Notes: The 2006 Buick Rainier has a lot going for it and just a few issues that keep it from making our "best vehicles" list.

The good news is the SUV has a quiet interior (thanks to triple door seals, acoustic laminate glass, and thicker sound-absorbing pads), a low number of overall complaints, and a RWD system which offers good balance and handling.

Unfortunately, it received poor safety ratings in crash tests, owners report that the gas gauge is unreliable, and there was a large recall for melting power window switches.

So close, Buick. So close.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
96,500 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace plastic with metal (4 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2006 Buick Rainier accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2006 Buick Rainier Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 192019

Rainier CXL V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,125 miles


After having to replace my right door handle once, now I have to replace it again. These handles seem to be the only downfall I have had with this Buick other than the natural upkeep. Why would anyone put a plastic handle on such an expensive automobile. It doesn't make sense to me. My husband and I are retired and we could be using that money to pay for our insurance premiums. Our car has only 79139 miles on it and it is 13 years old so why are the handles breaking so soon and with less than normal wear and tear?

- Mavis B., Columbus, OH, US

problem #4

Apr 122019

Rainier CXL V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,139 miles

I really love my Buick but I can't figure out for the life of me why they would put plastic handles on this heavy duty car. It's amazing to me that you have so few complaints about the handles. we've replaced the rear right rear door once and now we have to replace it again. This is really nerve racking to me and my husband and expensive because we are both retired and on a limited income and we don't want to spend our money just replacing door handles.

- Mavis B., Columbus, OH, US

problem #3

Apr 222019

Rainier CXL V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,138 miles

This is the third complaint I've made on my door handles and I hope that this will certainly be my last. Like the other complaints, I'm having to replace another, this time it's my driver door that needs the repair. So frustrating to have to be repeating the same thing so many times. All of the dates may not be precise because I wasn't prepared to answer the questions with the date and time the handles broke. I just know that they're all broke and have to be repaired and I have to come out of my pocket to pay for something that should have been done better when the SUV was manufactured. Buick, you let me down this time.

- Mavis B., Columbus, OH, US

problem #2

Feb 062016

Rainier CXL 4.2L I6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I truly love my 2006 Rainier however there is a major flaw in the door handle design! I purchased my Rainier with 45,000 miles on it in 2013 and since then I have replaced every exterior door handle at least 1x, and am starting on the second go around with the Driver side rear door handle now with 97,000 miles on it. The problem is the pieces are all plastic and will snap in colder weather. It's a major pain in the ass to keep replacing this part as the handle is $110 then they charge another $90 to paint the damn thing (and that is with a lot of haggling - originally tried to charge me $400). As if that isn't enough the issue was compounded by the fact that this last time I had the child safety lock engaged making it impossible to open the door at all! After months of trying to be delicate I went out one day and just ripped the handle off from the outside and used pliers to open the door. Now, I don't want to just buy another handle seeing it will probably break again in the next year or two but unfortunately am unable to find a handle that is just a pull and open instead of the lift-pull that is currently on there.

- Tj K., Harrisburgh, PA, US

problem #1

Jan 142014

Rainier CXL V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Plastic doors handles? sad.. I have to replace the drivers side twice and all the others once, now the driver and left passage side is broken again. every time it gets extremely cold or heavy ice, these plastic door hinges snap.

It is absolutely insane a car company would make on of the most used part of the car, the door handles out of plastic.

These should be recalled, because if someone is in the car, you can not get them out of the car from the outside of the vehicle,

- Talmadge S., Lawrenceburg, IN, US

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