Buick introduced the Rendezvous crossover vehicle — which blends sedan, sport utility vehicle and minivan characteristics — for 2002. For 2007, Buick eliminated the CX Plus and CXL Plus models, along with the all-wheel-drive option and 3.6-liter V-6 engine.
A one-year subscription to General Motors' OnStar Turn-by-Turn navigation system and all-disc antilock brakes are newly standard, and rear audio system controls are available.
When properly equipped, the Rendezvous can tow a 3,500-pound trailer.
Described by Buick as having a "refined ruggedness," the Rendezvous has an overall shape like that of an SUV and shares styling elements with other Buicks. Sharp lines take precedence over curves, and Buick gave it a rear slope in contrast to the typically boxy SUV shape.
Each Rendezvous rides a 112.2-inch wheelbase, measures 186.5 inches long overall and stands 68.9 inches tall. A fully independent suspension is installed, and 17-inch steel wheels are standard. It features acoustical laminate on the windshield and front side glass and "Quiet Steel" in front of the dash to cut down on cabin noise.
In standard form, the Rendezvous seats five occupants, but its reconfigurable interior can be equipped with third-row seats that hold two additional people. The second row can have either a three-place split bench seat or two captain's chairs. The second-row seats flip and fold for access to the rear. Cargo volume totals 108.9 cubic feet when the seats are folded, and a 4-by-8-foot panel can be loaded through the back door. Low doorsills ease entry and exit.
CX models with the optional traction control system are also equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system and driver information center. The standard Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist system can warn the driver of obstacles to the rear. XM Satellite Radio, a touch-screen navigation system, a six-disc CD changer and DVD entertainment system are optional.
Under the Hood
The 3.5-liter V-6 develops 196 horsepower and employs a four-speed automatic transmission.
All-disc antilock brakes now come standard, and side-impact airbags are available.
Automatic-transmission responses are quick and easy in the Rendezvous. Acceleration is good, if not exactly inspiring. The Rendezvous runs very quietly and offers plenty of versatile space. The gauges are notable in appearance, but they're not the easiest to read at a glance.
The Rendezvous delivers a generally soft ride, but its suspension hits some bumps rather hard. Handling is reasonably precise with good steering feel and feedback, very much like what drivers might expect from a minivan.
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