2004 BUICK RAINIER OFFERS PERFORMANCE, STYLE, COMFORT AND VERSATILITY
The new 2004 Buick Rainier offers a level of style, ride, comfort and performance that sets it apart from other mid-size sport utility vehicles.
Rainier comes standard-equipped with a Vortec 4200 inline six-cylinder engine with preliminary ratings of 275 horsepower (205 kw) and 275 lb.-ft. (373 Nm) of torque, providing the power, capability and smoothness of a V-8 combined with the efficiency of a six-cylinder. For even more power and outstanding torque, the 2004 Buick Rainier is also available with an all-aluminum, Vortec 5300 V-8 engine, one of the most popular in GM's stable of dynamic powerplants. The available V-8 broadens Rainier's market appeal, enhancing both its performance and utility. Exclusive to Rainier on GM's short-wheel-base, mid-size SUV architecture, the Vortec 5300 V-8 SFI (sequential fuel injection) engine provides 290 horsepower (216 kw) and 325 lb.-ft. (441 Nm) of torque. The Vortec 5300 V-8 delivers peak torque throughout the operating range to meet or exceed the most demanding load conditions.
Both powerplants are mated to the rugged, electronically controlled, Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed transmission. Renowned for its smooth operation, precise shifting and robust performance throughout a wide range of driving conditions, the 4L60-E is used in both performance sedans and light trucks. Rainier's maximum towing capacity ranges from 6,100 to 6,700 pounds (2,745 to 3,015 kg) depending on which engine and drivetrain components are selected.
Along with its impressive powertrain features, Rainier's all-wheel-drive capability includes an on-demand system that enables owners to feel secure in a variety of driving conditions. Combined with its standard locking rear differential, this system is fully automatic and requires no input from the driver.
Rainier's powertrain performance is further enhanced with a sophisticated chassis control system combining excellent passing and towing attributes with driving characteristics comparable to a luxury sports sedan.
Balance in ride, handling
With its choice of two powerful engines and strong body-on-frame construction, Rainier carries solid truck credentials. But its silky feel and performance on the road are more akin to a fine touring car, the result of Rainier being tuned to achieve an excellent balance in ride, handling and acoustics.
Rainier's surprisingly smooth ride is derived from its world-class independent front suspension, and five-link, electronically controlled rear air suspension designed to stand up to the most demanding conditions. With this system, air springs replace the standard rear coil springs for superior damping and improved isolation from road noise. Sensors manage a compressor that instantly adjusts air spring pressure to maintain a level load.
Rainier's power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering is precise and responsive while the four-wheel vented disc brakes provide outstanding performance and world-class levels of brake feel, wear resistance and noise reduction.
A four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS) and locking rear differential are standard on Rainier. Two-wheel-drive models are also standard-equipped with traction assist, improving Rainier's ability to handle slippery road surfaces. A standard equipment list that includes Bilstein shocks, 17-inch wheels and premium Michelin tires also contributes to Rainier's superior stability and road-command characteristics.
Comfortable, quiet ride
In addition to delivering surprising performance, Rainier's refined powertrains and precision-engineered chassis system contribute to a comfortable, quiet ride - a Buick distinction throughout its 100-year history. Inside, Rainier's appointments reveal upscale comfort and luxury. Among the segment's roomiest in terms of head, shoulder and hip room, Rainier easily seats five adults. With the rear seats folded down, there is 80.1 cubic feet (2,268L) of storage space behind the first-row seats.
The premium quality of the Buick brand is subtly but unmistakably evident with the understated elegance of the monochromatic interior - available in either pewter or cashmere - set off by chrome accents and dark burled walnut woodgrain in the instrument panel, door trim and center console.
The driver's "command center" is cockpit-oriented with readily accessible controls, highly readable gauges and a user-friendly driver information center. The instruments emit a jewel case luminescence with silver foundation colors and green needles. The rich, dark burled walnut woodgrain also surrounds the chrome interior door handles, whose bright reflective surfaces further accent the interior appointments as well as aiding interior visibility in soft light.
Front bucket seats and rear seating areas are trimmed in perforated leather. All door panels are trimmed in soft-touch materials. Front seats have standard memory and available heat functions.
Keeping in step with Buick's reputation for comfort and quiet, all 2004 Rainier models feature QuietTuning with increased sound absorption in the engine compartment, all four doors and quarter panels.
The QuietTuning also includes an acoustic laminate in the windshield and front door glass, as well as additional sealing at the vehicle's C- and D-pillars. The result is a remarkably quiet ride made even quieter.
At the core of Rainier's quiet ride quality are best-in-class body-stiffness attributes. With its all-out dedication to isolation from road noise and vibration, Rainier achieves sound levels some 25 percent better than its typical competition, matching or exceeding many luxury cars, even at highway speeds. Rainier's impressive acoustics are the result of careful attention to detail in body fit, component isolation, exterior aerodynamics, sealing and the fine-tuning of all related elements to achieve the most desirable frequency ranges.
Beyond its contribution to a noticeably quiet passenger compartment, Rainier's exterior design also complements its suspension system in crosswind situations. In tests at 35 mph, with 90-degree crosswinds, Rainier remains very stable thanks to an aerodynamic side profile that helps minimize forces transferred to the chassis from wind-created side loads.
While Rainier's forward-looking design goes hand-in-hand with its silky street and highway performance, beneath its cosmopolitan styling lives a very nimble and robust platform, capable of bounding over an unpaved, two-track trail or tackling any number of off-road conditions that are off-limits to conventional passenger cars.