Buick Terraza Origins
Buick and GM were quick to disassociate themselves with the rest of the family vehicles’ market by branding the Terraza a luxury vehicle and sport minivan crossover; satisfying dubious buyers and attracting younger crowds.
The Buick Terraza was assembled in the Doraville, Ga. assembly plant, which specializes in producing GM minivans such as the Chevrolet Uplander, the Pontiac Montana SV6, and the Saturn Relay. The plant was closed on Sept. 26, 2008 due to economic hardship within the company.
The Terraza failed to meet Buick’s sales expectations, and production was suspended in 2007 in favor of the more desirable Buick Enclave.About the Buick Terraza
The Terraza was best known for its price. At its release, it was the highest priced minivan in the whole GM fleet, starting at $28,110. The Terraza also featured a 3.5-liter V-6 that produced 200 horsepower. For a minivan, it was rather quick and able to reach 60 mph in around 9 seconds.
If you are on the hunt for a minivan or a vehicle for the family, you may find that there are several superior choices to the Terraza that fit your budget and automobile needs. However, the Terraza does deserve a closer look, especially the interior. Inside the vehicle drivers will find a lot of space, almost 137 cubic feet. DVD players and other amenities like the PhatNoise audio system are also available as options on the vehicle. Dual climate control allows each passenger to control his or her level of comfort.
Safety-wise, the Terraza failed to perform as well as other minivans on the market. Crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed many weaknesses. Front crash tests were given a perfect score of "good" by the IIHS, but the vehicle was unable to hold up to side impacts and was given an "acceptable" rating. Those vehicles without the side airbag option were given a grade of "poor." Even those Terrazas that included the side airbags between 2006 and 2007 were given the rating of "marginal," placing the vehicle at the low end of the safety spectrum. Most other minivans tend to score in the higher ranges.Buick Terraza Evolution
The Terraza did not have the same successful run as other Buick vehicles.
The first Buick Terraza was available in a CX level model, which has front- or all-wheel drive, and the CXL, which has the same drive options but includes the entire trim package.
In 2006, an optional 3.9-liter LZ9 V-6 became available for the front-wheel drive Terraza models. Buick also offered a series of second row airbags on this model for passengers riding in the back of the vehicle.
All-wheel drive models were dropped in 2007. Also, the 3.9-liter V-6 became the standard engine for the minivan (although it began offering a flex-fuel line, allowing the vehicle to run on two different fuel sources). A CX Plus trim model bridged the gap between the base CX model and the fully loaded CXL. The CX plus also included several performance-enhancing features such as sport suspension and auto-leveling rear suspension. The 2007 CXL, however, had alloy wheels, rear air-conditioning, and a rear park-assist system (very much welcome on a minivan).
Even though the Terraza performed well in the Canadian market, slow sales in North America resulted in Buick dropping the vehicle from the line in favor of the Buick Enclave crossover vehicle (which offers better safety and more room) in 2007.
When choosing a used Terraza it is best to focus on the later models to get the best safety features possible. The engine in the 2006 and later models is far superior to the original 3.5-liter engine.
However, several minivan models from the same year offer better safety and mechanics than the Terraza, especially considering the price of the vehicle. If you can afford a used Buick Enclave, go for it; most of the luxury of the Terraza can be found in the Enclave.