Overview & Reviews
When Buick decided to offer its first minivan, it attempted to minimize the associated stigma by labeling the Terraza, a badge-engineered General Motors minivan, a "luxury crossover sport van." In other words, the Terraza was a minivan featuring a taller stance, an elongated nose and available all-wheel drive. While it shared a platform with several corporate siblings such as the Chevrolet Uplander, the Buick Terraza offered a few distinguishing characteristics and styling tricks that lent an upscale feel in comparison. Nicely finished leather and wood trim in the uplevel versions provided an elegant ambience not seen in the Buick's more lowbrow relatives, and it came with more standard features as well.
But as minivans go, the Buick Terraza lagged behind the segment leaders (as well as newer true crossovers) in terms of driving refinement and safety features. Shoppers are advised to check out models such as the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna or even Buick's own Enclave before settling on this "luxury crossover sport van."
Most recent Buick Terraza
Buick introduced the Terraza in 2005 and discontinued it after the 2007 model year. At first, it had an underwhelming 3.5-liter V6 providing 200 horsepower matched to a four-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive was optional. The Buick Terraza minivan came in three trim levels -- CX, CX Plus and CXL. The well-equipped CX offered the expected popular amenities, while the CX Plus added a sport-tuned suspension, dual-zone climate control and auto-leveling rear suspension. The top-of-the-line CXL provided alloy wheels, rear air-conditioning, rear parking assist and eight-way power front seats.
The Buick Terraza comfortably accommodated up to seven people and offered room for lots of stuff -- its second- and third-row seats folded down to provide up to 137 cubic feet of space. However, unlike most other minivans, the Terraza's third row did not fold completely into the floor, though it could be removed. The rest of the cabin was luxurious thanks to convincing faux wood and double-stitched leather seats with contrasting piping. A modular roof rail system allowed passengers to adjust the DVD player and storage compartment components, and folding center trays were located between the first- and second-row seats. There was also an available remote vehicle start system that enabled one to heat up or cool down the cabin before getting in.
Used-model shoppers might want to focus on 2006-and-later models, as these vans became available with first- and second-row side airbags inside and the more powerful 3.9-liter V6 under the hood of front-wheel-drive models. Rear DVD entertainment was made standard, and those wanting more choices could opt for the PhatNoise digital media system. All-wheel drive and the 3.5-liter V6 were dropped for 2007.
In reviews, we found the Buick Terraza's large V6 capable of delivering respectable acceleration around town and ample power for merging and passing at highway speeds despite its hefty mass. The suspension struck an acceptable balance between ride comfort and responsive handling, but other minivans offered sharper reflexes and a tighter turning radius. The Terraza's braking distances were also a little on the long side. And despite Buick's advertised "QuietTuning" technology, cabin noise levels were above average and not as whisper-quiet as we expected.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 131.00
Not as bad as many cars on here... - 2006 Buick Terraza
By J. Larson - March 1 - 8:53 pm
Vehicle has over 169k miles on it, we bought it with just 40k in 2010. Has not been a horrible vehicle overall. Strap on liftgate broke after about 3 years, shocks got replaced about one year ago, alternator replaced about one month ago. Otherwise, not too costly to maintain other than brakes, tires, oil changes, etc. Transmission has a little bit of lag when shifting, but not horrible. It has the StabiliTrak stability control system and traction control, but they dont ever make it seem horrible. Brakes never lock up. Seemingly have no issues with sliding doors either other than the drivers side power door doesnt always open from the outside. Only a few hiccups with a 13-year-old van with higher miles.
Mixed Bag...But Not a Bad Buy - 2006 Buick Terraza
By J. Larson - March 1 - 8:46 pm
My family bought this van with 40k miles on it. We have had it over 8 years now, but surprisingly, ours hasnt been as bad as a lot on here. Its got 169k on it now, and has had suspension work done only in the last year or so (March 18). Its also had its alternator replaced just about a month ago. Otherwise its been general maintenance like brakes and tires. Definitely got our moneys worth out of this van!
I LOVE MY TERAZZA ! - 2006 Buick Terraza
By christy harroff - November 13 - 12:06 am
I bought this used 2 mo ago for $3000.00& I feel it was very well priced .It has all the bells & whistles .My grandson loves the DVD ! I love the interior .I have been wanting a van like this for a long time .Only problem it has is an occasional grinding & vibration coming from maybe a cv joint or something like that when starting out from a partial stop. It is going to garage to get checked out in next few days. Other than that I love my van.
THE BEST VEHICLE I HAVE EVER OWNED! - 2005 Buick Terraza
By Cheryl - November 5 - 12:10 pm
I have owned 5 mini vans and this is the 5th and last. It is so comfortable and seats 7! The kids can watch movies or hook their xbox up to it. It has 2 household plugs in it, a compressor with an air hose! No matter how much weight there is in it, it adjusts in the rear and it is never sagged down. I have folded the seats down and put a full size refrigerator in it. It sits up high like an SUV, but, I LOVE the sliding doors in parking lots and the garage. It is front wheel drive, but, goes through snow like a charm!
Most trouble prone car Ive ever owned - 2005 Buick Terraza
By Mike I - October 7 - 7:49 pm
Let me start by saying that I have owned some of the most unreliable makes on the road. Fiats, Alfas, Jaguars, etc. The Buicke Terraza, which we purchased new in 2005, has been the worst by far. It now has 145k miles on it. I would have unloaded it years ago but after each expensive repair you think, "what else can go wrong?" The Terraza never fails to answer that question. In the years since we have owned it, lets see. It has had the transmission fail twice. It has used about a quart of oil every 1,000 miles since it was new. GM says that is is within normal usage parameters. Hmm, I have had other vehicles with 300k on the odometer that use essentially nothing every 3k miles. Have replaced every single suspension component, front and rear, at least once. Front brake rotors are essentially an annual replacement. Dow not matter what brand rotor or pads, the rotors eventually warp. Lets look at the components driven by the serpentine belt. Water pump, AC compressor, alternator, power steering pump. Yup, every one of those has been replaced. All sorts of electrical issues almost since new. CV axles. Yes. This as well. Exhaust. Ok, that lasted a long time so not too bad. Heater core leak. Been there, done that. Leather cracking at front seats and arm rests. Yes, also a crack in the dash. Steering rack. Yes. Last month as a matter of fact. Engine mounts. If your Terraza has lots of noise and harshness, these arprobanpy shot. I maintain all my vehicles extremely well and they tend to last a very long time. Frequent fluid changes, interior / exterior detailing, etc. Who knows what other problems this lemon would have if not maintained It is reaonably quiet. Engine is harsh and could use a few more HP. Highway mileage is decent, around town about the same as my V8 SUV. Front seats are comfortable, rear seats have terrible leg room, third row is difficult to access. Front cup holders fall apart, few poor outlets poorly located. Even though we now have a "new GM" my experience with the Terraza has left me saying, never again.
Loaded Lemon - 2005 Buick Terraza
By kyukido - September 29 - 8:40 am
Weve owned it for about 3 years now. The car came loaded with all the accessories (DVD, electric heated leather seats, electric doors). It does have a good engine, and nice acceleration but other than that, its the worst lemon of a car Ive ever owned. We bought this car used and have had nothing but problems with it. The DVD player stopped working after about two years. The steering leaks, one sliding door doesnt work at all anymore, not even manually! The fob stopped working (even with a new battery), the strap to close the back gate broke, the warning bell that a door may be open goes off when you go over a bump and theres NOTHING you can do to make it stop. The door lock button had to be replaced, the driver side window fell off its track. The catalytic converter needs to be replaced. The rear gate leaks. Climate controls are HORRIBLE. Its impossible to keep the windows free and clear of frost in the winter. God forbid you try to change a headlight or turn signal on this thing yourself. It truly amazes me that I dont see more people complaining about this car.
[non-permissible content removed] - 2006 Buick Terraza
By J.r. - September 1 - 9:31 am
They say first impressions are everything wrong dont let this lemon fool you! I liked the look features air ride and everything. We have three kids and needed to expand. It caught my eye on a used lot for a week before I looked. I took my family down (after reading aND knowing many electornic issues off the bat. If you have ever owned a Cadillac buick or a gm that has electectronically controlled EVERYTHING knows what I mean, and I am a die hard Gm guy, dont get me wrong so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. Took it for a ride turned out of the dealer made nasty sound from steering and cv joints Which were visibly sealed and OK looking, I came to the stop li b he and major four way intersection the light wenot green I hit the gas , and the transmission slipped so bad in first it made the vehicle stall. I subsequently started it back up continued down the road to the next light when the dash lights bEgan dimming and beeping at me. The light went green I hit the gas it s.lipped from first to second then shredded a serpentine belt in traffic was my entire family. I limped back With an 1/8 in of belt width on the pulley parked it and realized every bad thing I heard about the vehicle just happen we do including the service stability system because the compressor for rear air bags wasnt working. I then looked at a cross over kia rondo with a third row seat drove ito and bought it the next day its the best car Ive owned. For 2k less than the building know this kind walks all over this buick all day long. WORD OF ADVICE, DO NOT BUY OR EVERYTHING CONSIDER A BUICK TERRAZA or you will have it in the shop once a month with every shop unable to find or fix source of electronic issues. Dont let options fool you. BTW this van only had 79,000 MI on it. LEMON
Typical Early 2000s GM Quality - 2005 Buick Terraza
By Noah - August 20 - 7:38 pm
This is the car my family bought used a few years ago, and I wish they had done research first. It is better than the 98 Venture we had, but not by much. I will address build quality first, and frankly the build quality is disappointing. Basically the whole interior is hard plastic (the dashboard of my grandmothers 96 Bonneville is softer), and there are noticeable gaps between many of the panels. There is padding on the upper door panels, but it is very minimal. Fortunately, we have not had problems with the power doors like other people have. We have, however, experienced the very common light flicker problem. As for how this car drives, that is also not very good. Acceleration is terrible, possibly because of the 3500 engine vs. the weight of the vehicle. Getting up to highway speeds requires stomping on the gas pedal, and there is a noticeable delay between pressing the pedal and any acceleration. Potentially dangerous. As for steering, its not bad, but you are sharply reprimanded by a high-pitched squeaking and resistance if you try to turn the wheel with the brake pedal fully applied. When going over a bump, the entire car rattles. It is extremely annoying. Interior comfort isnt that bad. The third-row seats are kind of stiff, but I dont think theyve ever really been used. All other seats are comfortable enough. However, like I mentioned before, padding on the front doors is minimal. Legroom in the second row is barely enough, and the funny thing is that the third row actually has more legroom than the second. Other miscellaneous things include: somewhat sub-par gas mileage (about 17 mpg), the unimpressive CD player (randomly stops working), and visibility (hindered by full-size rear headrests and thick C-pillars). Overall, the only thing this car really has going for it is seat comfort. The gray interior is very blah, driving dynamics are not good, and build quality is poor compared to some of the other GM cars of the time (the Lesabre, for example). But its what we have, so I suppose Ill just have to deal with it.
Front End and Electrical Problems - 2005 Buick Terraza
By dinnages - February 9 - 2:34 pm
Although we bought this vehicle second hand with just over 100k it has had front end and electrical issues constantly that no one can fix. The computer has had to be disconected to keep the brakes from coming on while driving, no one could figure this out and all related it to the computer. Front end problems, electrical problems that no one including GM can figure out. The vehicle is comfortable to drive, but the headaches have been more then enough. Stay away from this vehicle.
Love it! Not enough cup holders though... - 2005 Buick Terraza
By silveeto - April 17 - 8:50 pm
I just bought my Terraza recently. It has been maintained so well that Im pretty sure a family of ghosts drove it. It smells like new car, not a stain or a worn spot to be found. At a low 90,000km it looks as though it could have 10km on the clock - so Im very excited just at how clean it is. In my time driving it, my only complaint is the transmission. Sometimes it doesnt seem to know what it wants to do. I stomp it for power on the highway and it launches into 6000rpm and sounds like its about to explode. A little scary - I dont want to face a tranny rebuild so soon in our relationship. Aside from that, driving around town and so forth, shes the smoothest ride Ive ever owned.