When that debuted in 2002, the Buick Rendezvous overcome over all the lines that had actually previously separated sedans, minivans, and sport-utility vehicles. Rendezvous was, and also is, a perfect instance of the brand-new category that crossover vehicles, a category that defies categorization. The Rendezvous combines elements of SUVs, minivans, and wagons. Simply don't speak to it a minivan or a wagon.

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Rendezvous is a versatile auto seating 5 to seven passengers. That styling is nice. It has fine manners on the highway, a benefit of unit-body building normally linked with sedans. Four-wheel-drive is easily accessible to cope with gnarly weather and marginal off-highway tracks with dignity.

New because that 2004 is the Rendezvous Ultra, i m sorry comes through a greater level of typical equipment and also an all-new, much more powerful and much more sophisticated V6 engine.

The Buick Rendezvous is priced well and also easy come like, through solid engineering, helpful flexibility, and also a handsome appearance. The three-row inner compares favorably through the passenger volume of costlier vehicles. Satellite radio, electronic navigation, and a rear-seat DVD system are easily accessible as options.

Model Lineup

Rendezvous is readily available in 5 trim levels: CX, CX Plus, CXL, CXL Plus, and Ultra. Every Rendezvous models have actually automatic transmission, four-wheel live independence suspension, and four-wheel key brakes. Rendezvous CX, CX Plus, CXL and CXL Plus space powered by a 185-horsepower 3.4-liter V6 engine, and are obtainable with front-wheel journey (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Rendezvous Ultra comes through a brand-new 3.6-liter V6 rated at 245 horsepower and all-wheel drive.

CX FWD ($26,020) come standard through cruise control, far keyless entry, a theft-deterrent system, AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo, and also power outlets because that all 3 seating rows. CX AWD ($29,170) add to the all-wheel-drive system plus anti-lock brakes (ABS) and side-impact airbags. CX add to FWD ($27,880) and CX to add AWD ($31,030) include OnStar, a driver-information center, ultrasonic rear parking assist, manual dual-zone wait conditioning and also 16-inch alumium wheels.

CXL FWD ($30,935) and also CXL AWD ($33,140) add leather upholstery, six-way power seats, automatic dual-zone wait conditioning, heated mirrors, premium eight-speaker stereo v steering-wheel-mounted controls, different rear-seat audio controls and also headphone jacks, tires inflation monitor, and unique exterior trim. Both FWD and also AWD CXL models have actually side-impact airbags and also ABS. Additionally, front-drive CXL's come v traction control. CXL plus FWD ($32,420) and CXL add to AWD ($34,445) add heated former seats, a memory role for the driver's seat and also mirrors, a urgent third-row chair (increasing seating capacity from 5 to seven), XM Satellite Radio, cross bars for the luggage rack and also P215/70R16 touring tires (replacing the typical all-season tires that the very same size).

Ultra ($39,045) comes with all of the above, add to the much more powerful 3.6-liter V6, animal leather seats with suede inserts, second-row captain's chairs, a six-disc CD changer, a head-up tool display, and also an electronic release for the behind liftgate. Tires space upgraded to P225/60R top top 17-inch aluminum wheels.

Nearly all of the features that come with the higher-line models are available as stand-alone options. Even the Ultra's much more powerful engine is easily accessible as an alternative on CXL models. Top top models that don't come standard through them, us recommend including side-impact airbags ($350), anti-lock brakes ($600), and also traction regulate ($175) for their safety and security benefits. A power sunroof ($885) is obtainable on any type of Rendezvous except the base CX, and also you need to spring for at least a CXL before you can order DVD entertain ($1,100) or the multi-media/navigation system ($1,995). A towing parcel ($325) is available on all models, and includes a high-output alternator, infection oil cooler, heavy-duty engine cooling and also automatic fill leveling. Effectively equipped, Rendezvous can tow 3500 pounds.

Walkaround

It is daunting to judge the size of the 2004 Buick Rendezvous there is no the paper definition of one more vehicle close to it. That's normally a sign that the architecture team got the range right. The spec sheet states that Rendezvous is together tall together an SUV, in ~ 68.9 inches there is no the roof rack. But with nearly 64 inches in between the left and right tires, Buick cases that the Rendezvous has a wider track 보다 an SUV. Rendezvous' solid horizontal architecture visually says stability together well.

The Rendezvous' classic Buick grille emphasizes a familial same to the Park Avenue, but it in which method looks less formal and more cheery. It's a satisfaction countenance. On Ultra, the acquainted grille is body-color fairly than black. Shining inserts along the optimal of the side molding include a look at of richness to Ultra. The Rendezvous is probably not beautiful come many, however it has actually an integrity suitable to that purpose and is for this reason attractive. In short, we favor its looks.

Interior Features

Rendezvous deserve to seat up to 7 passengers or two world with scads of stuff. The seating setup depends on how you stimulate it and then on exactly how you pick to fold and also configure. Second-row captain's chairs space standard on Ultra, yet an elegant choice ($435) for all yet the most an easy CX, replacing the conventional 50-50 split bench seat.

The Rendezvous functions well together a cargo hauler and also the flexibility of the seating configuration is an exercise in automotive origami. The seat fold and tuck and fit right into an amazing variety of arrangements. Even the second-row seat flips and folds, enabling you to have actually two civilization up front and also a flat floor behind there is no leaving anything home in the garage. The available third-row chair folds level into the floor. Because that maximum cargo capacity, the facility row can be removed. Hiding places and also lockable bins are strategically inserted here and also there. When ordered there is no the 3rd seat, CX Plus and CXL come v a cargo storage mechanism that includes a slide tray.

Even with seven inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive, gaining in and also out the the Rendezvous is more like obtaining in and also out of a sedan than an SUV. Tiny children, arthritic knees and tight-skirts deserve to be thankful for that. All seats are easy to access and quite comfortable.

Wood accents, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, and also a little bit of chrome around the gauges and dials add visual interest to the Ultra. And the Ultra's animal leather seats attribute suede inserts. The Ultra's head-up screen (a $325 alternative on CXL and CXL Plus) tasks salient details on the windshield (low enough to it is in unobtrusive but plainly visible). This allows the driver come read, through a minimum the eye deflection, the car's speed and radio or CD information.

Access to the 3rd row is far simpler than in most vehicles with three rows of seats. Once ago there, the 3rd row is pleasantly suitable for 2 full-size adults. And the third row is no Siberia: even from way back over there the acoustics enable you to participate in conversations with the front-seat passengers.

The load-height is low, reducing back strain once loading or unloading heavy objects. The rear opened is broad enough to on slide a 4×8-foot paper of plywood in flat. A red flag affixed at back will have actually to deal with the length.

The exceptional thing about the short stance and also flat floor that the Rendezvous is that all-wheel drive and a low, level floor are supposed to be mutually exclusive. Well, the Buick engineers found a method to execute it. Too negative being unobtrusive is a mark of success due to the fact that this accomplishment needs to was standing up and also take applause. It's best appreciated as soon as driving through a full load of people and also their stuff on a nasty, sleety, darkening afternoon v a slippery glaze ~ above the street.

On the downside, the plastic used for the instrument panel doesn't measure as much as the remainder of the interior.

The optional XM Satellite Radio functions 100 coast-to-coast digital channels, including 71 music channels (more 보다 30 of castle commercial-free) and 29 channels of sports, talk, children's and also entertainment programming. The DVD system consists of a fold-down seven-inch monitor incorporated into the ceiling.

OnStar, traditional on all yet the basic CX, works well as a navigating system due to the fact that there's nothing come program. Press the button and also a human operator responds, to carry out directions and also other assistance. OnStar always knows the place of her vehicle. The employee will notify authorities of your place if her airbag walk off and you do not respond to your calls. Or you deserve to press the emergency button and also they'll send out the troops. They have the right to unlock your doors if you lock the secrets inside. Lock can direct you to the nearest gas station or help find a an excellent restaurant or motel. If your auto is stolen, OnStar can pinpoint its location and direct the authorities to apprehend and recover.

Driving Impressions

The Buick Rendezvous rides more smoothly and offers much more responsive taking care of than a sport-utility vehicle. Its long wheelbase smoothes surface ar irregularities without the roadway vibration innate in plenty of SUVs. Overall, the road demeanor the the Rendezvous is pleasing. It stopped well, and also was quiet because that an SUV, though a tiny road-noisy by luxury sedan standards.

We uncovered the Rendezvous comported itself surprisingly fine on winding roads. Also when moved it was completely honest and also never felt i can not qualify of handling stringent demands. That course, it isn't a sports car, no one is it intended to be. Willing together it was, the Rendezvous still seemed to offer a slight admonishment: “I'll carry out that if friend insist, yet it's no my specialty.”

Yet the Rendezvous go surprisingly fine in treacherous conditions when equipped through all-wheel drive. In some sandy and also rocky arroyos, the SUV side of the Rendezvous' personality involved the fore. That all-wheel-drive system, called Versatrak, needs no input native the driver. Versatrak drives just the prior wheels until sensors agree that part traction help from the rear is advisable. Versatrak is clever: power is meted out separately and individually come each behind wheel, not just to the behind axle. The is a fineness the traction disbursement not available in most other four-wheel-drive systems. The result is much better traction and also increased stability, making the Rendezvous an ext capable in the snow and easier to journey in the slush.

With that 185-horsepower 3.4-liter V6, our CXL Plus test vehicle increased with reasonable aplomb. This engine supplies an stole block and also pushrod-operated overhead valves.

We mean the Ultra to accelerate an ext quickly. The Ultra's 3.6-liter V6 is one entirely new and various engine, with all-aluminum building and construction and dual overhead camshafts. A 32-bit microprocessor continuously adjusts that is valve timing according to conditions; GM phone call this an innovation VVT (for variable Valve Timing). The exact same computer additionally manages this engine's an ext advanced fuel injection and coil-on-plug ignition systems. In short, the overhead-cam 3.6-liter V6 is a much more modern, much more sophisticated design than the overhead-valve 3.4-liter V6.

And the brand-new 3.6-liter produce significantly an ext power: 245 horsepower at 6000 rpm and also 235 pounds-feet that torque in ~ 3200 rpm. More important, 90 percent of the new engine's height torque is easily accessible between 1600 and 5800 rpm. That way that a strong surge of power need to be instantly accessible at virtually any driving speed. Fuel economic climate hardly suffers: Preliminary ratings show 17/24 mpg city/highway for the an ext powerful 3.6 vs. 18/24 mpg because that the 3.4 with AWD. GM insurance claims reduced emissions as well.

The load-leveling suspension, available as part of the trailer towing package, supplies compressed air to to fill bladders in line v the rear shock absorbers. The air pressure keeps Rendezvous level once carrying a heavy load or towing a trailer. The system comes v an assistant air outlet, rubber wait hose, and pressure gauge, for inflating tires or toys.

Summary

Buick Rendezvous is together comfortable as it is practical. It offers a smooth ride, reassuring roadway manners, and also a satisfied cabin. It deserve to be configured to haul 6 adults in comfort or a pack of lumber from the home-improvement facility or a combination of people and also cargo.

Rendezvous deserves a watch on the communication of economy alone. In the first place that uses consistent unleaded gas, not premium and its thirsty is pleasant for the size.

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The brand-new Ultra design promises substantially improved performance. Meanwhile, all various other Rendezvous models market attractive value, v a compelling price and also decent fuel economic climate for your size. Rendezvous is priced significantly below such high-end all-wheel-drive vehicles as the Lexus RX 330 and Acura MDX.