View Local Inventory
Save

2004 Buick Rainier

Change year or vehicle
$1,226 — $7,822 USED
Sport Utility
5 Seats
18 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Performance of V-8
  • Manageable size
  • Ride comfort with air suspension
  • Quietness
  • Stability

The Bad

  • Five-passenger capacity
  • Fuel economy
  • Step-up height
  • Instruments

What to Know

about the 2004 Buick Rainier
  • 290-hp V-8
  • Air suspension
  • RWD or AWD
  • Premium amenities
  • DVD player and navigation system available

We’re looking for the best deals on a Buick near you…

Are you looking for more listings?

Change location

Please enter a valid 5-digit ZIP code.

Search Again

— OR —

Sign up for listing notifications

Sign Up

2004 Buick Rainier Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
As the 2004 model year begins, a midsize luxury sport utility vehicle dubbed Rainier joins the Rendezvous crossover model in Buick’s lineup. Built with full-frame construction, the Rainier carries five passengers and will roughly take the place of the Oldsmobile Bravada, as that brand fades out of the automotive picture.

Rainiers will come with either rear-wheel drive or on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD). They are built on GM’s short-wheelbase midsize SUV architecture, which is also used for the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. An electronically controlled rear air suspension is standard, and it is intended to produce a comfortable ride and conforms to Buick’s image.

Either an inline-six-cylinder or a 5.3-liter V-8 engine may be installed. The latter power plant is exclusive to the Rainer among the GM group of midsize SUVs. Sales begin in September 2003.

Though it is intended primarily for driving on regular pavement, the AWD Rainier offers offroad capability, according to Buick General Manager Roger Adams. Specifically, it’s said to be “very capable on a Class III Trail, i.e., an unpaved, two-track road.” Marketers will emphasize the Rainier’s blend of “elegance, luxury and performance,” said Tom Wallace, GM’s vehicle line executive for midsize trucks, but the SUV has “unquestioned truck credentials.”

Exterior
Exterior design cues — starting with the vertical-bar grille that includes a chrome crown and surround, embossed Buick lettering and a tri-shiel...

Vehicle Overview
As the 2004 model year begins, a midsize luxury sport utility vehicle dubbed Rainier joins the Rendezvous crossover model in Buick’s lineup. Built with full-frame construction, the Rainier carries five passengers and will roughly take the place of the Oldsmobile Bravada, as that brand fades out of the automotive picture.

Rainiers will come with either rear-wheel drive or on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD). They are built on GM’s short-wheelbase midsize SUV architecture, which is also used for the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. An electronically controlled rear air suspension is standard, and it is intended to produce a comfortable ride and conforms to Buick’s image.

Either an inline-six-cylinder or a 5.3-liter V-8 engine may be installed. The latter power plant is exclusive to the Rainer among the GM group of midsize SUVs. Sales begin in September 2003.

Though it is intended primarily for driving on regular pavement, the AWD Rainier offers offroad capability, according to Buick General Manager Roger Adams. Specifically, it’s said to be “very capable on a Class III Trail, i.e., an unpaved, two-track road.” Marketers will emphasize the Rainier’s blend of “elegance, luxury and performance,” said Tom Wallace, GM’s vehicle line executive for midsize trucks, but the SUV has “unquestioned truck credentials.”

Exterior
Exterior design cues — starting with the vertical-bar grille that includes a chrome crown and surround, embossed Buick lettering and a tri-shield center insignia — are distinctly Buick, according to the company. Sculpted wheel flares and shoulders are meant to enhance the Rainier’s rugged yet elegant appearance.

Clear, jewellike headlights have offset high/low beam fixtures. Fog lamps with chrome surrounds are standard, and ruby red taillamps bring up the rear.

Two-tone front and rear fascias are body-colored over gray, with the gray color extending into the rocker panels. Eight-spoke wheels hold 17-inch Michelin tires, and the Rainier has power rack-and-pinion steering. Bilstein shock absorbers are used.

Interior
Five adults can fit inside the Rainier. With the 60/40-split rear seats in their down position, the Rainier has more than 85 cubic feet of storage space. Embossed chrome sill plates greet each entering passenger.

Perforated leather upholstery is standard, and the door panels are trimmed in soft-touch materials. The front seats are equipped with a memory feature, and heated seats are optional. The monochromatic interior features chrome accents as well as dark burled walnut woodgraining.

A cockpit-oriented driver’s command center includes gauges that are reminiscent of those in the Rendezvous, as well as an easy-to-use Driver Information Center. The instruments feature green needles. A standard dual-zone automatic climate control permits up to a 25-degree difference between settings for the driver and front passenger. GM’s OnStar communication system is also standard, and it features concierge services and a DVD-based navigation system. A DVD video system and XM Satellite Radio are also offered.

Like other Buicks, the Rainier can be personalized for automatic door locking, remote keyless entry, mirror positions and other settings. An optional Bose CD stereo system features digital technology and six speakers. Steering-wheel controls can operate the stereo and climate systems.

Under the Hood
GM’s Vortec 4.2-liter inline-six-cylinder engine is standard; it produces 275 horsepower and 275 pounds-feet of torque. Soon after the Rainier goes on sale, a 5.3-liter V-8 that delivers 290 hp at 5,200 rpm and 325 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm will become available. A four-speed automatic is the sole transmission. Towing capacity with two-wheel drive (2WD) is 6,300 pounds. Traction assist is standard on 2WD models.

Safety
Side-impact airbags will be available for the driver and front passenger. All seating positions have three-point safety belts. All-disc antilock brakes are standard.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 4/24/03

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.1
21 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.3)
Value For The Money
(3.9)

Read reviews that mention:

(1.0)

Don't buy this truck!

by Carless on Long Island from Shirley, NY on July 26, 2019

Bought used 2 years ago first month ok,then after prev owner had, I called it quits replaced almost everything, power steering and air conditioning needed to b replaced, the engine light came on and a... Read full review

(5.0)

Nice SUV

by R.Johns from Gravois Mills Missouri on June 10, 2019

Very happy with the 04 Bjick Rainier CXL... purchased it used with 90K miles ....The 4.2L, IL 6 cyl is a good fit in this model....very comfortable, well designed and capable.....The AWD does ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Buick Rainier currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Buick Rainier has not been tested.

Latest 2004 Rainier Stories

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Rainier received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

What's your location?

To find the best deals near you, please enter your ZIP code.