Buick Rendezvous Origins
The Rendezvous was released in 2001 as a 2002 model. This was something of a watershed for Buick; the Rendezvous set Buick apart from other car manufacturers by making it one of the first to enter the midsize crossover sport utility vehicle market.
The Rendezvous did not undergo a lot of changes during its production. Instead of sticking with the Rendezvous, Buick decided to halt production mid-way through 2007 in favor of the better-equipped and better-functioning Buick Enclave.About the Buick Rendezvous
The Rendezvous filled the gap for consumers who want an SUV but are not the type to take their vehicles out into the wilderness. The Rendezvous was shrunk down for the suburbs but still had the storage and carriage space that the traditional SUV has to offer a family.
However, the Rendezvous also had the same problems that a traditional SUV: poor gas mileage, terrible safety, and an uncomfortable ride. Add to that the cheap components and its bad performance on the road, and the Rendezvous is not the ideal vehicle.
The Buick Rendezvous was sold in two levels: the CX and CXL option. The CX was the base model but comes with a lot of extra trim, making it a decent sell. The CXL offered a third seat towards the back of the vehicle, providing extra passenger space but cutting down on the cargo room. The CXL also upgraded fabric in the car to leather and sharper wheels.
The Rendezvous was also known for its lack of safety. While side impact tests were not done on the vehicle, front collision received the mediocre Acceptable score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Anti-lock brakes were never offered on the vehicle.
The Buick Rendezvous was discontinued in 2007 and replaced by the Buick Enclave.Buick Rendezvous Evolution
The Buick Rendezvous never saw drastic changes during its limited production run, but small changes were made from year-to-year.
The 2003 model offers a rear DVD option for those with families. XM satellite radio, which was offered in many vehicles beginning in 2001, is also offered as an audio option for the vehicle.
In 2004, the Rendezvous had a small design change. Parking lights and turn signal lights on this model are amber instead of clear. An Ultra model was also added to the line in 2004. The Rendezvous Ultra included all features available in the line and also added 17-inch aluminum wheels, leather and Ultrasuede seating, and an alarm system to prevent theft.
In 2005, the Rendezvous added a front-drive option. This front-drive CXL Ultra also had a 3.6-liter V-6 engine as an option, giving the Rendezvous an added burst of power. The instrument panel is also black instead of silver.
2006 saw QuietTuning added to the Rendezvous. QuietTuning lowered the amount of atmospheric noise inside the vehicle from the addition of sound dampening panels in the doors and firewall, as well as tuned glass that resonated at the same frequency as outside noise. OnStar navigation was offered standard, as well as a rear-parking assistant. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine was standard on the vehicle. The front grille was redesigned.
2007 saw the greatest design changes in the vehicle. OnStar is upgraded to the Directions and Connections system that offers turn-by-turn navigation, which we now know as GPS. Both the CX and CXL only come with front- drive. A mahogany-trimmed wheel comes standard on the CXL Rendezvous and as an option on the CX. The CXL also includes a third row seat, standard.
As you can see, no real performance upgrades were ever offered on the Rendezvous. Although the vehicle sold well, it never became the machine it begged to be. This role was left for the Buick Enclave. If you are looking for a crossover SUV, you might want to choose the Enclave. Even though it is a slightly larger vehicle, the payoff in performance is well worth the tradeoff. If you don’t want to go as large as the Enclave but don’t want the Rendezvous, you’re better off choosing a minivan for the cargo space and performance.