|Midsize SUV; Built in Mexico|
|Good condition price range: $3,300 – $11,300*|
2002 Buick Rendezvous
2003 Buick Rendezvous
2004 Buick Rendezvous
Buick Rendezvous interior
Though Rendezvous has been promoted as a lower-priced alternative to the Acura MDX and Lexus RX 330, it fails to match those luxury SUVs, or leading mainstream models. GM’s 3.6-liter engine is as refined as any competitor’s V6, but the Rendezvous falls well short of the polished moves and high-end ambience of premium SUVs. Although a Rendezvous might have cost more than top midsizes like the Pilot and Highlander when new, it sells for considerably less on the used-vehicle market.
Introduced for 2002, Buick’s new midsize crossover sport-utility vehicle was related to the Pontiac Aztek, but had a four-inch longer wheelbase and body, to allow third-row seating. Like Aztek, the Rendezvous was based on GM’s front-wheel-drive minivans and used a 3.4-liter V6 and automatic transmission.
Rendezvous came with front-wheel drive with optional traction control, or GM’s Versatrak all-wheel drive that lacked low-range gearing. Base CX and better-equipped CXL trim levels were offered. Both had antilock four-wheel disc brakes and front side airbags.
Second-row seating could be a three-person split bench or optional twin buckets. Both types had reclining backrests and moved fore/aft. The optional two-passenger third-row seat folded flush with the floor.
Options included GM’s OnStar assistance system, rear obstacle detection, a head-up instrument display, rear self-leveling suspension, and a 3500-pound trailering package. Buick expected to compete against such premium SUVs as the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 300/330, and Mercury Mountaineer, as well as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.
A DVD rear-seat video system joined the 2003 options list, while front side airbags were no longer standard on the least-expensive Rendezvous model. ABS was optional on the two-wheel-drive CX and standard on other models. That switch also applied to front side airbags, which had been standard on all models. The 3500-pound trailering package included a rear self-leveling suspension. Also newly optional for 2003 were XM satellite radio and an electric liftgate release.
A new top-line Ultra model with a larger V6 highlighted 2004 for Buick’s crossover. CX and CXL models again came with a 185-horsepower, 3.4-liter V6 and a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Ultra arrived with AWD and GM’s new 245-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6, which became optional for the CXL.
Second-row bucket seats were the only choice for the Ultra, which had a standard two-passenger third-row seat that was optional for other models. Additional Ultra features included rear obstacle detection, satellite radio, and a head-up instrument display. OnStar assistance was standard on all except the CX. A navigation system was available for the first time, as part of a combination radio/navigation unit that put the navigation screen in the audio faceplate.
Equipment revisions marked the 2005 model year. Standard 17-inch wheels replaced 16s on all but the base CX version. A CXL option group added a wood/leather steering wheel and woodgrain interior trim. A sunroof was newly available for the CX model. CXL and Ultra editions were actually trim packages for the base Rendezvous.
A more powerful base engine and added standard equipment mark 2006 for Buick’s crossover SUV. Newly standard is a 195-hp 3.5-liter V6, replacing a 185-hp 3.4. OnStar assistance is also newly standard for ’06.
Rendezvous loses its optional V6 engine and available all-wheel drive for 2007, which Buick says is this vehicle’s final model year.