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2002 Buick Rendezvous

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$812 — $5,476 USED
15
Photos
Sport Utility
5-7 Seats
21-22 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2002 Buick Rendezvous Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
The Rendezvous is Buick’s brand-new model for 2002 — a crossover vehicle that blends the virtues of a sedan, sport utility vehicle and minivan. It is the first truck-based Buick since 1923. With the Rendezvous, Buick hopes to attract more younger buyers and counteract the brand’s appeal to older motorists. To help in that quest, long before it went on sale, Buick exhibited the Rendezvous at golf tournaments, the COMDEX computer dealers’ convention and various public events.

A fully independent suspension aims to ease the ride quality, which is intended to emulate the Park Avenue Ultra sedan, and optional Versatrak all-wheel drive gives the Rendezvous extra flexibility on various terrain. Offered in front-wheel-drive CX form or the higher-level CXL trim with all-wheel drive, the Rendezvous went on sale in late April 2001.

Exterior
Described in terms of “refined ruggedness,” the Rendezvous has an overall shape that suggests an SUV and has details that promote a youthful image. Sharp lines take precedence over curves, and a fastback rear slope is said to be less boxy than the typical SUV rear.

Certain kinship elements to other Buicks are evident, led by the oval-shape grille, which is painted rather than chromed. In fact, chrome is minimal throughout. An accent ring surrounds the center tri-shield emblem, and headlights sit deep in the front fascia, with detailing around their lenses.

Eight-spoke wheels are similar to those used on other Buicks, but their design o...

Vehicle Overview
The Rendezvous is Buick’s brand-new model for 2002 — a crossover vehicle that blends the virtues of a sedan, sport utility vehicle and minivan. It is the first truck-based Buick since 1923. With the Rendezvous, Buick hopes to attract more younger buyers and counteract the brand’s appeal to older motorists. To help in that quest, long before it went on sale, Buick exhibited the Rendezvous at golf tournaments, the COMDEX computer dealers’ convention and various public events.

A fully independent suspension aims to ease the ride quality, which is intended to emulate the Park Avenue Ultra sedan, and optional Versatrak all-wheel drive gives the Rendezvous extra flexibility on various terrain. Offered in front-wheel-drive CX form or the higher-level CXL trim with all-wheel drive, the Rendezvous went on sale in late April 2001.

Exterior
Described in terms of “refined ruggedness,” the Rendezvous has an overall shape that suggests an SUV and has details that promote a youthful image. Sharp lines take precedence over curves, and a fastback rear slope is said to be less boxy than the typical SUV rear.

Certain kinship elements to other Buicks are evident, led by the oval-shape grille, which is painted rather than chromed. In fact, chrome is minimal throughout. An accent ring surrounds the center tri-shield emblem, and headlights sit deep in the front fascia, with detailing around their lenses.

Eight-spoke wheels are similar to those used on other Buicks, but their design on the Rendezvous is aggressive. The top portion of the vehicle is considered more refined, while the lower body gets a more rugged blacked-out appearance, which emphasizes the fact that it combines the attributes of a premium sedan with a versatile SUV. Two-tone side cladding wraps all the way around.

Interior
Seating five in standard form, the Rendezvous’ reconfigurable interior can be equipped with third-row seats that hold two more occupants. Front buckets hold two, and the second row can have a three-place split bench or two captain’s chairs; footrests are optional. The second-row seats “flip and fold” to give access to the optional third-row seats, which results in a seven-passenger capacity. Seats fold down to yield a cargo volume of 108.9 cubic feet, and a 4-by-8-foot panel can be loaded through the back door.

Low doorsills are intended to offer a low step-in height for easier entry and exit. A two-tone interior comes in three trim types: leather, flat-woven cloth with leather bolsters or all-cloth with pile fabric. Instrument-cluster detailing is said to produce what Buick calls “a look of precious stones set in polished metal,” with needles and numbers set into a silver face. The center console will hold a full-size laptop computer, and it has a special area for stowing a purse.

Driver amenities include automatic door locking and unlocking, a tire-inflation monitor that illuminates if low tire pressure is detected, an ultrasonic intrusion-alert system that can detect movement inside the vehicle while it’s locked, an optional Ultrasonic Rear-Park Assist system that uses ultrasonic sensors to warn of obstacles while backing up and a driver information center in the CXL model. GM’s OnStar communication system is a factory-installed option.

Under the Hood
A 185-horsepower, 3.4-liter V-6 engine teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission. Versatrak on-demand all-wheel drive is standard on the upscale CXL model and optional on the CX. No action is needed to engage the AWD system. Side-impact airbags and all-disc antilock brakes are standard.

Driving Impressions
Despite structural similarities to the wildly styled, slow-selling Pontiac Aztek, Buick’s crossover SUV has an appearance and personality all of its own. The Rendezvous looks essentially like a Buick that happens to have a minivan/SUV sort of body behind the familiar-shaped grille.

Acceleration is good if not exactly inspiring, though automatic-transmission responses are excellent, quick and easy. The Rendezvous runs very quietly and offers plenty of versatile space in a distinctive interior. Gauges are particularly notable in appearance, though they’re not the easiest to read at a glance.

Although the Rendezvous is generally soft-riding, the suspension hits some bumps rather hard. It tends to overreact to modest undulations in the pavement and causes a little too much motion for occupants, as well as excessively noticeable responses to bad spots. Handling is undeniably minivanlike — it is reasonably precise with good steering feel and feedback.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide;
Posted on 4/15/02

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

3.9
35 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(3.8)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(3.5)
Value For The Money
(3.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Very comfortable and reliable.

by Fatboy from Fairmont MN on September 2, 2019

All wheel drive , plenty of interior space, very reliable and comfortable. Great family car for work and vacations. Amassed 250,00 plus miles on the one we had. Read full review

(2.0)

Down more than not

by Leonitsis110 from Colorado Springs Colorado on August 31, 2019

Comfortable, nice conveniences such as climate, audio and power ports. I bought it used. It ran okay, a liitle weak. I did a full tune-up, it ran great for one day. I was nearly involved in a multi ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Buick Rendezvous currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Buick Rendezvous has not been tested.

Latest 2002 Rendezvous Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Rendezvous received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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