For 2007, Buick’s midsize SUV is virtually unchanged, save for minor upgrades. A tire pressure monitoring system is now standard on all models, OnStar adds the “Directions & Connections Plan” with turn-by-turn navigation, and there are two new exterior colours, Deep Sapphire Metallic and Graphite Metallic.

The Rainier shares its body-on-frame platform with the Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy and Saab 9-7X. There is a sole trim line, the CXL, which comes standard with a 4.2-litre V6 that can be optioned to a 5.3-litre V8, both with four-speed automatic transmission. In Canada, the Rainier comes only with all-wheel drive; in the U.S., it is rear-wheel drive with optional all-wheel.

The CXL comes with fog lights, privacy glass, front cornering lights, heated mirrors with curb-view assist, memory and integrated turn signals, roof rack, 17-inch aluminum wheels, variable intermittent wiper, rear washer/wiper, automatic dual-zone climate control, driver information centre, power-adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped wheel with audio and climate controls, power windows, woodgrain accents, heated front bucket seats with perforated leather and eight-way power adjustments, 65/35 split rear bench, driver’s position memory, CD/cassette with six speakers, and OnStar.

The Rainier has never been a high-volume model for Buick, possibly because the Rendezvous offers creature comforts for considerably less money, and a base Saab 9-7X, with a lower and sportier suspension, is only $325 more. Unless the extra features are really important, look at the much cheaper Trailblazer and Envoy first.

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