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2004 Buick Rainier -a new Buick mid-size SUV


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Not sure if anyone has heard, but Buick is coming out with a new SUV. It is called the Rainier. It is based on the Chevrolet Trail Blazer, GMC Envoy and the new Oldsmobile Bravada. All of which I think are very nice SUVs. Here is a Edmunds review on it. It will not be available until Sept. 2003. Why so long? By then, that design will probably be outdated, as it looks like a not of 2004 models are making a drastic style change. Anyway, here is it. Much better than the other Buick SUV. <BR> <A HREF="http://www.edmunds.com/future/2004/buick/rainier/4drsuv/preview.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.edmunds.com/future/2004/buick/rainier/4drsuv/preview.html</A>

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The Rainier will take the place of the Bravada in the factory production mix, but as Roberta's mentioned, they don't want it to be considered as an Olds model replacement or that it's an Olds with different sheet metal. From what I understand, it will be a different variation just as the Envoy is different from the Chevy.<P>The Rainier will be the only version of that platform which will have the 5300 V-8 (all aluminum) in the short wheel base version, giving it one of those advertising plugs about being the most powerful short wheel base vehicle in that class. In the Chevy, the V-8 only goes into the long wheel base version of the TrailBlazer (which is a pretty dang nice vehicle in that 3 seat configuration).<P>Each of those vehicles will have their own unique items. The Envoy will have the retractible cargo area roof and it and the Rainier will have rear air suspension for better ride qualities. Chevy will not have those, for example. The top line Bravada is/was a really nice vehicle and I expect the Buick version of that platform to go above that.<P>In the short wheel base version and the 5300 V-8, it could be a great performer. A Buick Performance SUV. Don't snicker until you drive one!<P>Enjoy!<BR>NTX5467

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I don't have any interest in a Stupid Ugly Vehicle that gets [censored] poor gas milage simply<BR>because of its size. Buick should build a car that is different like the Lacrose (sp)<BR>or the Black Hawk. I will continue to buy older cars until some one make a full frame v8 powered rear wheel drive car. ( Still holding my breath )

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The Lutz-touched new Buicks are still a few years off and should put more distinction in Buick style again. I believe they have said the grille in the 2003 Park Avenue is inspired by the Lacrosse, if that helps. <P>There is even talk that many of GM's future larger car platforms will transition back into rear wheel drive too, but that's off in the future too. The Cadillac CTS and other performance-oriented vehicles will probably be rear wheel drive too.<P>Full frame vehicles will typically be genuine truck-based platforms and cars will be unit-body construction as below about 120" wheelbase, the unit-body construction is the strongest way to do it. These same cars are subject to the federal side impact crash standards too. Not that the same could not be done with a full frame car (as in the past, even pre-regulation), but the weight penalty takes its toll and weight is a very critical issue in modern times of emissions and fuel economy issues.<P>But, contrary to popular consensus, some of the more modern pre-regulation full frame cars do not have the same degree of side impact crash resistance as some of the earlier models did. I've seen that myself. At least, the earlier models had "crash space" in them, meaning it took more penetration to get to the passengers location.<P>I guess you've forgotten that Ford still builds V-8, rear wheel drive, full frame cars? Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car all share the same platform and many mechanical items. Unfortunately, with that heritage the last Grand Marquis GS I rented three years ago had no real reason to recommend it over a similar LeSabre, other than it's heritage. Same basic interior room, worse fuel economy, and the trunk configuration might have held the same amount of "stuff" as the LeSabre. The 2000 and up LeSabre runs at least as good, gets better fuel economy, and rides/handles better. The LeSabre might be a little tighter inside with 6 full sized people inside, but how often does that happen anymore? Plus, the Ford replacement for their 5.0L V-8 (the high tech OHC 4.6L V-8) would not even spin the rear tires with the traction control turned off! At least, a 3.8L V-6 LeSabre will squall its driving wheels a little!<P>Even as Chrysler transitions back into full sized rear wheel drive vehicles with the next generation of LH car (called LN, I understand), they will still be unit-body construction, but UniBody construction is a Chrysler situation since they first used Torsion Bar front suspension.<P>Just because the realities of a modern world have seemingly conspired to take some things of our past from us in the current generations of products, that doesn't mean the new products are completely "bad". In fact, many of these new products are very good products that accomplish things the earlier ones could not and do it more efficiently.<P>Ford has continually tweaked and upgraded their Crown Victoria-type cars as times have progressed. The new Mercury Marauder is a neat car too! <P>I like vintage cars with full frames, rear wheel drive, real Buick (or appropriate for the car line) V-8s, even the earlier UniBody cars too, but I also understand that if you drive something day in and day out, it needs to be new enough to find parts in the salvage yard if another driver does something stupid or unexpected weather happens (i.e., hail). That means either a higher volume older vehicle for daily transportation or something you can still buy an extended warranty for. <P>If you don't feel comfortable in taking the vintage car out of your immediate area, you can rent a new vehicle from National (typically GM cars) or similar for that weekend (usually about $100.00 + off site parking) for a 3 day weekend rental. Hertz and Budget typically have Ford products (including the Grand Marquis and Town Car) if you have to have a rear wheel drive, full frame, V-8 car.<BR> <BR>Just my thoughts and observations,<BR>NTX5467

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NTX----, I agree with you on most points,<BR>however, being an elder statesman (hehehe)<BR>at 66 yrs I tend to favor rear wheel drive<BR>over front wheel drive. I think its probably because of the quicker response of front<BR>wheel drive and I'm not used to it. Rear<BR>wheel drive little slower response time on cornering etc.. that's why I drive a<BR>Astro Van as everyday vehicle. 8 passenger<BR>comfort, 21 mpg economy, plus 4.3 v-6<BR>engine (best in the business brother).<BR>Looking forward to the new Buick Rainier.

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Thanks, Loren. I understand what you mean. What's interesting is that the current fwd Impala in police configuration matched the current Crown Vic in the handling tests run by the Michigan State Police. In fact, with the 200 horse Buick V-6, the Impala didn't give up anything at all to the 4.6L Ford. And neither does the upcoming Dodge Intrepid police package. BUT, if Ford would get more serious with their suspension and engine packages, they would be in front just as Chevy was with their last generation Caprice police packages.

The Astro van is a good, solid product and the 4.3L Chevy V-6 is very good also.

As for the Rainier, with the 5300 V-8 in the lighter short wheel base version of that platform, some unsuspecting BMW X5 V-8 owners (and especially the people with 6 cylinder X5s!) might be surprised by the Rainier V-8 at the stop lights.

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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Wow, I can hardly wait to get a Buick Rainier---a v-8 engine and a $45,000 price tag----GET A CADDY FOR $7,000 more and you have a REAL SUV!!!

PS: A loaded ENVOY with the I-6 cost about $39,000 now. Heck, a loaded GMC Denali SUV does not cost much more.

Buick needs to put three port-holes on the sides of the Rainier plus two front fender flags with four stars for this flag ship. The current Rendovous's rear side windows are like a eye slit -- what are they for anyway??? It's junky!

A couple of Buicks, a Pontiac Montana Van, and a Chevy truck Hot-Rod)

tongue.gif

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