Buick Rendezvous

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Buick Rendezvous
04-07 Buick Rendezvous .jpg
Manufacturer General Motors
Production 2001–July 5, 2007
Model years 2002–2007
Assembly Ramos Arizpe, Mexico
Designer Elizabeth Wetzel (1999)[1]
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size crossover SUV
Body style 4-door CUV
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Platform U-body/GMT250
Related Pontiac Aztek
Engine 3.4 L LA1 V6
3.5 L LX9 V6
3.6 L LY7 V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic, 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 112.0 in (2845 mm)
Length 186.5 in (4737 mm)
Width 73.6 in (1869 mm)
Height 68.9 in (1750 mm)
Curb weight 4024–4272 lb (1825–1938 kg)
Successor Buick Enclave
Buick Envision

The Buick Rendezvous, introduced in the spring of 2001 as a 2002 model year vehicle, is a mid-size crossover SUV that was sold by Buick for the 2002–2007 model years.


The Buick Rendezvous and its corporate cousin the Pontiac Aztek were GM's entry into the crossover SUV segment. As a four-door crossover with a front engine and four-wheel drive, the Rendezvous featured a four-speed automatic transmission with a V-6 engine. The SUV used the same platform as GM's short version minivan, Pontiac Montana and Chevrolet Venture. It assumed the load carrying duties that were previously handled by the Buick Estate station wagon.

Technology and notable features[edit]

Rear view

Buick's first truck in its lineup since 1923, the Rendezvous was billed as a combination of the best attributes of a minivan (large cargo capacity, seating for up to seven), a luxury automobile (ride, handling, smoothness) and a sport utility vehicle (truck styling and available all wheel drive).

The Rendezvous was produced at General Motors' Ramos Arizpe, Mexico assembly plant, where it shared an assembly line with the Pontiac Aztek.

In lieu of four-wheel drive, the Rendezvous offered Versatrak, a full-time, fully automatic all-wheel drive system which provided sure-footed traction in inclement weather and could handle moderate off-road surfaces, but was not meant for boulder-climbing Rubicon Trail-type activities.

Like the Pontiac Aztek, the Buick Rendezvous is based on a shortened version of GM's second generation U platform minivans.

Buick benchmarked their Park Avenue sedan as the prototypical target for ride and handling for the Rendezvous. In order to provide a luxurious and responsive car-like ride, all Rendezvous came equipped with a fully independent rear suspension system regardless of optional content or trim level.

The Rendezvous' instrument cluster detailing featured teal illuminated needles and numbers set in a silver face accented by chrome trim rings that was meant to evoke the luxurious look and feel of an expensive watch or designer bracelet.

The Rendezvous boasted the ability to carry seven passengers when equipped with a third-row bench, a class-leading feature that Buick brought to market before its competitors.

The Rendezvous is able to carry within its interior a standard 4'x 8' sheet of plywood.

In support of the Rendezvous' intended role as a versatile accoutrement for busy people with families, it provided a center console with storage space and power points for a laptop computer as well as a separate spots to hold a purse, a cell phone, pager or other small items that the owner would want to keep organized and readily accessible as well as an optional rear cargo organizer system and rear seat stereo system controls with headsets.

On the uplevel CXL model, a driver information center on the instrument panel provided the outside temperature, compass functions, a trip computer that included readings of fuel economy, range and fuel used. An optional second generation heads-up display was also available.This was also available in the CX model.

An optional tire inflation monitoring system provided readings of tire pressure and warned if out of the specified range was a clever feature in the wake of the Ford Explorer/Firestone debacle that was in large part attributable to underinflated tires.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives Rendezvous an overall Acceptable rating in their frontal offset crash test for fair structure performance and fair dummy control. However the IIHS did not perform a side-impact test on the Rendezvous.

Sales success[edit]

The Rendezvous was a badly needed success for Buick, given the decline of its aging customer base, and singlehandedly brought a large number of younger, wealthier "conquest" buyers into Buick showrooms who otherwise wouldn't have considered purchasing a Buick.

Certainly a major contributor to the Rendezvous's success was an aggressive value-pricing strategy that made the Rendezvous US$6,500 less than a comparably equipped Acura MDX and US$8,000 less than the Lexus RX300.

The Rendezvous handily exceeded GM's predictions of 30,000 to 40,000 units a year by a large margin, which helped offset the poor sales of the Pontiac Aztek with which it shared its Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, assembly line.[citation needed]

The last Rendezvous rolled off the assembly line on July 5, 2007.

Commercials featuring Tiger Woods aired during the Buick Classic golf tournament. "Tornado" featured a tornado picking up Woods, three waitresses and their minivan, two storm chasers in a competing SUV, and one man in a luxury car. All the participants ended up inside a Rendezvous, with Woods driving and saying, "I guess we're not in Kansas anymore." "Igor" had three vehicles driving from a cemetery at night into a castle, followed by a lightning strike, and Woods exiting the castle in a Rendezvous as "Frankenstein" plays. Woods says, "What? You were expecting Igor?".[2]

Year to year changes[edit]

2002–2003 Buick Rendezvous CXL
2004–2005 Buick Rendezvous


  • Optional Rear Seat DVD system is now offered
  • Optional XM Satellite Radio is now offered


  • Front turn signal/parking lights changed to clear from the previously used amber.
  • The Ultra was added as a top-line model, with all comfort options standard, 17 inch aluminium wheels, leather and ultrasuede seating as well as a theft deterrent system.
  • OnStar is now available on the Rendezvous as an optional feature.


  • The Ultra was available with front-wheel drive.
  • The 3.6 L V6 was now an option for the front-wheel drive CXL.
  • Received chrome Buick tri-shield steering wheel.
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel standard.


  • Quiet Tuning added to model
  • OnStar is now standard on the Rendezvous
  • Rear park-assist is also now made standard on the Rendezvous
  • 3.5 liter V6 Standard
  • Received chrome Buick tri-shield in grille
  • A black faced instrument cluster replaced the all silver one used in prior years (2005 in some models)
  • Ultra Dropped for CXL+


  • OnStar Direction and Connections with turn-by-turn navigation
  • Available in CX, and CXL Trims
  • Available only in Front Wheel Drive
  • Standard Mahogany Trimmed Wheel on CXL, Optional on CX
  • Standard Third Row Seat on CXL Trim
  • Last Year for the Buick Rendezvous


Calendar year US Sales
2001 31,754[3]
2002 61,468
2003 72,643
2004 60,039
2005 60,589
2006 45,954
2007 15,295


External links[edit]