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Hey all,

New to the site. Going to buy used Trailblazer, Envoy, or Rainier for conditions that I don't want my GTO in. I need pros, cons, common problems for all 3 if possible. Personal opinions are fine as well. I just need to be pushed towards one of the three. Thanks!
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ls
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138 Posts
Hey all,

New to the site. Going to buy used Trailblazer, Envoy, or Rainier for conditions that I don't want my GTO in. I need pros, cons, common problems for all 3 if possible. Personal opinions are fine as well. I just need to be pushed towards one of the three. Thanks!
I've only ever drove a TrailBlazer, and the Envoy/TrailBlazer is more popular than the Rainier, so I would go with one of those two. Unless you want to be different. :p.
 

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2004 gmc
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26,181 Posts
For snow or ice - I'd definitely lean towards the TB or Envoy for the 4WD system with a selectable 4HI and 4LO ranges. The Rainier only comes with AWD, which depends on allowing the wheels to slip before it engages.

Also very important - make sure the vehicle you choose has the factory G80 locking differential option. Otherwise your vehicle could turn into a Zero WD vehicle on ice. Cheap option to get from the factory - $1000 to add it later.
 

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2007 buick rainier
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328 Posts
If you just want to be one of the crowd get a TB or Envoy. If you want to Stand out in the crowd get a Buick Rainier !!!:dielaugh:
 

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2005 buick rainier
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22 Posts
My wife and I bought a used Rainier about two years ago, and she loves it. I am very impressed with the ride quality and noise silencing interior. The air ride makes for a level vehicle with all sorts of cargo weight. The AWD is excellent in the snow, I mean really, how many TB's are going in a situation where they need 4LO? I have heard that the Rainier has all of the same options as the Denali Envoy, so that makes it a plus right off the bat to me. If you want a basic platform, the Rainier is not your best bet, the price would more than likely be higher due to all the options that you may not find on a Trailblazer. Hope some of this helps. We have 50K on an '05 and my wife uses it as a sales rep. We should get another 60K without issues I hope.
 

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IMO...

Interior looks - my favorite is the Envoy.

Options - Rainier

Rugged Look - TB

Off Road - TB/Enovy, but Rainier can handle the on-road challanges with snow, etc. Would never take mine on major trails.

Ride Quality - Rainier

Ride matters most to me....so I went with the Rainier, and looks very similar to the retired Bravada...which was overall favorite.
 

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2002 non_gmt360 other
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Well my take on this is I went with the Rainier since it was one of the only GM vehicles on the lot, but what really got us what the ride. It was so quiet I was amazed ( coming from a 2003 Malibu). It rode great also on some pretty crappy roads ( daily roads around here).

What would I do different if I had to do it again, make sure it had the G80 rear end, and I really wish it had 4x4 option and NOT AWD. In the winter I like knowing that my wheels are locked, ( during bad storms or very bad road conditions that is).

What I like, there are maybe 5 or 6 other Rainiers in this city that I have found, the ride is great, it is nice and quiet, the interior doesn't remind me of the generic GM interior that every other GM gets. The dealer I got the Rainier from had a trailblazer on the lot for 1,000$ less, but I looked inside and my comment to my fiance was ( this reminds me of my car, and every other GM vehicle I owned, it looks like a minivan dash.)

Needless to say, she agreed and we didn't even bother taking it for a test drive, only the Rainier.


For me there are many more pros that cons with the Rainier, I guess it helps I like having a vehicle that is easy to get parts, but that you don't see 1,000,000,000,000 of them on the road everyday.

Only those 2 cons I can think of, lack of G80 rear end, and lack of 4x4 control.
 

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Southeast Chapter
2004 buick rainier
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5,864 Posts
I believe it depends on what you want to do with it. A stock rainier is basically a fully optioned TB or Envoy; while the Rainier is limited with the AWD if you want to go off road if you stay on road and tow the standard air-ride and 3.73 rear gears are awesome; what year are you looking at because the early Rainier's had the G80 standard. but it all basically comes down to which one you think looks the best because under the sheetmetal all the trucks are basically the same:yes:
 

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I believe it depends on what you want to do with it. A stock rainier is basically a fully optioned TB or Envoy; while the Rainier is limited with the AWD if you want to go off road if you stay on road and tow the standard air-ride and 3.73 rear gears are awesome; what year are you looking at because the early Rainier's had the G80 standard. but it all basically comes down to which one you think looks the best because under the sheetmetal all the trucks are basically the same:yes:
Are the G80's standard on 2004 Rainiers, how do I tell? I have a 04 CXL AWD I-6. I do have one question for you and anyone feel free to answer. I bought my Rainier back in Feb 2009 w/ 56k on it. Since it has the AWD system, do I need to get the AWD serviced anytime soon? The car now has 58k. Was't sure what all needed to be serviced (tranny, differential, etc.) to keep the AWD in tip-top shape and ready for next winter?

Also, would you only take it to a GM Goodwrench Service Center to get this done? Thanks guys....this site is addictive. :thumbsup:
 

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Well my take on this is I went with the Rainier since it was one of the only GM vehicles on the lot, but what really got us what the ride. It was so quiet I was amazed ( coming from a 2003 Malibu). It rode great also on some pretty crappy roads ( daily roads around here).

What would I do different if I had to do it again, make sure it had the G80 rear end, and I really wish it had 4x4 option and NOT AWD. In the winter I like knowing that my wheels are locked, ( during bad storms or very bad road conditions that is).

What I like, there are maybe 5 or 6 other Rainiers in this city that I have found, the ride is great, it is nice and quiet, the interior doesn't remind me of the generic GM interior that every other GM gets. The dealer I got the Rainier from had a trailblazer on the lot for 1,000$ less, but I looked inside and my comment to my fiance was ( this reminds me of my car, and every other GM vehicle I owned, it looks like a minivan dash.)

Needless to say, she agreed and we didn't even bother taking it for a test drive, only the Rainier.


For me there are many more pros that cons with the Rainier, I guess it helps I like having a vehicle that is easy to get parts, but that you don't see 1,000,000,000,000 of them on the road everyday.

Only those 2 cons I can think of, lack of G80 rear end, and lack of 4x4 control.
Was noticing the blue headlights. Those are very nice. One question, My headlights, brights, and turn signals are all there, but is there a bulb above the headlight and bright? Not sure what this is called, but it runs across the top part of the headlight.
 

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Southeast Chapter
2004 buick rainier
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Are the G80's standard on 2004 Rainiers, how do I tell? I have a 04 CXL AWD I-6. I do have one question for you and anyone feel free to answer. I bought my Rainier back in Feb 2009 w/ 56k on it. Since it has the AWD system, do I need to get the AWD serviced anytime soon? The car now has 58k. Was't sure what all needed to be serviced (tranny, differential, etc.) to keep the AWD in tip-top shape and ready for next winter?

Also, would you only take it to a GM Goodwrench Service Center to get this done? Thanks guys....this site is addictive. :thumbsup:
yes; I am 99% sure that the G80 was standard in 04; look in your glove box for the code G80; sorry i have no idea on service for the AWD system; because i am only 2WD
 

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2004 gmc
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Was't sure what all needed to be serviced (tranny, differential, etc.) to keep the AWD in tip-top shape and ready for next winter?
Always start with the Owner's Manual to get service interval recommendations. If your vehicle didn't come with one, we have copies of most them in PDF form under the "Resources" section. My Envoy lists transfer case service as a 50K mile item.
Also, would you only take it to a GM Goodwrench Service Center to get this done?
Shirley, you're joking? In general, this is an enthusiast site where many of us enjoy doing it ourselves, and there are some horror stories about incompetent, undertrained, lying, or outright criminal mechanics and dealerships out there.

Personally, I have a GM-trained independent mechanic I take mine to for the few things I can't do myself. But as an example, I just swapped the rear axle out for a recycled one with fewer miles. Dealership parts and labor to fix the exploded differential would have been over $3000. Axle = $435. About 16 person-hours labor = $20 of pizza and soda.

If you're not a DIY person (yet), find a competent and honest independent mechanic who knows modern GM vehicles. And run a search for "transfer case fluid change" to learn more about the process. There are also pics in the Owner's Manual, IIRC.
 

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2005 buick rainier
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22 Posts
I have an 05 Rainier AWD, I do not believe I have the G80. I do not know if they were standard on only the 2wd, or maybe just the 2004 model.
 

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Yea, I don't have the resources (aka know how) to do many of these things. Would love to learn....just not experiment on my car.

Well let me ask you this....assuming I or someone I trust can, what type of fluid did you use for the differential? Have heard some say use only GM, but others have said Royal Purple, Amsoil, etc. are better alternatives. Any thoughts?
 

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2002 non_gmt360 other
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Was noticing the blue headlights. Those are very nice. One question, My headlights, brights, and turn signals are all there, but is there a bulb above the headlight and bright? Not sure what this is called, but it runs across the top part of the headlight.

Yes I have 2 194 bulbs in what I call the eyebrows on each side. That is how it came, pretty standard, but not sure if all years of Rainiers had it.

Those LEDs I have in there are pretty blue. I just got some new LEDs today and hopefully they are whiter.
 

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Yes I have 2 194 bulbs in what I call the eyebrows on each side. That is how it came, pretty standard, but not sure if all years of Rainiers had it.

Those LEDs I have in there are pretty blue. I just got some new LEDs today and hopefully they are whiter.

:eek:fftopic:Thanks for the reply..may I ask where you got them and part numbers, if you have them? Looking to spice up my ride.
 

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2002 non_gmt360 other
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I just got them in the mail today from Mike at Jettstream( site sponsor). I really wanted to get the new bulbs installed today but I had to go out of town on an emergency repair. The new ones I got shouldn't be as blue as those. Come to think of it, I can't remember what I did with those bluish LEDs I had, since I went back to regular bulbs till these new ones came in.
 
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