I bought my 1997 Supercharged Riviera from the original owner with 37,000 miles on it. I commuted 100 miles round trip to work each day for 13 years. I now have 409,000 miles on it. Parts replaced included 3 water pumps, 2 alternators, a starter, entire brake system (minus master cylinder...thats still original). The CD player went to I had a cheap one installed. One set of tires (Cooper) I got 105,000 miles out of. Had the front wheel bearing assemblies replaced at 250,000 and just had the drivers front wheel bearing replaced. Still the original exhaust system. It has some annoying oil leaks that I really don't care about. Original paint job is my only complaint. Wore off in a few places.
Durability, my drive 100 miles each day was all highway and I got as high as 34mpg with it, but 30mpg was standard driving 60-65mph.
The paint job from the factory is my only complaint. The trunk lid and rear sides at the very end had the paint flake off down to the factory primed metal. Its a big, safe car that looks pretty good for 409,000 miles. I keep up with all the
regular maintenance. Had the transmission fluid changed twice.
I purchased the vehicle with 147,000 miles on it for $3,500 and thought it was the best car ever. I loved the leather interior with the single heated seat(only available on the drivers side.) It was such a smooth ride at first but once I hit 165,000 it wen't downhill. The Transmission blew and had to drop $2,500 unexpectedly to fix it. The door handle broke 3 times on the drivers side, keep in mind that the factory one is around $250. Issues with the crankshaft sensor and suspension happened around 190k miles. I managed to get it up to 220k miles....I'm honestly going to miss the ride and comfort but I am not going to miss the headache.
The leather seats and moonroof....The supercharger was pretty awesome!!!
Belt and pulleys broke 3 times, it wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have to take off the motor mounts in order to replace them.
Don't go to the car wash with the radio on.
The antenna got jammed and one day I walked up to my car and could hear the motor humming in the trunk. I unplugged it and decided to leave it.
Paint faded on roof and the sunroof broke, I had to tap it slowly if I wanted to close it otherwise it would continue trying to open and make all sorts of terrible noises.
The gas lid would always jam.
I got this car from a family of 9 so it was pretty rough when I got it. It needed several fixes and replacements before it was back in decent condition. It served me well while I commuted during college, never left me on the side of the road, and has always provided the luxury that has been associated with Buick vehicles. I am currently pushing 18k miles and it has definitely seen better days but I am overall very pleased with this car. The interior is decent besides a missing piece of leather on the console, scratches and dings on the dashboard and steering wheel controls, and a couple of damaged fan covers: these issues were present when I bought it. I love the ride!
Awesome stereo, smooth ride, neat luxury perks that included volume control on the steering wheel, seat position memory, sun/moon roof, heated driver's seat, everything automatic, the get-up-and-go, the sleek exterior and the plane-like dashboard, roomy back seats and trunk, comfortable leather, self-adjusting passenger mirror, auto-dimming rearview mirror, CD/cassette player, TONS of leg room.
I didn't care too much for the huge, wide-swinging doors but that's very minor.
I wish I could have gotten better gas mileage but I did a fair combo of city vs. highway driving so it varied.
The back window frames were thick which provided some larger blind spots than what I would have liked. The remote entry never worked, due to a sensor/receiver within the car that wouldn't communicate with the remote.
A/C and cruise control were doomed from the previous owners and the retractable antennae stopped working but it doesn't interfere with radio function.
The clear coat is starting to peel, but 1997 was not a good year for paint for these cars.
I bought this car, brand new, right off the show room floor. We added a Wood View, dash and council kit. This car, with all the options, and additions, equaled the same model Cadillac, for $7000 dollars less. Those years of Cadillac had nothing but problems, this car had almost none. Had to replace water pump.
This car is my long distance "Las Vegas" machine. When I pull onto the interstate, it wants to head to Vegas! Most comfortable car I have ever owned. When we cross the high mountain passes, when everyone is having trouble getting up those long stretches, the supercharger kicks in, and ADIOS to all!
Door locking system sometimes shorts out, and clicks on/off constantly. This locking system is "World Class Junk".
We have had many unique cars... great '91 Regal GS (450K), wonderful '93 Park Avenue (500K) never a drop of oil or any engine work with either now '97 Riviera same good quality. Wheel bearings on all 3 Buicks have been a bane. Riviera has developed unpredictable starting problem... no action on turning key - nothing. Happens once in a while, let sit for few minutes and then it will start. Cannot find problem. Not starter nor solenoid. Ignition or neutral safety lock? Various mechanics have looked into this to no avail. Does anybody else have this experience?
Love the overall lines of the body. GM has always maintained the distinct Riviera style through all these years. Even with today's woes GM shoud re- introduce the Riviera line and blow the foreign competition away. Boomers have respect for such style and class good engineering.
Wheel bearings seem to fail early, in my experience with 3 buicks over 20 years. Basic bearing design needs to be better engineered. Replacement units seem to be sub-standard design too.