Used 2007 Buick Rainier SUV Used 2007
Buick Rainier SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

Those who dismiss the Rainier as little more than a GMC Envoy in Buick clothing need to look a little closer. While it's true the Rainier uses the same engines, transmission and chassis as the Envoy (and its cousin, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer), Buick has given its midsize SUV a number of features befitting the nameplate's upscale image. A premium interior includes standard perforated leather seating, dark walnut dash appliques and power seats, while underneath the Rainier resides a standard load-leveling rear air suspension. Compared to traditional steel springs, the air suspension not only makes the Rainier's ride smoother, but keeps it sitting level, even when loaded down with crew and cargo. When equipped with the six-cylinder engine, the five-passenger Rainier provides good power and reasonable fuel economy.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

If you need room for five and all their cargo, the Rainier makes an excellent choice. Its interior is sufficiently plush to satisfy most luxury owners, and its 291-horspower in-line six-cylinder engine and optional all-wheel drive make it a good all-around hauling machine.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

If you don't like the high step-up of a truck-based sport utility vehicle, and prefer a more car-like ride and interior, you may be better off with an Acura MDX or Chrysler Pacifica.

What's New for 2007

OnStar's Directions and Connections package makes the standard equipment roster, as does a tire pressure monitoring system and two new exterior colors: Midnight Blue and Graphite Metallic.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

On the road, the Rainier performs admirably. The standard rear air suspension gives it a smoother ride than its steel-sprung counterparts at GMC and Chevrolet, and the standard 17-inch Michelin tires and Bilstein front shock absorbers provide impressive handling characteristics. Buick has worked hard to find the right balance between ride and handling and, from what we've experienced, has done a pretty good job. You'll find the steering and brake feel on the Rainier to be as good as any car in the Buick lineup and - so long as you don't charge through curving off-ramps at double the posted speed limit - you'll find body roll and lean to be minimal. The interior is very quiet at highway speeds, with only a little tire noise making its way into the cabin.

Favorite Features

New Navigation Unit
The new GPS navigation unit incorporates navigation, audio and satellite radio into one, easy-to-use unit.

Dual-Zone Climate Control
The dual-zone climate control allows the driver and front-seat passenger to select individual temperature settings.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The Rainier's interior is as lush and inviting as any Buick sedan. Perforated leather covers the seats and door panels, while a combination of dark burl walnut and chrome accents graces the Rainier's dash. The instrument layout is clear, legible and straightforward, with large rotary controls for the audio and climate control, and a four-spoke steering wheel complete with touch controls for the audio and the Driver's Information Center. The Rainier provides outstanding interior room in both the front and rear and, even with the second-row seat up, there is plenty of usable cargo space.

Exterior

Although the Rainier's TrailBlazer/Envoy roots are clearly visible, Buick has massaged the Rainier's exterior sufficiently to give the vehicle its own identity. By grafting on the brand's signature grille and headlamp treatment and dressing up the rear-most pillar and liftgate, the Rainier takes on a smooth, somewhat rounder appearance than its GMC and Chevrolet cousins. Long rear doors make it easy to slip in and out of the Rainier, although the step-up height is greater than that of a minivan or crossover SUV. Additional chrome is available for those who desire a more premium appearance, as are six-spoke polished aluminum wheels.

Notable Standard Equipment

Notable standard equipment for the Rainier includes automatic dual-zone air conditioning, StabiliTrak, Driver Information Center, fog lights, anti-lock brakes (ABS), rear privacy glass, automatic headlamps, rear audio, OnStar with Direction and Connections package, a tire pressure monitoring system, leather-wrapped steering wheel with touch controls for Driver's Information Center and audio, traction control and aluminum wheels.

Notable Optional Equipment

Popular Rainier options include a 5.3-liter V8 engine, a limited-slip rear differential, GPS navigation, DVD entertainment system, front and rear side-curtain airbags, XM Satellite Radio, heated front seats, power moonroof, power adjustable foot pedals and all-wheel drive.

Under the Hood

Unless you plan on towing something really big, you'll find the Rainier's in-line six more than adequate. Though the Rainier's standard 4.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine has more than enough power to satisfy even the most demanding drivers, the optional torque-happy 5.3-liter V8 permits you to tow up to 6,700 pounds, compared to a maximum of 6,300 pounds for the six. The Rainier's V8 is equipped with GM's Active Fuel Management technology, a system designed to improve fuel economy by cutting fuel to four of the eight cylinders when their power is not needed - and it's completely unnoticeable, as well.

4.2-liter in-line 6
291 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
277 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/21 (AWD)

5.3-liter V8
300 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
330 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/21 (AWD)

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Pricing Notes

The Rainer has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $32,120, while the all-wheel-drive model is $34,140. A fully-loaded Rainer with the 5.3-liter V8 and all-wheel drive can easily top $40,000. Before you set out to purchase a new Rainier, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which shows the typical transaction price being paid in your area. Once you've purchased your Rainier, you can expect it to hold an average five-year projected residual value - on par with the Mercury Mountaineer, slightly below the Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 and well below the Acura MDX.

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