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2005 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

4dr AWD

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 24 MPG Highway

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  • $29,970 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2005 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

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2005 Buick Rendezvous

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Buick Rendezvous is easy to like, with solid engineering, useful flexibility, and a handsome appearance. Rendezvous is what the industry calls a crossover vehicle. It blurs the lines between sport utilities, minivans, luxury sedans, and station wagons. It carries people more efficiently than an SUV, and it drives more like a minivan than a truck.

Rendezvous seats five passengers, or seven with the optional third-row seats. Its seats are roomy and comfortable and the interior is elegantly designed. The controls feature big knobs and are easy to operate.

The new Rendezvous Ultra is luxurious with elegant leather and wood trim. It's roomier and can carry more cargo than a Lexus RX 330, the archetype of luxury crossovers. Though not as quiet as a luxury sedan, the Rendezvous rides better than most SUVs. All-wheel drive is available, improving traction and handling in slippery conditions.

New for 2005 is a passenger-sensing system for the right front seat, which turns off the corresponding airbag if it detects a small-size occupant, or no occupant at all, thereby avoiding possibly injuries to a child or small adult and/or an unnecessary replacement of the airbag. A status indicator on the instrument panel tells occupants if the airbag is on or off. Even with this feature, however, the second or third row is the safest seating position for a child.

Model Lineup

Rendezvous is offered in a variety of trim levels: CX, CX Plus, CXL, CXL Plus, and Ultra. For 2005, all models are available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). All come with an automatic transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes.

A 185-horsepower, 3.4-liter V6 with an iron block and pushrod overhead valves is standard on all but Ultra. A 242-horsepower, all-aluminum 3.6-liter V6 with dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and variable valve timing (VVT) is standard on Ultra and optional ($2,025) on CXL and CXL Plus.

The Rendezvous CX ($26,585) comes standard with cruise control, remote keyless entry, PASS-Key III theft-deterrent system, AM/FM/CD stereo, power outlets for all three seating rows, and P215/70R16 all-season tires on steel wheels. CX AWD ($29,775) adds the all-wheel-drive system plus anti-lock brakes (ABS) and side-impact airbags.

The CX Plus ($28,315) adds OnStar, driver's information center, ultrasonic rear parking assist, manual dual-zone air conditioning and 225/60R17 all-season radials on 17-inch aluminum wheels. The all-wheel-drive CX Plus AWD ($31,525) also gets side-impact airbags and ABS, though the front-drive CX Plus does not.

CXL FWD ($30,785) and CXL AWD ($32,850) add leather upholstery; six-way power seats; automatic dual-zone air conditioning; heated mirrors; premium eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo with steering-wheel-mounted controls, separate rear-seat audio controls and headphone jacks; woodgrain interior trim including wood accents on steering wheel; content theft alarm; tire inflation monitor; and unique exterior trim. Both models come standard with side-impact airbags and ABS. The front-drive CXL FWD comes with traction control.

CXL Plus ($32,045) and CXL Plus AWD ($34,110) add heated front seats, a memory function for the driver's seat and mirrors, a folding third-row seat (increasing seating capacity from five to seven), and XM Satellite Radio.

Ultra FWD ($36,025) and Ultra AWD ($38,090) come with all of the above, plus the more powerful 3.6-liter V6, leather seats with suede inserts, second-row captain's chairs, six-disc CD changer, head-up instrument display, an electronic release for the rear liftgate, and P225/60R17 touring tires.

Nearly all of the features that come with the higher-line models are available as stand-alone options. On models that don't come standard with them, we recommend adding side-impact airbags ($350), anti-lock brakes ($600), and traction control ($175) for their safety benefits. A power sunroof ($800) is available. The DVD rear-seat entertainment package ($1,295) includes a fold-down seven-inch monitor integrated into the ceiling, so you can't have both the sunroof and DVD. Multi-media sound with touch-screen navigation ($1,600-$1,995) is available on CXL, CXL Plus, and Ultra. A towing package ($395) is offered on all but the base CX, and includes a high-output alternator, transmission oil cooler, heavy-duty engine cooling and automatic load leveling. This package boosts towing capacity to 3500 pounds.

Walkaround

The Rendezvous is probably not beautiful to many, but it has an integrity suited to its purpose and is thus attractive. It's difficult to judge its size of without the context of another vehicle nearby. That's usually a sign that the design team got the scale right. As a Buick, it fits somewhere between the Buick Rainier, a truck-based SUV, and the 2005 Buick Terraza, a new minivan-like vehicle GM is calling a crossover sport van. The spec sheet says that Rendezvous is as tall as an SUV, at 68.9 inches without the roof rack. But with nearly 64 inches between the left and right rear tires, the Rendezvous has a wider track than some medium-size SUVs. And its strong horizontal design visually suggests stability.

The Rendezvous' traditional Buick grille emphasizes a familial resemblance to the Park Avenue, but on Rendezvous it somehow looks less formal and more cheery. It's a pleasing countenance. On Ultra, the familiar grille is body-color rather than black. Bright inserts along the top of the side molding add a look of richness to Ultra. In short, we like its looks.

The amazing thing about the low stance and flat floor of the Rendezvous is that all-wheel drive and a low, flat floor are supposed to be mutually exclusive. Well, the Buick engineers found a way to do it. Too bad being unobtrusive is a mark of success because this accomplishment needs to stand up and take applause. It's best appreciated when driving with a full load of people and their stuff on a nasty, sleety, darkening afternoon with a slippery glaze on the street.

Interior Features

The Rendezvous has a nice, elegant interior with attractive wood accents on high-line models. The seats are comfortable. The Ultra model we drove had a rich, two-tone interior with dark, coffee-colored upper and ivory lower trim with suede inserts on the seats. The leather seats gave off the smell of leather, a new-car smell that we hadn't experienced in awhile.

The steering wheel is nicely finished in leather and wood. The column shifter is covered in a soft, rubber-like material that feels good to the touch. Even the headliner is nicely finished in nylon-like material. The big center console is nicely upholstered and feels like quality. With its big glovebox, big cubby, and neat storage area under the center tunnel, there are plenty of places to stash stuff up front. The cup holders are big, solid and easy to access.

The switchgear is simple and elegant laid out. That's refreshing as many vehicles have become complicated and fussy to operate with small buttons and menus of controls buried in navigation systems. That's not the Rendezvous. Here, climate controls are clear and easy to use and require a minimum of button pressing. Radio buttons are big and easy to operate, a paragon of elegant design. Even secondary controls, like the rear wiper/washer, Park Aid, and front seat heaters, are easy to find and operate.

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

Rendezvous can seat up to seven passengers. Or it can carry two people with scads of stuff. The seating setup depends on how you order it and then on how you choose to fold and configure. We recommend the second-row captain's chairs as a replacement for the standard 50/50 split bench seat, though the bench seats three. We found the captain's chairs quite comfortable, with supportive seat bottoms. They're nicely finished in leather (on models so equipped), and cup holders are provided. In short, the second row of the Rendezvous is a comfortable place for adults to sit.

Access to the third row is far simpler than in most vehicles with three rows of seats. The third row in seven-passenger models is somewhat cramped for adults, squeezed from the outside by the inner fenders, so it lacks leg room and hip room, and is best for kids. But the third row is no Siberia: Even from way back there the acoustics allow you to participate in conversations with the front-seat passengers.

The Rendezvous works well as a cargo hauler, and the flexibility of the seating configurations is an exercise in automotive origami. The seats fold and tuck and fit into an amazing number of arrangements. Even the second-row seat flips and folds, allowing you to have two people up front and a flat floor behind without leaving anything home in the garage. The available third-row seat ($525) folds flat into the floor. For maximum cargo capacity, the center row can be removed. Hiding places and lockable bins are strategically placed here and there. When ordered without the third seat, CX Plus and CXL come with a cargo storage system that includes a sliding tray.

The Rendezvous' load-height is low, which reduces back strain when loading or unloading heavy objects. The rear opening is wide enough to slide a 4x8-foot sheet of plywood in flat. A red flag affixed at back will have to deal with the length.

The optional XM Satellite Radio features 100 coast-to-coast digital channels, including 71 music channels (more than 30 of them commercial-free) and 29 channels of sports, talk, children's and entertainment programming.

OnStar works well as a navigation system because there's nothing to program. Press the blue button and a human operator responds over the car's speaker, to provide directions and other assistance.

Driving Impressions

The Buick Rendezvous rides more smoothly and feels lighter on its feet than a sport-utility vehicle. Its long wheelbase smoothes surface irregularities without the road vibration inherent in many SUVs. Overall, the road demeanor of the Rendezvous is pleasing. It stopped well, and was quiet for an SUV, though a little road-noisy by luxury sedan standards.

We found the Rendezvous comported itself surprisingly well on winding roads. Even when pushed it was thoroughly honest and never felt incapable of dealing with stringent demands. At high speeds it feels more like minivan than sedan or truck. Strong side gusts affect it more than they do a car.

The Rendezvous works quite well in treacherous conditions when equipped with all-wheel drive. Driving through sandy, rocky arroyos, the SUV side of its personality came to the fore. Its all-wheel-drive system, called Versatrak, requires no input from the driver. Versatrak drives just the front wheels until sensors agree that some traction assistance from the rear is advisable. Versatrak is clever: Power is meted out separately and individually to each rear wheel, not just to the rear axle. That is a fineness of traction disbursement not available in most other four-wheel-drive systems. The result is better traction and increased stability, making the Rendezvous more capable in the snow and easier to drive in the slush. Versatrak helps Rendezvous cope with gnarly weather and marginal off-highway tracks with dignity.

With its 185-horsepower 3.4-liter V6 the Rendezvous accelerates with reasonable aplomb. This engine uses an iron block and pushrod-operated overhead valves.

Models equipped with the 3.6-liter V6 accelerate more quickly. It's smoother, revs more freely and feels more responsive. The 3.6-liter V6 is an entirely new engine, with all-aluminum construction and dual overhead camshafts. A 32-bit microprocessor continuously adjusts its valve timing according to conditions; GM calls this technology VVT (for Variable Valve Timing). The same computer also manages its more advanced fuel injection and coil-on-plug ignition systems. In short, the dual overhead-cam 3.6-liter V6 is a more modern, more sophisticated design than the overhead-valve 3.4-liter V6. And the 3.6-liter produces significantly more power: 242 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 232 pound-feet of torque at 3500 rpm. More important, 90 percent of that peak torque is present and accounted for between 1500 and 6000 rpm. That means power is instantly available at all engine speeds.

Rendezvous deserves a look on the basis of economy alone. It uses regular unleaded gas, not premium, and its thirst is temperate for its size. Fuel economy ratings: 18/27 mpg City/Highway for the overhead-cam 3.6-liter, 19/26 mpg for the older 3.4-liter. With AWD, the numbers are 18/25 for the larger engine, 18/24 for the smaller.

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

Summary

Buick Rendezvous is as comfortable as it is practical. It offers a smooth ride, reassuring road manners, and a pleasant cabin. It can be configured to haul six adults in comfort, or a load of lumber from the home-improvement center, or a combination of people and cargo. Rendezvous offers an attractive value with a compelling price and decent fuel economy. It's priced significantly below such luxury all-wheel-drive vehicles as the Lexus RX 330 and Acura MDX.

New Car Test Drive correspondent Denise McCluggage first test drove the Rendezvous, with Mitch McCullough reporting from Los Angeles.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$26,585
Model lineup:
Buick Rendezvous CX ($26,585); CX AWD ($29,775); CX Plus FWD ($28,315); CX Plus AWD ($31,525); CXL FWD ($30,785); CXL AWD ($32,850); CXL Plus FWD ($32,045); CXL Plus AWD ($34,110); Ultra FWD ($36,025); Ultra AWD ($38,220)
Engines:
185-hp 3.4-liter ohv 12-valve V6; 242-hp 3.6-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions:
4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual-stage front airbags
Safety equipment (Optional):
side-impact airbags, ABS, traction control, tire-inflation monitor
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Buick Rendezvous Ultra AWD ($38,220)
Standard equipment:
Ultra package includes dual-zone automatic air conditioning, leather seating surfaces with suede inserts, dual heated six-way power seats, memory driver's seat and memory outside mirrors, second-row captain's chairs, third-row flip/fold bench seat, head-up display; power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; XM Satellite Radio, rear audio controls and headphone jacks, eight-speaker AM/FM/6CD stereo; tire inflation monitor; overhead console; driver information center; universal garage door opener; theft-deterrent system; rear park assist; OnStar communications system; cargo mat
Options as tested:
none
Destination charge:
685
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$38,905
Layout:
all-wheel drive
Engine:
3.6-liter dohc V6 with VVT
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
242 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
232 @ 3500
Transmission:
4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
18/25 mpg.
Wheelbase:
112.2 in.
Length/width/height:
186.5/73.6/68.9 in.
Track, f/r:
62.7/63.8 in.
Turning circle:
37.4 ft.
Seating capacity:
6
Head/hip/leg room, f:
40.9/61.1/40.5 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
40.1/61.1/39.0 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
37.5/48.3/34.6 in.
Cargo volume:
108.9 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
2000 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension R:
independent, short and long lateral arms, toe-control links, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Ground clearance:
7.0 in.
Curb weight:
4272 lbs.
Tires:
P225/60R17
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS in.
Fuel capacity:
18.0 gal.

Printable Version

2005 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.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System 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

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2005 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.

2-Year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

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

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2012. 6-Year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty for 2013 model year and newer Certified Pre-Owned Buick vehicles (as of 6/24/13).

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.
2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2005 Buick Rendezvous Sport Utility Crossover

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