Buick cars have always measured up pretty well in the prestige arena, but it's been decades since this division has produced a noteworthy design. That's one of the reasons the redesigned Riviera caused such a stir when it rolled into showrooms last year. This big, bold front-wheel-drive luxury coupe makes a striking contrast to the rest of the Buick lineup, including recent generations of the Riviera itself. There's more. Not only does the Riviera break new ground in a very fancy field, it does so at a price that should make some of its competitors blush. Although this is clearly a luxury car, its price range straddles the $30,000 luxury frontier. Key rivals such as the Acura Legend, Cadillac Eldorado and Lincoln Mark VIII have manufacturer's suggested retail prices that start at about $38,000, and the cost of admission keeps climbing from there. All of which makes the Riviera an especially attractive choice. It may not have the cachet that goes with Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Lexus, but it certainly has an appealing presence all its own, as well as all the amenities that take motoring beyond the realm of mere transportation. Our test car came equipped with a supercharged 3800 V6 in the Riviera's signature color, Platinum Beige, and had an MSRP of $31,743.