items, unexpected repairs were a catalytic converter at just over 100,000 miles (thanks Baltimore for all the potholes) and a failed A/C compressor clutch mechanism. The compressor was working great but the clutch would stop working after about 20 minutes of driving. Other than those 2 unexpected repairs I have only had to do normal maintenance items and repairs for wear and tear. That's to be expected on a car with over 200K miles. ** Likes** Comfortable, quiet and handles like it's on rails. Lots of power and the AWD will not leave you stuck in the snow. **dislikes** wish it had more headroom for the driver. At 6'2" my head is almost touching the ceiling. Wish it also had a manual AWD lockup switch. **Final thoughts** It's a great car, fun to drive and for a V8 AWD SUV I get an average combined MPG of about 17 commuting in Washington beltway traffic which I do not think is bad. One last comment: After 13years of salt and winter driving the car has No RUST. Paint still shines and the body is in great shape, other than a number of rock chips on the hood. Well made car :-) Would definitely buy it again if I could. In fact, I am keeping an eye out for a lower mileage one now. The V8's are hard to find.
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.
Heated seats are a good thing to have in the winter time, really help warm me up fast in the morning on my drive to work. XM satellite radio keeps my drive less boring and the Bose sound system is pretty good. Steering wheel controls are nice feature to have. Exterior wise I like the fact that it has a light on the side of the front bumper that turns on when blinkers are turned on, it helps see what's around the corner a little better, and I think it's kinda cool!
Painted plastic over radio peels easily, it should have been the same soft touch materials that the dash is mostly made of. Also wish mpg's were better, but hey, it's an SUV! Everything else about the Rainier is good!
My Rainier is a piece of garbage. Parts are expensive, and labor even more so unless you are like me and do your own repairs - and even then, it is so poorly designed that it is a major undertaking to repair. As an example, the front differential blew up recently and I had to remove the steering rack, axles, AND the engine oil pan (the passenger side axle goes THROUGH the oil pan!) to remove it. Many of the bolts are difficult to get at. It would have cost me $2500 in labor alone to have a shop repair it for me, plus parts cost. I will NEVER willingly own another vehicle in this series again, and if I could afford to buy another vehicle I would. At least it's fully paid for...
It gets me where I need to go (when I'm not busy fixing something that has broken on it...)
Re-design the whole thing so it isn't so labor-intensive to repair!
2004 Buick Rainier CXL Plus AWD 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
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.
I like the fact that the body is metal and not plastic like the Rendezvous was.
AWD is great.
Lots of room for tall people.
Love the towing package.
The handling is fantastic like all previous Buick's I have owned.
This Buick has so many problems, I do not know where to begin. The plastic coating around the stereo started peeling off early on.
It looks really ugly now. Then all the other mechanical problems that exist.
That is probably why Buick no longer builds them.
It definitely did not retain its value at all.
At present, with repairs and purchase price, I have spent $45,000 on this vehicle.
Even though my uncle is a GM dealer, I will probably never buy another Buick again.
This vehicle is very unreliable.
You never know when you are going to be left walking with this vehicle.
With my past experience with Buick, this vehicle is lacking in quality from every direction.
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.