Vehicle Overview

As the 2004 model year began, a midsize luxury sport utility vehicle dubbed Rainier joined the Rendezvous "crossover" model in Buick's lineup. Built with full-frame construction, the Rainier can carry up to five occupants.

Rainiers come with rear- or all-wheel drive. All are built on General Motors' short-wheelbase midsize SUV architecture, which is also used for the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. An electronically controlled rear air suspension is intended to produce a comfortable ride.

An inline-six-cylinder engine is standard, and it gains 16 horsepower for 2006. A 5.3-liter V-8 is optional. Woodgrain trim is standard on the instrument panel, doors and center console. Side curtain-type airbags are available.

Though it is intended primarily for driving on regular pavement, the all-wheel-drive Rainier offers offroad capability, according to Buick, and is said to be "very capable on . . . an unpaved, two-track road."

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