Buick Riviera Review from France

1979 Buick Riviera Turbo S' Coupe 3.8L turbo

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.8L turbo Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 kilometres
Most recent distance120000 kilometres
Previous carVolvo 940

Summary:

Already a classic

Faults:

Full restoration on the car including : brake calipers, hoses and discs / cylinder head gasket / water-pump / full exhaust system / clutch for the fan / full new paint/...

Around 4,000$ spent.

I bought the car in Feb 1999. The car used to belong to jeweler in Belgium and was imported to France in 1996.

I bought the car 4,600$ in very bad condition.

My Riviera is estimated around 11,000$.

It looks beautiful.

General Comments:

The Riviera is a great car.

'79 model year looks is classy. Ride is smooth, comfort is better than any European car can offer.

I own several cars : Park Avenue / Riviera / Volvo Station Wagon / Lancia and Chevrolet Venture, but the Riviera is the the nicest.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2002

9th Aug 2009, 23:10

I purchased a new 1979 Riviera S/Type in 1979. The ride was smooth but the V-6 turbo ran hot, its acceleration and passing were inferior to that of the V-8 (which was $150 less).

The engine pinged even with premium gas, and the brake pedal would slowly fade to the floor when at an idle and during emergency stopping. A problem that went unsolved up until the car was stolen.

That said, I wish Buick would come out with another coupe -- even one with a turbo. God, do they make dull cars.

11th Aug 2009, 17:38

You think Buicks are dull? Look at the crop from Toyota, Honda, Kia, shall I go on?

1st Oct 2009, 01:16

I agree entirely. Sometimes, I start to think Buicks are dull... then I remember cars like the Toyota Camry, which Jeremy Clarkson once said is his personal cure for insomnia. Does a Buick put you to sleep? I mean, even one as dull as a 2002 Century? No. There's something to them that makes you look twice. Cars like the Camry, don't get me wrong, are great in many ways - they are fuel efficient, reliable, and safe. But so is a Volvo. And Volvos are great cars too, but they are about as dull as they come. The Toyota Camry is what most folks drive to work these days - but cars like the Chevrolet Bel Air and the Buick Riviera are the ones you hear songs about. That's because those are the cars with character. Those are the cars that people love.

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 1 review