The Buick Autos For

Buick originated as an independent motor car manufacturer, the Buick Motor Company, incorporated on May 19, 1903 by David Dunbar Buick in Flint, Michigan. In 1904 the struggling company was taken over by James Whiting, who brought in William C. Durant to manage his new acquisition.

Buick soon became the largest car maker in America. Using the profits from this, Durant embarked on a series of several dozen corporate acquisitions, calling his new mega-corporation General Motors. In 1929, the Buick Motor Division launched the Marquette sister brand, designed to help bridge the price gap between Buick and Oldsmobile, however Marquette was discontinued in 1930. At first, the different manufacturers who comprised General Motors competed against each other, but Durant put a stop to that.

He wanted each General Motors division to target one class of buyer, and in his new scheme Buick was near the top, only the luxurious Cadillac brand had more prestige. Even today, Buick retains that position in the GM lineup. The ideal Buick customer was comfortably off; possibly not quite rich enough to afford a Cadillac or not desiring the ostentation of one, but definitely in the market for a car a cut above the norm. Buick is the fourth oldest marque in the world. The Buick Rainier shares its body shell and mechanical platform with GM's other mid-size SUVs, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy.

But of the three, only the Rainier offers a 300-horsepower V8 engine in the handier, standard-wheelbase configuration. For 2007, a one-year subscription to General Motors' OnStar Turn-by-Turn navigation system and a tire pressure monitoring system now come standard. Rainiers come with rear, or all-wheel drive. An electronically controlled rear air suspension is intended to produce a comfortable ride. A 291-horsepower, 4.

2-liter inline-six-cylinder is standard, and a 302-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 is optional. A four-speed automatic is the sole transmission. On the exterior, clear headlights have offset high/low beam fixtures.

Fog lamps with chrome surrounds are standard. The Buick Terraza loses its all-wheel-drive model but gains more power for 2007, which, Buick says, will be this minivan's final model year. It's the costliest, most luxurious of the group.

Terraza is front-wheel drive and comes in CX, new-for-2007 CX Plus, and top-line CXL models. All are equipped with a 240-hp 3.9-liter V6 engine that replaces a 201-hp 3.5 V6.

A 4-speed automatic remains the only transmission. Anti-lock Brake System and traction/antiskid control are standard. Terraza seats seven. It has 2nd-row bucket seats that fold and remove and a 50/50 3rd-row bench that folds flat atop the cargo floor. Front and 2nd-row side airbags that provide head and torso protection are standard on CXL, optional on CX Plus, unavailable on CX.

Curtain side airbags are unavailable. Load-leveling suspension and DVD entertainment are standard on CX Plus and CXL. Rear obstacle detection is also available. The Buick Rendezvous, also in its final model year, loses its optional V6 engine and available all-wheel drive for 2007. This SUV shares a basic platform with Buick's Terraza minivan. Rendezvous seats five with a standard three-place 2nd-row split bench seat that slides fore and aft.

A two-passenger 3rd-row seat is optional, as are twin bucket seats to replace the 2nd-row bench. Rendezvous has front-wheel drive with available traction control. A 195-hp 3.

5-liter V6 and 4-speed automatic transmission comprise the sole drivetrain; an optional 242-hp 3.6 V6 has been dropped. Anti-lock Brake System, rear obstacle detection, and OnStar assistance are standard. Front side airbags are available.

No curtain side airbags are offered. For 2007, several new luxury features become standard on Buick's midsize sedan, the LaCrosse, including General Motors' OnStar Turn-by-Turn navigation system. Three versions of the LaCrosse are offered this year - the CX, the midlevel CXL and the performance-oriented CXS.

CX and CXL models use a 3.8-liter V-6 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 230 pounds-feet of torque. A 3.6-liter V-6 with variable valve timing goes into the CXS and delivers 240 hp and 225 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines team with a four-speed automatic transmission. Three levels of traction control, including General Motors' StabiliTrak electronic stability system, are offered.

In the 2007 Buick Lucerne, three trim levels are available: CX, CXL and CXS. Buick emphasizes the QuietTuning of the Lucerne, which the automaker claims will reduce or tune out unwanted wind, road and powertrain noise. In the CX or CXL, the 3.8-liter V-6 meets Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle standards and produces an estimated 197 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 227 pounds-feet of torque.

Standard in the CXS and optional in the CXL, the 32-valve dual overhead cam all-aluminum 4.6-liter V-8 delivers an estimated 275 hp at 5,600 rpm and 295 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines work with a four-speed automatic transmission, run on regular-grade gasoline and feature electronic throttle control. Buick began consolidating its lineup in 2005, replacing the Century and Regal with the LaCrosse, and the LeSabre and Park Avenue with the Lucerne in 2006.

The company plans to replace both of its SUVs, the Rendezvous and Rainier with the Enclave within 18 months. However, for 2007 Buick is going all out with its line up.

Owen Walcher is a freelance writer, writing car and auto articles such as Buick 2007 Model Reviews. You can find more car and auto review articles here:

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