1998 Buick Riviera Reviews

1998 Buick Riviera Supercharger from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission Supercharger Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired193514 miles
Most recent distance215211 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Beetle

Summary:

Good when it runs, but a mechanical nightmare to work on

Faults:

Heater gauge went out and cannot be read.

Serpentine belt has major issues about staying on.

Water pump is going out, and am currently trying to repair.

Attempting to replace the serpentine belt tensioner arm while replacing the water pump.

General Comments:

Nice car. Plenty of ponies. Smooth ride that can really get up and go. Had no complaints until it started needing those minor repairs.

Minor repairs my back side! Anything more difficult than adding oil requires dropping the engine. I mean it! The serpentine belts, both of them, go THROUGH the motor mount. Not around, through. The motor mount has one arm behind a pulley that I still have not figured how to get off yet. The water pump has one stinking bolt behind the same pulley. Everything is behind the belts that require dropping the engine to get to. Shhesh, give me back my bug, PLEASE.

This would have been a real nice car if the designers had not built it with the intention of going back to the dealership just to change the plugs. I firmly feel that every one who okay-ed this mechanical contrivance should be horse whipped for a week before they are strung up. Of course I also feel that my wife bought this car just to punish me. "Fix it honey, you can fix everything".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th September, 2010

1998 Buick Riviera 3.8 supercharged from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 3.8 supercharged Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.7 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

The best ever

Faults:

Supercharger idler pulley seized about 60000 miles.

Ignition wires went bad at 74000 miles.

General Comments:

Taken as a whole, this is the best car I have ever had. The combination of comfort, styling, handling, power and economy are almost too good to be true.

I must admit that the styling is the thing that first got my attention; it's drop dead gorgeous, the most beautiful car GM has ever built with the possible exception of Harley Earl's Y job, but I have never seen that one in person and photos can lie.

The 3.8 with a blower is pure pleasure, just put your foot in it a bit and you don't even care what the price of gas is, it just feels soooo good! The surprised looks on the faces of folks in their sport sedans as you blow by is priceless too.

The comfort level is superb, excelled only by a Peugeot 604 I once had, but then it's French and well, you know about the French and pleasure. I put performance oriented struts on it, and it corners quite crisply and still has a great ride!

I get 18-20 mpg around town and 27-30 on the interstate at an indicated 73 mph. I plan to keep this one for as long as I can drive, and then maybe I'll just keep it to look at.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2008

1998 Buick Riviera 3.8 litre Supercharged from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 3.8 litre Supercharged Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance148000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Caprice

Summary:

This car is going to be a classic

Faults:

Transmission blew at 120000 miles

Transmission mounts at 120000 miles

Alternator

Water pump

Radiator

AC compressor

Radio

Antenna

Automatic leveling

Seized pulleys

Belts

Steering column.

General Comments:

The Riviera is an excellent car, but when over 100000 miles, be prepared to replace everything.

Very quick and can beat many cars. 240 HP Series 2 engine. I have K & N Filter and Iridium spark plugs, and this thing flies when the supercharger kicks in. An attention getter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2008

25th Feb 2008, 17:24

It flys, but there goes the transmission and mounts.

1998 Buick Riviera Supercharged 3.8 II from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission Supercharged 3.8 II Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired105000 miles
Most recent distance115000 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

A generally good car that looks and accelerates like an exotic import

Faults:

As like most Riviera owners, I had my belts, rotors and crank sensor go a bit prematurely.

I had to recently replace the fuel pump and a few electrical issues that were caused by negligence of full proper tune-ups by the previous owner.

The downside of the supercharged Riv is the cost of the repairs. For example, what should be a quick, cheap and simple change of new belts down at Jiffy Lube, due to the superchager, you have to completely drop the engine out of the car; a $900 repair!

It has held up *very* nicely.

Though when a light comes on, be prepared to be hit hard. : (

General Comments:

Overall, for a car with over 100,000 miles, I haven't had to throw much money at this car. And it's greatest selling point is of course its styling. Friends are always wondering what the heck I'm driving and how I can afford it. After only seeing the 'R' emblems ('Buick' is nowhere to be found on the outside of the car), a few people in my family thought it was some sort of new sporty Rolls Royce.

There is definitely no shortage of power here either. I've stomped a few pesky ricers with the cheese slicers on their trunks around town. And I was neck to neck with my friend's 92 5.0 Mustang until about 120mph (he would beat me after that due to his gear ratio).

The interior is.... kinda boring as previously stated by others. It's got the same ol' GM 'bench' dashboard. Though uninspiring inside, it is VERY comfortable. And with a trunk that could fit a Chinese family, this is a wonderful road-trip vehicle.

Regarding the fuel economy with a supercharged engine, I still get better gas-mileage than my friends stock Mustang and about the same as my fiance's V6 Accord! Not too shabby for a boat of this size.

My only beef is with the handling. I've owned three Buicks sedans now. And this has got that 'slushy' Buick feel - to an even greater level. While going at 60 mph, it can be a bit tiresome to maneuver around higway curves. The reaction time and control is simply sloppy and lacking. I sometimes wonder how some elderly women can handle the thing at such speeds without grinding into a few guard rails.

Though, I love the Riv!! Sporty, luxurious and like no other!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2006

4th Sep 2010, 15:12

The supercharger has nothing to do with the difficulty of changing the belts. Having to drop the motor to change the belts is what the major design flaw is, and I have had to do this for most of the repairs so far. Currently trying to change the water pump on mine, and have been at it for five hours now.

I hate this mechanical contrivance, and feel that the designers should be horse whipped and strung up.

Oh, yes, it is fun to drive and has lots of ponies, but working on it is a major hemorrhoid.

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 6 reviews