The Buick Terraza, which made its inaugural appearance last year, enters 2006 with a new power choice, GM's new 240-hp, 3900 3.9L V-6 with variable valve timing. Also new is the availability of side-impact air bags for the front two rows of seating. On the entertainment front, a DVD system is now standard, and PhatNoise, a new digital media system that is capable of storing MP3 files and movies on a hard drive, is an available option.
Buick touts the Terraza as a luxury crossover sport van rather than a minivan because it blends SUV styling with minivan characteristics. Specifically, it has a longer front end than the typical minivan, yet its low ground clearance makes for easy minivan-like ingress and egress. It seats seven with four captain's chairs taking up the first two rows, followed by a bench-like third row. (Terraza also offers a Sit-N-Lift power seat for physically-challenged customers. The remote-operated seat rotates and extends out of the vehicle where it lowers for easy access.) Of the four GM crossover sport vans, including the Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana SV6, and Saturn Relay, the Terraza offers what GM considers the plushest interior.
The Terraza offers two trim levels: CX and CXL. Base CX features include an auto-leveling rear suspension, leather-appointed seats with cloth inserts, an eight-speaker sound system with a CD/MP3 player, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, OnStar communications, cruise control, keyless entry, and a power driver's seat. The CXL adds upgraded leather seats, rear air conditioning, a 115-volt AC outlet, rear parking assist, alloy wheels, and dual eight-way power seats with driver's memory.
The standard engine is the 3500 3.5L V-6, which is rated at 196 hp for all-wheel-drive models and 201 hp for those with front-wheel drive. This year, however, customers who purchase a front-wheel-drive Terraza have the option of going with the more powerful, 240-hp 3900 3.9L V-6. A 4-year/50,000-mile warranty was added as standard for 2006.
The Terraza went head-to-head last year with 13 other models in the Midsize Van category. This is a growing segment augmented by new vehicles like the Terraza and its three new and very similar GM siblings-the Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana SV6, and Saturn Relay. And there are more brands, like the Hyundai Entourage, on the way.
In calendar year 2005, Terraza saw unit sales of 20,288, more than the Saturn Relay (15,758 units in 2005), but not as many as the Pontiac Montana SV6 (23,439) or Chevrolet Uplander (72,980), according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM The Dodge Caravan dominates the segment, with 226,771 sales in calendar year 2005. Other players include the Chrysler Town & Country, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Ford Freestar, Kia Sedona, Nissan Quest, Mazda MPV, Mercury Monterey, and Mazda 5.
|CX||4 speed automatic||$27,250||201-hp / 3.5L 6-cyl||18/25|
|CXL||4 speed automatic||$29,750||201-hp / 3.5L 6-cyl||18/25|