1982 Buick Riviera 5.7L diesel from North America

Summary:

Fantastic, would buy it again

Faults:

The only problem was the head bolts failed at around 70,000. Simple solution was I studded the engine.

General Comments:

Very comfortable, handles well for a luxury vehicle, gets incredible fuel mileage, reliable, low maintenance costs.

The 5.7L diesel suffered from poor quality diesel fuel, uneducated consumers & GM from not training their mechanics better to handle working on these vehicles. I had a Toronado with over 470,000 miles on the original diesel engine, 47,000 head bolt broke, studded the engine and never another problem again! If it weren't for GM's introduction of the Olds 5.7L Diesel, we wouldn't have all the diesel vehicles on the road today. I still own 2 diesel Riviera's and wouldn't trade them for anything. I am getting 30+ miles on the freeway and 21 in town. I use the proper motor oil and follow the recommended maintainence schedule and I have had no problems.

I drive it like a diesel; I know that it won't do 0 to 60 in less than a minute, and I am OK with that. I bought the luxury of the vehicle, not for speed; that is why they build Corvette's!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st May, 2008

1982 Buick Riviera Coupe 5.0L V8 from North America

Summary:

Drives like a muscle car. Rides like a Cadillac

Faults:

Both front tires (originals) blew out the same month.

Defog and most heater/A/C blew at 110,000 miles (not made for conditions in Alaska)

Alternator fell apart at 102,000 miles.

Plastic outer trim (above the bumpers) cracked and nearly gone.

Rear suspension nearly gone (still beautifully comfortable)

Some sort of serious electrical problem I have yet to figure out. It's effecting my rear defog, taillights, radio, and most comfort function, and is emitting a ridiculous buzzing noise.

General Comments:

Plenty of power with a surprising turn radius, this car has failed to let me down as the tank I know it wants to be. My Buick died on the highway and I rear-ended a stopped cab at 50mph. The cab was totaled, no one was injured, and I didn't even bust a headlight. I pulled the bumper back out an inch or two by hand to make it even, and it looked as good as new.

Solid American muscle, beautiful American design, and a stunning comfort that is the American luxury.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd September, 2007

1982 Buick Riviera Coupe 307 from North America

Summary:

Comfort, Towing, Comfort, Comfort, Comfort

Faults:

Transmission blew at 125k.

Carb rebuilt at 120k.

Radiator blew at 119k.

Timing gears split at 121k.

Water pump cracked at 130k.

Fuel pump failed at 120k.

General Comments:

Not a more comfortable car on the planet. period.

The interior could be more ergonomic, but it is 20 years old.

Very minimal rust. Body remains extra solid with general care. I have herd many people complain about rust, but they must not be taking care of it. A straight body takes work.

Strong 307, peppy, but no drag car. Plenty of torque.

Sounds great with duals.

Steers like a boat, because it is a boat.

Suspension feel is typical of GMs of that era.

Bad blind spot.

Very pritty when shinny.

Vinyl top keeps well.

Factory sunroof never needed service. that's amazing.

Inadequit factory cooling system. easily fixed.

Fun to drive.

FWD V8, simply put: this car will never go fast with a practical budget. Go buy a Chevy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2003

30th Mar 2006, 23:07

I bought my 1982 Riviera 3 years ago in fairly rough shape, and had a lot to fix and learn about it.

The engine is the 5.0. I replaced valve seals, water pump and got the fuel-emissions issues under control. Did not need A.I.R. stuff, because I'm in MA and did not need an emissions test for a pre 83 car.

Fixed both drive axles myself (often a problem, because boots go, like all cars), a few steering parts, some brakes, changed trans fluid a couple of times (the 325-4l is a fine trans, and very effective upgrades are available; if rebuild is needed, it will last forever), and kept at the small stuff and needed maintenance until things were right, getting the vacuum hoses (new and inexpensive), but time consuming stuff like that.

The carbs have a bad rep, but getting to know that Quadrajet and making sure all the engine controls are right, is worth the effort.

This car runs like nothing else ever made; a Cadillac chassis, torsion bar front suspension like Chrysler, excellent coil-independent rear with thick sway bars.

These cars are all steel, a very sturdy full chassis, and if corrosion happens, excellent treatments are available, so taking the time to fix it right is worth the time.

I've driven I don't know how many types of cars, and in good order it is the best ride I ever had.

I've spent about 1000$, my own labor and patience, and I'm keeping it for good.

I'll paint it soon, and keep it at, because no car I have ever fixed paid back the effort so much.

Definitely the high point of sound yet creative engineering by GM, until they stopped building real cars.

No, it does not do the 1/4 in 14 seconds or less. The mileage in proper tune is good, more than good with the overdrive 325-4l trans. The interior layout is without peer; lots of room, huge trunk.

A great looking car, best of the E-Bodies, and very good safety factor, a rugged machine. Far superior in almost every respect to the huge FWD luxury cars by GM it replaced; less weight and more refined suspension, way better handling.

This is the car to have if you want an older full size luxury car, truly one of a kind, and the overall cost of owning one is less than the super expensive cars being sold now out there, but it has as much class overall.

Very cool styling, which always gets me the nod on the street. Mine is black with grey vinyl half top and grey interior, which is just right, and looks very sharp.

Only 2 weeks down time in three years. Let's face it, it's over twenty years old and 150K, but it's very dependable, running parts have very good availability.

I'm very good with my own repairs, which gives me a big advantage, but it's worth every bit of the time it took. This car will last as long as I want it to, and on a reasonable budget. Plenty of bone yard part availability, and I've scrounged lots of spare parts. A unique car, which gives a lot of driving pleasure

P.S. the convertibles are out of sight nice; maybe someday...

25th Sep 2013, 11:21

Well I did get a convertible, and sold the previous car, which ran and drove so well, to a friend. It was painted black (the convertibles only came in red and white from the factory) and it's incredibly handsome; makes me wonder why Buick didn't issue a black option. Just like my hardtop, it has all the virtues of these cars; comfort, handling, reliability, and serviceability. The overall cost of operation is very reasonable, and it's now in convertible form!

Few if any cars I have dealt with offer so much style and overall performance than these vehicles. I will always have one; pulling up next to some 50-80$ late model convertible and making it look like a kiddie car is so cool. There is nothing that these cars lack for equivalent comfort, amenities and style in comparison, and when you need a part, it's a piece of cake to get them at a very reasonable cost.

These cars represent the end of the "steel bumper" era in cars, but they have a very modern 4 speed trans with locking converter, first rate electronically controlled carb, and outstanding engineering of the suspension. They're one of GM's greatest cars, and are rock solid front wheel drive into the bargain; the first with a V8 since the Cords.

Incredible cars, a joy to own and drive, all at excellent overall operating cost. Low insurance too. Can't beat the value for such a fine, sport luxury vehicle.