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Buick Rendezvous



  • jk27,

       I see I got your attention.Lets look right here on Edmunds at the Rendezvous Consumer Ratings and Reviews.I'll trust whats said here on Edmunds more than Consumer Reports.


    2005 31 reviews with 2 bad ones

    2004 145 reviews with 16 bad ones

    2003 97 reviews with 9 bad ones

    2002 128 with 18 bad ones


        Almost every one of these people had mechanical issues with their vehicle and werent just upset over some petty little thing.About 10% of all RDV owners giving reviews had problems. Are you saying that everyone that says their RDV is falling apart is making this up?I think not.If someone says they have a good RDV I will believe them and if they say they have a bad one I'll believe them.


    Check out this Edmunds review.I can copy and paste ones like this all day long.



    Date Posted

    09/14/2004 Last Buick Standing by Last Buick Standing

    Style: CXL AWD 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 4A) Rating 7.3


    Review: Until last February ... My husband and I have LOVED the Rendezveous! NOW --well you judge....7 months/8 major problems 1) Just under 45,000 miles we had to replace the front Wheel Bearings - 2) and consequently all the tires. 3) The Transmission went - MAJOR bits and pieces in the oil pan 4) the clutch was replaced 5) the clutch was replaced AGAIN 6) the air conditioning went-something about a cracked block 7) The gas gage no longer works 8) After noting a strange noise when turning a tight circle we have now been told the Rear Wheel Differential needs to be replaced for $4000 -- if not repaired we have been told that the rear wheels "could" lock

    Favorite Features: We still like the ride and feel of this car Really nice for the first 45,000 miles- but then trade it/get rid of it!

    Suggested Improvements: A 5 year 100,000 mile warrenty should come standard.

            Was this review helpful? Yes No




    Let us know if this review is offensive. Back to top

      Ratings Detail

    Performance 9.0


    Comfort 10.0


    Fuel Economy 7.0


    Fun-to-Drive 9.0


    Interior Design 10.0


    Exterior Design 9.0


    Build Quality 3.0


    Reliability 1.0


    Rating 7.3


       At least they didnt have a bad BCM.I challenge you to go to the Toyota Highlander forum on here and find a single one that fell apart as bad and as quick as this one.They gripe about petty litle things over there.None of them even know what a BCM is.Go to the Buick Regal forum and find me one that fell apart that quick.


       As for the guy that said every 2002 RDV sold new at his dealer had to have a new BCM,well its very simple to find out.I'm sure he talked to his service manager to find this out while he was having his BCM replaced..Lots of service managers or car salesmen will tell the truth if you pump them just a little.I'm sure not afraid to ask them and lots will surprise you with what they say.Some are very-very honest.Probably more than their bosses want them to be.


       I too would like to know why some 2002 RDV owners are on their original BCM while others are on their 3rd,4th,5th ones.Why are some Buick RDV owners losing wheel bearings while others arent?


        I was on another Buick forum today where a Canandian RDV owner lost his head gaskets after only being 4000 kms out of waranty.GM of Canada was sympathetic and will stand 90% of the bill.Try getting GM here in the states to do that.A 3 yr 36,000 mile warranty is pretty pathetic on vehicles selling for near $40,000 these days.



      As for someone having an axe to grind with GM lots of us have the right to do so.We paid one heck of a price for our vehicles and expected them to be dependable and not in the shop all the time.Lots of us took a substantial loss when we traded our problem RDV's off.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    Nope, I'm not denying that some (emphasis on SOME) Rendezvous owners have had problems. And some of those were serious problems. However, are you denying that many Rendezvous owners are NOT having such problems? I didn't think so.


    My point is that ALL makes and models of vehicles will have problems and that just because you were able to find 30 or so consumer reviews on Edmunds that indicated some problems ... I say ... statistically ... so what? I would expect some owners to have problems -- especially when there are 160,000+ Rendezvous on the road. I'm surprised those numbers aren't higher, given the sheer number of Rendezvous which have been sold. I also believe that people who are experiencing problems are MUCH more likely to post about problems than those who aren't experiencing problems -- as our Mod, Steve, correctly pointed out.


    You are sounding the alarm and yelling "Fire" when the great majority of Rendezvous are just fine. I'd trust Consumer Reports methodology of rating reliability more than your random culling of internet chat forums -- but, hey, that's just me ;) You also did not comment on the Consumer Reports statistical trend which shows Rendezvous are getting more and more reliable every year. That shows that Buick is doing something about the problems that have occurred.


    I'm sorry to hear you had problems, but since you have apparently traded in your Rendezvous and moved on ... you really need to get over it! You knew going into it that the Rendezvous offered a 3 year, 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. If that wasn't good enough, then you should have gone with an extended warranty or a different vehicle. Caveat Emptor!


    2002 Rendezvous CXL here. 37,000 miles and going strong. Great in the Wisconsin snow (we just had 13" of snow last week, 6" of snow yesterday). 2 degrees here today.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    2005 31 reviews with 2 bad ones

    2004 145 reviews with 16 bad ones

    2003 97 reviews with 9 bad ones

    2002 128 with 18 bad ones


    How many RDZs are out there with NO complaints?


    You don't know. There goes your theory.


    You need to read the Honda Accord groups if you want to look for patterns with squeaks and trans problems along with popping and steering lead. Try Odyssey for trans problems.


    I would like to know the 'other Buick forum' you mention. An email address is in my profile if you would like to send it to me.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • imidazol97,

       Your email is listed as private.Do a google search for a Buick forum with the word invision in it.Its not a real active forum.


       Until someone proves me wrong I'm still estimating that 90% of all RDV's are good and 10% are bad.Only GM knows for sure and they arent talking.


       2 of 7-8 RDV's are having problems at my local dealer which is 25%.At another larger dealer that we do business with has at least 6-7 RDV's having problems out of 25 which is 25% with 2 GM buy backs and one taken to an auction to get it out of the area.By the way you will see no new 2005 Buick RDV's at this dealer nor at my local dealer.


       I challenge anyone on here to find an honest Buick dealer that hasnt had a single problem 2002-2005 RDV.I would be glad to hear of one.I dont dislike RDV's as there were many things we liked about ours.


       Lets hear from some high mileage 2002 Buick RDV owners.There has to be a 100,000 mile one out there.If your RDV has done great lets hear it.
  • toonzeetoonzee Posts: 19
    If you plan on keeping this vehicle, I would strongly recommend the GM Major Guard Warranty. One visit to the shop has already paid for mine. At 38000 miles my head gaskets started leaking, shop said it would of cost 1300 bucks. Lucky for me I had the extended warranty.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    You said, "How many RDZs are out there with NO complaints? You don't know. There goes your theory." Are you serious? I challenge you to find ANY vehicle that has NO complaints!! The answer is ... that vehicle doesn't exist! IF you are really looking to find a vehicle that has had no reported problems, you're going to be looking for a long, long time ;)


    My "theory" is sound. Just because a tiny percentage of RDV owners have reported problems does not mean these problems will be experienced by all, a majority, or even many RDV owners. You are just speculating. BCM's are bad? Really, then how can my RDV, with 37,000 miles, still be on its original BCM?


    Go ahead and bash the Rendezvous all you want, but the fact of the matter is that many, many of us 160,000+ RDV owners are very happy with ours. Consumer Reports also likes the Rendezvous (see my previous post for a phenomenal reliability rating on the 2004 RDV models).


    Until you have more than speculation ... that's all you've got.
  • Hi jk27,

       I see you are a lawyer so that explains why you like to argue.Well,I'm a farmer from a Swedish back ground that likes to argue too.(grin)I see that a few years back you were giving advice to fellow RDV owners about invoking the lemon law.Hmmmm!


       I never made the quote "How many RDV's Are Out There With No Complaints?You Dont Know.There Goes Your Theory" That was by imadazol97.


       By the way I'm not bashing the RDV.I'm bashing GM for not putting some quality in them.Weve driven nothing but Buicks for many years.All were practically trouble free.


       You are correct.A totally perfect vehicle has never been made but some are sure much better than others.Read completely thru the Problems and Solutions Forums for the Buick Rendezvous,Honda Pilot,and Toyota Highlander and tell me whom has the most problems and whom has the least problems.


       Its not normal for cars with under 36,000 miles to have all the following problems like some 2002-2003 RDV's do.


    Electrical-BCM after BCM

    Intake Gaskets-Head Gaskets(I see you lost head gaskets)

    AC Condensors

    Fuel Pumps

    Wheel Bearings and Hubs

    Blower Motors

    Wiper Motors


    Transfer Cases

    Dying On Hiway and Refusing to Restart.


      Show me on the Toyota and Honda Forums where they are having these problems at any kind of mileage..By the way I'm not a big Toyota or Honda fan.I'd just as soon buy American and be driving a trouble free 2002 Buick CXL RDV but I'd want a 3800 in it.I'm not a 3400 fan.


       I'll admit that the 2004-2005 RDV's seem to be doing lots better than the early ones.JD Powers only gave a 3-5(60%) reliabilty rating on the 2002's.Thats pretty poor.


       Now for BCM's.Did I say that all BCM's went bad?I said that nearly 90% of all Buick RDV's seem to be having good luck.Count your blessings that you are one of them.Its no fun to be in the 10% that werent so lucky.You act like all of us that had bad BCM's are lying.The first person on here to have a bad BCM was mmeehan on 6-30-2001.The person with the most bad BCM's was iswaidtz with 7.Think how he felt.


       Since you seem to know so much about BCM's tell me why our 2002 CXL lost 3 in a row?I'd sure love to know.Every time our CXL went to the dealer for a new one there was a 5-10 day wait because they were on back order as so many were going bad.The new one would last one week and go bad.I think that the electrical problems went way beyond the BCM but our dealer could never find anything.We took a $4,000 bath when we got rid of our RDV and would love to have that money back now as my wife has serious health issues and can no longer work.


       By the way I made up a list of every one on here thats lost a BCM and the list is pretty long.Youve been here from the start so youve read all the posts.All the old time posters seem to be gone.Either their RDV's started behaving or they traded them off.Some were having real good luck.
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    I myself went through 2 BCMs and 2 Clusters among other things and I know of a three other people (that I met at my dealer service centre) who had BCM problems. My dealer is not that big and I doubt that they can sell more 10 per year.
  • For what its worth, our 2004 CXL (3.6 doch engine) has been fine for its first 6500 miles. No problems whatsoever.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Our '04 CX with 5,000 miles is OK; just changed the oil for the first time.
  • jdks,

       Thanks for the info on problem RDV's at your local Buick dealer.I have seen your name on here before having BCM problems,etc.I'd love to see more dealer reports like yours so we can see how many RDV owners are having problems.Since so few of the 160,000 RDV owners have posted on here its hard to get a handle on things.Most of my friends would never dream of telling their vehicle problems on the internet so just keep quiet.


        The rate at dealers in my area is 25% of the RDV owners with problems and 75% with no problems.This would most likely be on the 2002-2003 models.Like I've said before one dealer we know of has had 3 total lemons out of probably less than 30 RDV's sold.Thats far-far too many.


       I'm not berating any RDV owners nor their vehicles.I'd just like to see Buick build a quality product and stand behind it.We'd still own our 2002 CXL if the quality was there.It had lots of features that we liked.


       OK,now for the good news.Maybe there is possibly a fix for the BCM problems.I found this at another place.Please read this below.I wish I knew how to highlight it.


     I am a auto body tech for a buick dealer in FL. I also own a 04 RDV and love it. I have only had one warranty issue and that was the two front window regulators. I had to replace them because they were making noise. The right side was broken and the window was going up and down crooked. GM needs to redesign these regulators and make them out of some kind of metal instead of plastic. VW has recalled the Jetta because of the same thing and the new regulators are made of cast alluminum. If this vehicle was in a climate with snow and ice it wouldn't last a week. My vous only has 3000 miles.

    The only other things I see common on these SUVs, are the rear hatch and of course the BCM. There is a recall on the hatch. The fix for the BCM I had handled the first day I owned it. It required a $2.00 hose that catches the water from your AC units condensation and deverts it to the outside. This hose is necessary to keep the water from running down the inside of the firewall under your carpet. The water travels to a pocket in the body that contains the BCM. The pocket fills up with water and shorts out the BCM. If you have a dealer that is reputable have this hose installed right away or you will have problems.


       I'd say that this is well worth trying.
  • I have posted several messages in the past and I am still loyal to my rendezvous. I am still happy with my 2003 cxl. I respect and feel for people who have had trouble. I have not and I would buy this vehicle again. As I have said before it is to bad people want to use this rdv section to praise honda and toyota. I know and other people know those vehicles ratings are based on just as much on opinion and what is vogue than reality. The Highlander certain is not in my opinion for my money in the same class as rdv.
  • I have a 2003 FWD CXL with 53,000 miles on it. I won't say they are trouble-free, I had to have the passenger mirror replaced under warranty as the recall feature wasn't working right, and I had to replace the window regulator out of warranty. Overall though I love the car and I'd buy a new one again if I were a rich man. I am sorry that others have had problems, but I wanted to chime in on my experience halfway to 100K.
  • Bought my wife a 2003 model CXL...fully loaded out...approaching 36k miles. Had the service engine soon light come said it was the "fuel vapor pressure sensor" and replaced it under warranty....price was $98 but warranty covered it. Dealer also told me it had no effect on performance of car. It's about time for some new tires, but at that mileage that is expected. The only real problem I have with this car is MY WIFE NOT TAKING CARE OF IT. She throws empty soda cans on the floor which I have to clean weekly, and I have to remember to take it for regular oil changes.
    Our local buick dealer is awesome. The service department is awesome. Come to think of it my 99 century limited only was in service once--THE DAY I SIGNED THE PAPERS ON IT so they could check fluids and stuff....same with my 2002 2004 Century went to the dealer once, and that was because I BROKE the a/c control switch...
    JD power had buick ranked higher than Toyota for 2001...could it be the sleeping giant has woken up? In fact Lexus was number 1, Buick was number 2 in quality. Too bad their Century's take such an [non-permissible content removed]-kicking in depreciation. In my opinion they are a better value than toyota, DEPRECIATION aside.

    For the Rendezvous...No complaints. No problems. And I would buy another one.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    Are you taking depreciation based on the 'real' selling price after rebates and discount from negotiations? Compare that with a Toyota where I'm told they try to add on extra hundreds of dollars as document fees or other fees required by the dealer owner and then check the depreciation.

    I'll take the car where I can get parts quickly. And where the dealer appreciates my business.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • I have read all the messages about problems with squeeky brakes. Has anyone been able to get their brakes fixed? I own a 2004 CXL and it has had squeeky brakes from day one. My dealer has tried to fix them but they say nothing is wrong with them and it is normal. Obviously this is not an adequate answer. Please let me know if anyone has found a solution to the squeeky brakes.
  • I have had my 03 for 53000 miles and 19 months. Never once have the brakes made a squeal. Keep hounding them while you are under warranty. Good Luck
  • Over 7,000 miles of mainly stop n go traffic on our 04 CXL and no brake squeal. I'd say it's limited to your rdv and should be a warranty issue.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    2002 Rendezvous CXL here with 38,000 miles. No squeaky brakes in almost 3 years! Original pads. Go to a different dealer for warranty service!
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    6,000 miles on my '04 FWD CX and nary a squeak from perfectly performing brakes. My neighbor's '03 CXL FWD had the problem which was fixed under warranty. Keep after them!
  • One more thing I should say if your warranty does run out and you still have the issue; I had an ongoing problem with my passenger mirror. I asked a dealer to repair at 11000, 25000, and 34,000. They played the normal games. Finally at 48,000 I took it in for a non warranty repair and a different dealer actually fixed the mirror issue under original warranty because I had my attempts documented. The key is trying a different place as there are huge differences in dealers. Buick always asks me my experiences, but it never seems to change the offending dealer.
  • Consumer Reports recommends the '04. I have a few questions. I have a choice of AWD vs. FWD with traction control. Is there an advantage of one over the other? I've tried the car out for fit but haven't had a chance to test drive it yet. What are the general driving impressions? Is the a lot of lean in tight or sudden truns? How is it for kids. Especially new borns. Are there any "must have" vs. "nice to have" features. Any input would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Because it's the most versatile, useful vehicle we've ever owned! It drives 'like a baby carriage'- smooth, quiet, precise steering and brakes. It does lean in hard turns, but never loses its grip. The FWD, with traction control and the extra [compared to my Regal sedan] ground clearance make it an excellent snow car. Just drive carefully - no sudden changes in speed or direction - how else would you drive? AWD costs more to buy, maintain, and uses more gas, all for an occasional emergency - MAYBE. Also - the third seat is actually OK for adults; get leather because the cloth stains too easily; get the bigger engine for more pep with little gas penalty; and, nice to have but not vital, get the climate control, the 8-speaker stereo and the backup warning system. As to toting babies in it, it's the same as any SUV - higher seats than in a sedan [no bending down] and the usual carseat anchors are right there. Let us know what you decide. Good luck!
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    It depends where you live. I live in Wisconsin and we have significant snow and freezing temperatures for 4-5 months of the year. Having AWD "always on" is a very comforting thought. If I hit a patch of ice on the roadway, the AWD system automatically and immediately transfers power to my other wheels. If I did not live in a wintry state, the FWD would probably be fine.

    As for the mileage hit with AWD ... it's not an issue for me. AWD is EPA rated as 18/24 mpg. FWD is rated at 19/26. Both very respectable. As for maintenance costs with AWD ... I have not incurred ANY additional costs due to the AWD so far (I have 38,000 miles on my 2002 Rendezvous CXL), so I believe that's a red herring.

    Bottom line: AWD adds some extra security if you will be driving on snowy, icy, or wet roads. Do you want the extra security? Or do you want to save a couple of bucks?

    We also have the 3rd row seat and we haven't used it as much as I thought we would. However, you can remove the 3rd row seat by simply removing 4 bolts. Easy to do and then you can store the 3rd row seat in your garage until needed. The 3rd row is nice to have, when needed, however, and it allows us to transport 7 people pretty comfortably. 3rd row is tight, but if you want to transport adults in that row, just slide the middle row up a bit (the bench seat slides forward and backward which allows you to increase legroom for the 3rd row passengers).

    Good luck!
  • We live in snowy New England and find that our FWD '03 Rendezvous handles slippery conditions very well. In addition to the issues mentioned by jk and verdi, AWD adds extra weight to the vehicle, so the FWD has slightly peppier acceleration.

    Very happy with our Rendezvous so far. Love the way it drives overall. Would like a bit more power, but it's adequate. Very comfortable for our family of 4.

    Rarely use the third row seats, but they're good to have for the few times we've needed them. Plenty of cargo volume in the back with the third row seat folded -- almost none with it up. Also, I'm not entirely comfortable with the lack of "crush space" behind the third row seat in the event of a rear-end collision.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    It is true that the AWD Rendezvous weighs 176 pounds more than the FWD. Will this really make any performance difference when we're talking about both models weighing more than 4000 pounds? I doubt it. Consider the fact that this vehicle can carry 7 passengers ... that's alot more weight than 176 pounds!

    While I have no doubt the FWD works well in snow, I think it would be difficult, if not impossible, to disagree with the statement that the AWD works BETTER in snow. You have 4 wheels with power, versus only 2!

    It boils down to: is the extra security of AWD worth a bit more in $? That's an easy choice, in my humble opinion.

    Oh, and when the Rendezvous AWD doesn't detect any slippage (e.g. on dry pavement, everyday driving), only the front two wheels have power (helping to get better mileage). In essence, the AWD Rendezvous is a FWD Rendezvous EXCEPT when wheel slippage occurs.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    with you that the extra weight of AWD can't mean much, especially when compared to the possibility of much more weight carrying 1 to 6 passengers. However, as you note, the AWD EPA mileage rating is still slightly lower - about 1 or 2 mpg, for whatever reason [different gearing?]. It's my experience that difference can be overcome with a light foot; even at today's gas prices it's <$100/year for me, but, call me crazy, it bothers me. For the record, I've seen little difference in mpg with 2 or 7 people aboard.

    I also can't argue with the 'AWD is BETTER in snow' statement, although I'd like it even better if Stabilitrak were added. But, it's also true that NO drive system can keep you safe in slippery conditions if you go too fast, make a sudden change in speed or direction, or hit some 'black ice' or the like.

    My 3rd car, a '98 Jeep Cherokee Sport with 4WD, a much cruder version of the Rondy's AWD I'll admit, has an advantage only in deep snow or mud where the pulling power of 4 wheel traction has saved the day a few times. It gains NOTHING in icy going.

    I've driven 2WD cars in snow for decades, and I can say that the FWD Rondy is one of the best ever. As to whether AWD is worth a 'few bucks', that's an individual call. Just MHO.

    PS - Do they still ask people in Wisconsin to tie pennants to their car antennas, the better to be seen coming around those all-winter snowbanks?
  • It's a great SUV for kids! I have 4 (ages 15-7)and our RDV (w/third row seat) carries them, their friends and all of their school supplies and sports equipment with ease. The seats are very comfortable and the kids have no problems getting in or out, even from the third row. While a basic RDV comes fairly well equipped, some nice features to have are the third row seat, 6-way power driver's seat, driver's information center (w/tire monitor feature), On-Star, and rear parking aid. Our RDV is a 2003 CX AWD (w/CX Plus Pkg.) and has all those features and a few more. As for the FWD vs. AWD concern and comments, I would only add that the AWD would probably give you better resell or trade-in value later. Overall, a great family SUV for the price IMO. Good luck
  • jjn2jjn2 Posts: 1
    Have FWD CXL with 16K miles and have been very pleased overall. After 7 Pontiac minivans, My wife and I both love the vehicle for its ride, seat comfort and features. Have had warranty problem with the rear hatch and also needed to have the whole wiper assembly replaced as wipers had a mind of their own on intermittent cycle. Currently have occasional problems with a clicking sound coming from the steering wheel when in reverse and applying the brake. When this happens, the doors will also not unlock when gear placed in park, and also will not alarm from the key fob. Has anyone experienced this problem? It will never do it at the dealer and they cannot duplicate the condition on two different occasions. Still a minor annoyance, but would definitely consider another one when lease is up.
  • Hello!
    I have a question... I own a 2002 cx model with the cxl upgrades. I have 41000 miles on it and purchased the car 3 months ago. First and foremost. We love the car! But, the temp guage moves up and down during a relatively short drive. My wife drove appx. 1 mile and the temp gauge maxed out, then, it would go to the normal level on the guage. Seems to have enough rad. fluid in the resavoir. No leaks, no steam. I let it idle for about 10/15 minutes. Noticed the temp guage fluctuated. Any answers/suggestions?
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