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calli4120

Looking at a new SUV. Buick Rainier or Olds Bravada

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calli4120

I'm looking at buying a new SUV and I have been considering the 2003/2004 Buick Rainier or Oldsmobile Bravada. Does anyone have any comments on these vehicles?

I've driven a Bravada and it had a really nice ride but how about the dependability? I have a 2 year old son and I want to make sure that I have a good vehicle that wont leave us on the side of the road.

Are there any common problems with these trucks that I'll have to worry about once warrenties run out?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Adam

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Fishing Junky

A buddy of mine has a Bravado and can't stand it. Has had alot of probs with it over the years. I believe it is a 2001 or 2002. He's had it for about 3-4 years. Wish I could elaborate more on it, but I know he doesn't like it. Junky.........

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calli4120

Thanks for your input. Is your buddies the older body stlye (2001) or the newer style (2002) like the Trailblazers? I know the older ones (2001 and older) had lots of issue but the new style has been pretty good from what I have heard.

Anyone else have thoughts on these vehicles?

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bucketmouth64

Isn't Oldsmobile being fazed out, if not already, by GM? I wouldn't buy a vehicle that would be hard to find parts for.

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federline

The following are all the same truck:

2002-4 Olds Bravada, 2004-5 Buick Rainier, Chev Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, and Saab 9-7x.

They come with the newer tech I-6 or the old Vortec 5.3L GM V8. For this model, the phase-out of the Olds nameplate doesn't mean much, GM is producing this chassis through 2010, for a total of 8 production years, and with more sales than Ford Explorer in recent years, parts won't be an issue for an 02 or later Olds Bravada.

Their reliability is decent, no worse than any other domestic truck. There are some particularly expensive problems with the 2002 models involving the main computer, as well as a lot of recalls - typical for the first model-year of a new chassis. I'd stick with the 2003's or newer. Most build problems got ironed out with the 04's, tho.

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calli4120

Thanks for the info federline. I just went and looked at a 2004 Buick Rainier and I liked it alot. I didn't get a chance to drive it since I had to pick my son up from day care but I am going to go back.

Thanks to everyone that posted.

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Fishbreath1

When I was shopping, I test drove that SUV among others and ended up with a Toyota 4runner. It was a bit more expensive but I like it a lot and haven't had any trouble yet in about 10k miles (it has 40k total).

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PikeBayCommanche

4 Runner is a great choice.

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Coach1310

We have a Bravada and it has been a great vehicle(knock on wood) thus far. Of course my wife had to get all the bells and whistles....leather, moonroof, etc so when I take it hunting of fishing I have to be extra careful. The only downside with ours is it is a Smarttrack..meaning 4WD kicks in when needed, but you can't just turn it on and turn it off. I personally hate this feature, but it has always kicked in on the ice in the snow when needed and hasn't caused any problems yet...if I were buying one now, not sure what I would get, but our Bravada has been good to us. We have a 2002 which looks just like the Trailblazers and Envoys.

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Doonbuggy

Another vote for the 4Runner. Great ride, reliability, and resale. Definitely work a look. Both the V6 and V8 have plenty of power.

I also spent two hours in a Rainier this summer. There were four of us with lots of gear in the back. It had the V8 and was towing a 20' Larson. I was very impressed with the towing capability. I couldn't even tell the boat was behind us. Pretty nice ride, too.

DB

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Great Dane

I have had 2 Bravadas and now have an 02 GMC Envoy and am very happy with them. I feel they have about the best gas mileage of the medium sized SUVs. We took ours to California for about 2 weeks. We drove 75 or better across Montana and Nevada and spent a week climbing mountains around Lake Tahoe. We averaged exactly 21 mpg for the two weeks.

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theoilman

I have a 2002 TrailBlazer with the I6 engine, (2wd) bought new, now with over 125,000 miles. We have had no problems, only a couple of minor recall repairs. The biggest problem is the tail light circuit boards (the same problem that many GM trucks have, similar design, different part number). Some of the early ones did have a major engine problem, the cylinder liners came loose. GM extended warranty to 100K on engine and repaired if a problem, mine never had the problem. Supposed to be 100,000 mile tuneup, but had a minor skip at about 80,000 and went ahead - just a spark plug change. Original tires went 80,000 miles - bought the same to replace hoping to get same life. Converted all lubes to AMSOIL before 1500 miles. Get 17+ mpg city summer with AC, over 22 mpg highway.

Yes, I would consider buying another.

Most of the differences between Chevy, GMC, Buick or Olds were cosmetic - grill, bumpers, taillight housing shape etc. All parts interchangable between them.

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CJH

My Dad had an 02' Trailblazer and just recently traded it on an 05' Explorer and regrets it. He said the ride in the Trailblazer was much better and liked the engine alot.

A good friend of mine had a 4runner and got rid of it after having some major problems with it. Not knocking them, because they are solid trucks, but expensive to fix. Otherwise he liked it, wished it had a little more oomph.

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calli4120

Thanks to everyone for all of the replys.

I ended up buying a 2004 Buick Rainier with 41000 miles and so far I love it. It rides like a car and I got the one with the 5.3L V8 so it has some great git up.

I agree that there is some down side to the all time all wheel drive but it will be easier for the the Wife since she wont have to worry about it while driving.

I also added a 4 year bumper to bumper warrenty since it seems like I have bad luck with my vehicles. frown.gif

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Fishbreath1

Quote:

My Dad had an 02' Trailblazer and just recently traded it on an 05' Explorer and regrets it. He said the ride in the Trailblazer was much better and liked the engine alot.

A good friend of mine had a 4runner and got rid of it after having some major problems with it. Not knocking them, because they are solid trucks, but expensive to fix. Otherwise he liked it, wished it had a little more oomph.


Some 4runners have had problems, I knock on wood that I haven't yet. I think all the vehicles mentioned here are solid and reliable, to the point we shouldn't even be debating make/model, but whether to go the "truck" route (body on frame) or the "crossover" route (unibody, carlike). I would say truck for me because I like the offroad/towing capabilities of my runner. It also has enough power for me and did well towing my friend's boat with all our gear. On the other hand, if you don't tow or off road much, there are some great choices out there, like the new GM crossover platform (Acadia, Outlook, and the Buick lux one).

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