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By Jim Mateja
May 11, 1997
The 1997 Buick Riviera luxury sports coupe we tested delivers smooth rideand handling and, compared with the Infiniti Q45, offers considerably more vim andvigor with its supercharged 3.8-liter V-6. Where it comes up short is in offering only two
doors. The industry beliefis that empty-nesters and aging Boomers are lined up outside dealershipswaiting for coupes, that empty-nesters and Boomers travel alone and not withother couples and that empty-nesters and Boomers don't have grandkids they'dlike
to slip in the back seat. And if they do try to get in back, thefront-seat safety belts help block them. Two air bags, four-wheel ABS and traction control, but has anyone at Buickconsidered taking those rear access doors from the Chevrolet and GMC
pickuptrucks and working their design and practicality into a coupe so the Riv canbe fun and functional? Or, perhaps Buick wasn't paying attention when Ford said it will drop theThunderbird and Mercury Cougar coupes while planning to bring them back
asfour-door sedans. Base price for the Riv: $30,110, but add $1,195 for the supercharged engineand another $1,065 for the doodad package that includes traction control.