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2005 Buick Terraza CX Fwd 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
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.
This car drives poorly. It crashes over bumps in the road and the entire interior rattles. There is also a lot of wind noise at highway speeds. Acceleration isn't actually that bad, because although the engine is somewhat underpowered, it can get the car going if you just push the RPMs a little. Another thing, though, is that the transmission isn't particularly smooth when shifting.
Interior comfort isn't terrible. The third-row seats are kind of stiff, but I don't think they've ever really been used. The other two rows of seats have full-size cushions, which is nice, but there is no lumbar support and no kind of adjustment for it. Additionally, like I mentioned before, padding on the front doors is minimal. Legroom in the second row is barely enough, and the third row actually has more legroom than the second.
This car has also developed several problems that compromise safety. The wheels are beginning to corrode, I believe, resulting in a slow tire leak (a common problem here in Minnesota, where we heavily salt our roads in the winter). We had to have the steering done because it was starting to leak fluid. The most recent problem is one that we've had before. The brakes go crazy, the traction control kicks in when it's not needed, and sometimes the ABS/traction control lights come on and the information screen flashes "service ABS", "service traction control", and "service stability system".
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).
This car has not aged well while we've had it. Being a minivan, of course it gets driven often. But that also means problems can develop more quickly. The problems I mentioned aren't even all of the problems we've had since we got it. Those are just the recent problems and I fear we may encounter more. Even my mother, who mostly just wants a car that will get her from A to B, is getting frustrated. If you own a Terraza, Uplander, Montana, or Relay, please be careful and, if you are able, maybe find a different vehicle?
2005 Buick Terraza CXL Fwd 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
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.
2005 Buick Terraza CX Fwd 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
Oct 2017 update:
Transmission packed it in at about 170,000km (approx 106,000miles). Rear callipers have a parking brake component that seized and needed a full caliber replacement on the rear. After the transmission rebuild ($2500) it seems to be back in action and running well. I guess I'll wait and see what falls apart next on me. lol.
I've owned it for 3 years now and I still love it. It has had a few problems though. This chassis (terraza, relay, Uplander, and SV6) is notorious for wheel bearings going. I've been through two bearings on the front, both sides and on the back, one time, both sides. Ridiculous right? I'm handy, so they're easy enough to change, but come on.... seriously? Twice in 3 years?! Also, I had an ongoing issue with the ABS/traction/stability system light triggering. Took me a while to figure out - but it ended up being as simple as changing the wire harness that runs from the wheel hub to the computer. The wire is cheap and gets brittle over time and even though it looks "ok" the tiny wires inside fray and trip the system - haven't had an issue since replacing a couple years ago.
The stereo had weird road/static noises and I didn't like the stock deck anyway so I upgraded to a Kenwood GPS/DVD deck and it's been fantastic ever since as the stock speakers/sound is actually really decent. Hope this helps other owners. Despite the problems I really do still love driving it. Everything else about it has been great!
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.
2005 Buick Terraza CXL AWD 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
Have a long history of good Bbuicks, so when it became time for me to haul grandsons to hockey and loads of food and gear to the cottage, I wanted a van with AWD.
I love this vehicle and would have bought another if GM still made a replacement.
A few problems that dealer handled well: flush rear AWD transmission due to whirring noise on sharp turns, Rt front wheel bearing,
front brakes after 4 years-not bad, after 7 years remote start/doors key FOBs quit - still working on that one. Have 100,000miles including 2 trips to South Mexico-beautiful to drive at 75MPH for hours.
#1 issue: same DVD stuck in 2nd row player since 2006 .
In 2012 drive heated seat has a hot spot - may be a short?
Load space huge with 2nd row seats removed, can easily set up 3rd row when needed - load leveling v.g with heavy lumber, etc. Great highway ride, love the back-up sensors for parking, etc, interior great. AWD great in winter and on loose gravel inclines,
2nd row DVD service, Rt Front bearing and brakes longevity, Make a replacement or 2014 Terraza van - still looking for my next Terraza!
2005 Buick Terraza CX AWD 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
Had it since 2009,
No major issues, low cost vehicle to run.
Wheel bearing replacements and a brake job, but nearly 200K on the clock.
Quiet and reliable.
Comfort and noise suppression. Great for 8x4s and bags of cement...
Wheel bearing reliability. Occasional power doors not closing properly.