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2006 Buick Rainier

Source: GM Media

As Buick’s first full-frame sport utility vehicle, Rainier comes with even higher standard levels of capability for 2006, a long with elegant new exterior touches that immediately convey its premium position among SUVs.

GM’s innovative StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, combined with traction control, is standard on all Rainier models for 2006. Previously, traction assist was standard on rear-wheel drive models only.

“Making StabiliTrak technology standard on the Rainier underscores our commitment to providing Buick customers with a comprehensive package of luxury, comfort and safety,” said Steve Shannon, Buick general manager.

Featured on Rainier for the first time, StabiliTrak helps drivers maintain control during sudden maneuvers or in low traction conditions by using a comprehensive series of sensors to measure acceleration, deceleration, steering angle and yaw rate. By monitoring these inputs, the system automatically controls the vehicle to help maintain the driver’s intended path when a measurable deviation from the intended course is detected.

The system maintains control by regulating vehicle acceleration or applying the brakes at any wheel. For example, if the vehicle begins to understeer, StabiliTrak applies the inside rear brake to help turn the vehicle. If the vehicle begins to oversteer, StabiliTrak applies the outside front brake to straighten the vehicle.

Rainier ’s handsome exterior receives some elegant new touches for 2006, including chromed accents on the side roof rails and exterior door handles. Up front, Rainier gets a new front grille design with a large Buick tri-shield emblem, while its rear appearance is complemented by a b ody-colored rear exterior license plate surround and liftgate handle.

New exterior colors include Dark Garnet Metallic and Dark Jewel Tintcoat.

Plenty of power
Rainier comes with a choice of powerful engines: GM’s Vortec 5300 5.3L V-8 is available on either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive models, and delivers 300 horsepower (224 kw) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 Nm) of torque for added towing and highway power. The award-winning Vortec 4200 4.2L inline six-cylinder engine is standard. Upgraded for 2006 to produce 291 horsepower (217 kw) and 277 lb.-ft. (375 Nm) of torque,* this durable and popular powerplant provides the muscular yet smooth performance of many V-8 engines along with the fuel efficiency of a V-6.

The Vortec 5300 engine is equipped with GM’s fuel-saving Displacement on Demand (DOD) technology. DOD technology enables fuel economy gains of up to 5 percent in certain light-load driving conditions by reducing the number of cylinders engaged in the combustion process. A sophisticated, next-generation engine controller determines when to deactivate cylinders, allowing the engine to maintain vehicle speed in lighter-load conditions – such as highway cruising. When the cylinders are deactivated, the engine effectively operates as a V-4, with alternate cylinders on each cylinder bank disabled. The engine seamlessly returns to V-8 mode the instant the controller determines the vehicle speed or load requires additional power.

Both engines are coupled to the rugged Hydra-Matic 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed transmission.

Elegant yet rugged
While Rainier has an outstanding ability to master most driving conditions as well as tow or carry substantial payloads, its interior emphasizes comfort and luxury in the best Buick tradition. Among the segment’s roomiest for head, shoulder and hip room, Rainier seats five adults with room to spare. When more cargo capacity is needed, the split rear seats can be folded forward to open up to 80.1 cubic feet (2,268.4L) of cargo space.

Front bucket seats and rear seating areas are upholstered in perforated leather, while all door panels are trimmed in soft-touch materials. C hrome accents and dark burled walnut woodgrain on the instrument panel, doors and center console create a rich, expertly crafted environment. Other notable standard comfort and convenience amenities on all Rainier models include dual-zone automatic air conditioning with temperature display, daytime running lamps, driver information center, digital compass, full-size spare tire, remote keyless entry, power front seats with two-position memory settings for seat position and outside rearview mirrors, and theft-deterrent system.

Safety and peace of mind
Along with standard StabiliTrak, available safety features include available head curtain side air bags that inflate from the roof rail between the A-pillar and side window header. When the bag deploys in a moderate to severe side impact, it is angled somewhat toward the window to help provide protection for front- and second-row outboard passengers.

In vehicles equipped with head curtain side air bags, a new rollover protection sensing system helps protect occupants in a rollover event by triggering both the side curtain air bags and safety belt pretensioners. The rollover-sensing module, located on the center tunnel under the rear seat, uses a complex algorithm based on lateral and vertical accelerations, roll rate and vehicle speed to determine whether to deploy the safety systems.

Additional Rainier safety features include:
  • Standard OnStar safety and security system
  • Three-point safety belts
  • Dual-stage frontal air bags
  • GM’s Passenger Sensing System (PSS)
  • Push-pull power window switches
  • Standard LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system anchors for child safety seats
  • New, standard tire-pressure monitoring system
  • Enhanced passenger seat belt reminder system
As in all Buick models for 2006, GM’s OnStar safety and security system includes a one-year subscription to OnStar’s Safe & Sound plan. The Rainier features OnStar dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada . Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.

The OnStar service standard on the 2006 Rainier includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centers to help them dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.

QuietTuned for quiet, comfortable ride
Rainier’s excellent balance between a quiet ride and capable handling begins with its strong body-on-frame architecture and best-in-class body stiffness, which minimizes road noise and vibration. Rainier’s stiff body structure is complemented by QuietTuning, a comprehensive engineering initiative aimed at reducing unwanted noise and harshness on every Buick car and truck for 2006.

Notable features include an acoustic laminate in the windshield; additional sealing at the vehicle’s C- and D-pillars; and sound-absorbing materials in the engine compartment, doors and quarter panels in addition to quiet-riding Michelin tires. Attention to exterior aerodynamics, component isolation and fine-tuning of all related elements to achieve the most desirable frequency ranges also are an integral part of the QuietTuning initiative on every Buick car and truck.

Rainier ’s smooth, comfortable ride comes from a fully independent front suspension, along with a five-link, electronically controlled rear air suspension engineered to withstand the most demanding load or towing 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 ride height. Rainier ’s maximum towing capacity ranges from 6,000 to 6,700 pounds (2,722 to 3,015 kg) depending on choice of engine and other drivetrain components.

Entertainment choices
Rainier offers numerous entertainment choices. In addition to the AM/FM stereo and CD players, Rainier owners may also opt for an MP3 player, XM Satellite Radio (continental U.S. only), or a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

XM provides more than 120 coast-to-coast, digital-quality channels of original commercial-free music and premier news, sports and talk as well as advanced traffic and weather information for select major metropolitan areas nationwide. Consumers can subscribe to the basic service for $12.99 a month. In addition, GM customers with GMAC financing can choose to include the XM subscription in their car payments.

*Horsepower and torque SAE certified. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005 . This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first automaker to begin using this procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.