2005 Terraza New Car Test Drive
The new Terraza minivan adds a third truck to the Buick product line in four years, joining the Rendezvous and the Rainier. The Terraza is one of four long-nose minivans GM designed to emulate the look and feel of sport utility vehicles and to get a step or two away from the so-called minivan/soccer-mom/suburbia stigma.
These four minivans represent a new family built on the old minivan platform, a family that includes the Buick Terraza, Saturn Relay, Chevrolet Uplander, and Pontiac Montana SV6. All built on common chassis, with common powertrains, the same general dimensions, and similar standard and optional equipment offerings, depending on the price class. It's the same, exact strategy as GM used before on the J cars and X cars and W cars.
Buick is at the top of the new Gang of Four in terms of price and equipment, and is designed to compete with the Chrysler Town & Country, Mercury Monterey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica. The Terraza is quiet, benefiting from more sound-deadening measures than the other GM minivans.
Both Terraza models come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive models come standard with traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. Versatrak all-wheel drive is available on both models for safer winter-weather capability.
Safety equipment includes dual-stage front air bags, optional side-impact air bags for driver and front-seat passenger ($350), and GM's OnStar system with sixth-generation hardware, analog/digital coverage and upgraded hands-free operation.
Two models are available, CX and CXL. Seven-passenger seating and dual sliding doors come standard on both models.
The Terraza CX ($28,825) comes well-equipped with air conditioning, tilt wheel, remote keyless entry, power driver's seat, programmable power locks, power windows, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD MP3 stereo system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Driver Information Center, foldable or removable second- and third-row seats, a 50/50 split-stowable third row fold-down bench seat, and an overhead console with a rail system for snap-in accessory options. Options for the CX include a rear cargo area organizer ($285), overhead storage rail system ($100), rear air conditioning ($475), and a left-side power sliding door packaged with rear park assist ($545).
The Terraza CXL ($31,885) is more elegantly appointed, adding leather-appointed seats, power front seats with driver's-side memory, dual power sliding doors, rear climate control, ultrasonic rear park assist, a rear cargo organizer, an overhead modular storage system, CD/DVD storage, first-aid kit, audio controls on the steering wheel, and a 115-volt (house-current) power outlet in the rear cargo area.
Options include a remote starter, six-CD/MP3 player ($295), XM Satellite Radio ($325) that includes a one-year subscription, remote starting ($175), heated front seats ($275), 17-inch alloy wheels ($325), and 17-inch chrome wheels ($650). A navigation system will also be available. A mobility package is available that uses a remote-control electric power seat to extend out and down to load disabled passengers ($4,795). And then there's PhatNoise.