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2002 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

CX FWD

Starting at | Starting at 19 MPG City - 26 MPG Highway

2002 Buick Rendezvous for Sale

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  • $25,520 original MSRP
Printable Version

2002 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2002 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

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2002 Buick Rendezvous

Source: The Car Connection

A stalwart rekindles its fortunes with a versatile, unusual new player.

by Marc Stengel

It's been a while since I was last excited about a Buick. The Reatta intrigued me in the late '80s and early '90s, but mostly because of its George Jetson styling. In high school, the 350-horsepower Gran Sport GSX of 1970 stoked my daydreams even before I could drive. The '87 GNX was a turbocharged, albeit unobtainable, supercar that came and went like a meteor.

And that's about it: It's been at least 10 years since Buick has peddled excitement. For that very reason, Buick's continued existence is a popular matter of debate. So it's about time that an eye-catching, if oddball, novelty like the Buick Rendezvous should debut for the 2002 model year. It's about time precisely because time is what Buick mostly lacks.

Chances are, the Rendezvous will inspire a lot of different reactions as it infiltrates the traffic stream. Cynics will grudgingly admit that it's downright pretty compared to its dog-faced horse's a- of a sister, the Pontiac Aztek. Kids, like my youngest, will recognize the Rendezvous as "Tiger Woods' car," since the Linksmeister seems to be having so much fun in one in the current crop of TV spots. I myself am caught between two conflicting emotions: "Ugh! Another SUV," is one; "Wow! Maybe it'll save the brand," is the other.

At the very least, the Rendezvous suggests that there are still some folks at Buick with their thinking caps on. Subtle yet important styling decisions — commonly known as "taste" — have spared Rendezvous from sharing the Aztek's fate as the butt of all jokes. Say what you will about all the glittering chrome and all the diamond, ruby, and amber sparkles from so many lighting assemblies, but the Rendezvous looks perfectly at ease among such SUV socialites as the Lexus RX300, Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and BMW X5. Moreover, its base prices ($24,924 for front-wheel drive; $27,452 for all-wheel drive) are anywhere from one-quarter to one-half less expensive than these other high-society worthies.

Bangles and baubles

My own tester, however, was bedecked with some $5000 worth of high-end luxuries in a single package of options. Together with a $700 sunroof, that was enough to inflate the sticker to $33,737. Still, the Acura MDX I recently reviewed cost $37,450 at base price, and the BMW X5 3.0Xi started at $38,900, only to sticker out at $48,810.

I suppose Rendezvous' 185-horsepower rating (versus 240 hp for the MDX, 225 hp for the X5) might have something to do with this price discrepancy. The Buick's 3.4-liter V-6 is tried-and-trusty, just not very gutsy. Frankly, considering Rendezvous' all-American fluffy ride, 185 horsepower is about all the hot-dogging potential this SUV needs. It's a bit of a shame too, since Buick has equipped its SUV with independent suspension at all four corners and four-wheel disc ABS brakes. Handling, though, is mushy; ride is soft; and shifts of the four-speed automatic transmission are a tad on the lazy side.

Apparently, Rendezvous is designed for cruising. As Tiger Woods would probably like us to believe, it's the golf cart that takes you to your golf cart. Or you could probably tow a pair behind you, thanks to a 3500-lb tow rating. At least the Rendezvous' economy numbers of 18 mpg city/24 highway are better than most of its rivals.

Rendezvous absolutely trumps the field with another distinction, however. With 108 cu ft of maximum cargo space, Buick's SUV positively dwarfs BMW's puny 54 cu ft, and it also outclasses the 80 to 85 cu ft or so in the Acura, Mercedes, Lexus, even Mercury Mountaineer/Ford Explorer.

Rendezvous is based on the same General Motors platform that underlies Chevy's Venture, Olds Silhouette, and Pontiac Montana; but there's no real sensation of driving a minivan here. As a "crossover vehicle" combining favorite features of cars, vans, and SUVs, the Rendezvous is cleverly successful. Seating for five is standard and plenty roomy — there are even footrests for second-row passengers. An optional third-row bench ($730) increases occupancy to seven, and it folds flush to the rear threshold when out of use.

Hatch mastery

My tester was a five-seater, and in place of the third-row bench was an ingenious in-floor storage box with partitioned compartments under three separate, carpeted hatches. On my first day with the Rendezvous, I successfully transported a shoulder-high chest of drawers, small office desk, small credenza, assorted lamps, hampers, and knickknacks. The split second-row bench seats flip-folded out of the way, the compartments kept the knickknacks in place, and the carpeted floor (with all hatch handles recessed) protected everything from scratches.

Buick's chief tout about the Rendezvous is its versatility, and I'm inclined to agree. Apart from all that cargo stowage, people space is comfy and well organized. The CLX package of luxury options on my tester included plush leather seating, AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo, and fully automatic dual-zone climate control. I was grateful for the sensors in the rear bumper that assisted parking while backing up with a load of furniture; OnStar telematics was available had I needed navigation or emergency assistance. All-time all-wheel drive is provided by Buick's Versatrak drivetrain, which defaults to front-wheel drive unless wheel slip sensors direct tractive power to the rear. Compared to a front-wheel-drive model, Versatrak represents a $2528 premium. It's a boon for tackling different traction conditions; but off-roading's a definite no-no, thanks particularly to a very low-hanging rear suspension.

It's taken years, but this oddly appealing SUV may well be the right vehicle for Buick at the right time. There's a prevailing suspicion these days that it represents Buick's Rendezvous with destiny. If so, it's an appointment that this venerable car division can't afford to miss.

2002 Buick Rendezvous

Base price: $24,924 (FWD) or $27,452 (AWD); as tested, $33,737
Engine: 3.4-liter V-6, 185 hp
Transmission: Four-speed automatic, front- or all-wheel drive
Length x width x height: 186.5 x 73.6 x 68.9 in
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Curb weight: 4250 lb
EPA - City/Hwy: 19/26 mpg (FWD); 18/24 mpg (AWD)
Safety equipment: Front and front-side airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control (FWD only), daytime running lights
Major standard equipment: Cruise control, power locks/mirrors, AM/FM/CD stereo, fog lamps
Warranty: Three years/36,000 miles

© 2001 The Car Connection

 

Printable Version

2002 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Rollover Resistance
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No consumer rating

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Opt

Security

Anti-theft System Opt
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2002 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Buick Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

NEW! 6-Year/100,000-Mile¹ Powertrain Limited Warranty

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty

Exclusive 2-Year/24,000-Mile³ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Program with two included maintenance visits

¹Whichever comes first, from original in-service date. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
²Whichever comes first, from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
³Maintenance visits must occur within two years or 24,000 miles of vehicle delivery, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2012-2017 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
IMPORTANT RECALL INFORMATION: Before a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle is listed or sold, GM requires dealers to complete all safety recalls. However, because even the best processes can break down, we encourage you to check the recall status of any vehicle at recalls.gm.com
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day/150-Mile&#185; Vehicle Exchange Program <br> &#185;Whichever comes first. Vehicle exchange only. See dealer for details.
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2002 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

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