2006 Buick Rendezvous CX 3.5 litre from North America


The most underrated vehicles built in years


(1) Alternator replaced as part of a recall. Alternator light would come on for a few seconds at a time, usually as I was under medium to hard acceleration going up hills.

Upon this first stop at the dealer, I got the impression that they thought I was a little nutty with this issue. I at least got it scanned for free under warranty, and my complaint about the battery light was on record with them. They couldn't find anything wrong.

I brought it back a few months later, hoping maybe they would be able to help me some more with it. They had a recall notice from GM saying they were to replace the alternator with a newer heavier duty one. The heavier duty one was a 100 amp unit. The service tech told me it was significantly beefier than the one he replaced. I had to leave the car with the dealer overnight, because they didn't have the part in stock. I got a free loaner in the meantime.

The car, being an 06, had a new 3.5 litre engine, and not the typical 3.4 liter that lacks good reliability, like in past years of the vehicle's history. The repair was more difficult than the 3.4 litre type, because in the 3.5 litre engine, the alternator is in the back right next to the engine block, it looks impossible to get at for servicing.

The next day it was fixed, and on the way home the light came on again. I let it go for a few months of time, because it was very sporadic and wasn't hurting the performance of the car at all. I realized that it was an annoyance, but I don't feel it was being a problem, because the car worked perfectly, whether the light came on or not. It never has stayed on for more than 5 seconds at a time at the most, and as I stated above, I can go months and months between it lighting up on the dashboard.

I went back again a few months later to see if they had a new true fix for the alternator light coming on. They gave me a printout from GM in Michigan, stating that GM is fully aware of the light coming on under the same conditions I stated above. They were working on it, and have not issued a repair for it yet. It went onto say that they were not going to recommend replacement of the alternator to a beefier type, because that was not a solution to the problem. I was happy to hear that, because I got a free and better alternator that was new on a car, that at the time had 20,000 miles on it.

I still haven't seen a solution to the alternator light coming on yet, but the light has not come on for a number of weeks now, so maybe it's working its way through the electrical system. Who knows?

I haven't had any problems of any sort really with the car, outside of this battery light coming on and the wiper motor. I have never had a car this new with a wiper motor breaking on me, but I have owned a number of different cars over the years, so anything is possible.

Both repairs were fully covered under the warranty. I bought the car with the 4 year, 50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty free with the cost of the vehicle. Unfortunately, it didn't come with the GM 5 year/100,000 mile warranty on the power train, but a few months back GM extended the 5 year/100,000 warranty to include my car, which is nice, but I realize that GM feels they will not have any repair issues with my car due to its reliability history, so I expect no problems with the power train based on that alone, aside from the fact the power train is first rate, and has never been an issue.

(2) Front windshield wiper motor. I went to the dealer for the wiper motor replacement that died during a downpour, THANK YOU RAIN-X for your product. Thankfully, I use that stuff, it got me to work and then to the dealership once I called them to bring it in for repair. They didn't have the wiper motor that day, no surprise there, I wasn't expecting them to have it available the same day, but they got it in the next morning and fixed it the same day. I got a free loaner in the meantime.

General Comments:

I absolutely love the car.

The front visibility is superb. I love the occupant seating height, because it sits high just like an SUV.

It has reasonable power, is roomy, and the fit and finish is every bit as good as anything the Japanese can put together, and the MPG is very nice. I got when I last checked it, 26.7 MPG on the highway over a 220 mile trip. I average about 20.5 MPG around town in mixed driving.

I have the FWD car; it also has traction control. I didn't get the AWD type that was available for 2006 (2007 are only FWD). The turning radius is quite tight, and the ride is absolutely first rate.

The only issue is that it is difficult to see out of the rear window because it sits up kind of high, but I bought an after market rear view back up color camera that I effortlessly hooked up to electrical system, and now there is no problem seeing out of the rear of the car.

I would absolutely buy another one if I was in the market for another car. I love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2007

2nd Feb 2007, 17:49

If I had those servicability issues on a brand new vehicle, I would be concerned. In all the years of owning cars, I have never had a wiper motor fail.

24th Feb 2007, 18:45

I bought a 2006 RDV in November of 05. It is the worst, most unreliable piece of junk you can imagine. It has spent so much time in the dealer shop that my neighbor thought the loaner they gave me WAS my new car! Transmission, front struts, power steering unit, gears in stearing box all gone bad and had to be replaced in 8 month.

The car only has 8000 miles, I am a 65 year old lady who is not a hot rod driver, and the thing will not get more than 13 mpg!

24th Feb 2007, 22:17


Gm has had a big problems with windshield wiper motor for years. In fact, Gm had a recall on them. It didn't help me when they failed in a heavy rainstorm. Later on GM did reimburse me for the wiper motor. This was due to the recall however.

2006 Buick Rendezvous clx 3.5 from North America


Buick designs and builds during Monster Garage

General Comments:

I had this for a rental car and I am in the market for an SUV/crossover type vehicle. I was not at all impressed with this product and I think the company should be embarrassed for manufacturing this product in this day and age. Have they even seen what else is out there.. Come on.

Not nearly up to the competition. Buick/GM seemed to have slapped this thing together quickly to have a product on the market in this category.

Things I like: Outside looks are OK, actually I change my mind. I liked nothing.

Things I disliked the most:

-Sound system sucks, way too boomy and muffled. Have heard $50 boom-boxes that sound better than this stereo.

-Fit and finish. Very poor at today's standard. So much stuff seems like an afterthought like the trunk storage, dashboard, sliding temperature controls (from 1970's pickup truck), vent placements...

-Poor interior lighting for driver. Try reading a map at night using the interior lights...horrible.

-Tailgate is too heavy to lift.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th September, 2006

27th Sep 2006, 18:11

I am a little skeptical, and cannot help, but wonder whether you programmed yourself to dislike this vehicle before you even stepped foot in it. Most of your comments are highly subjective. You are certainly entitled to like or dislike any car you choose, and might very well have your reasons for genuinely disliking this one. But, I wonder if you would be saying the same things, if the vehicle were a Honda or Toyota.

I just state my above comments because GM seems to be everybody's favorite car company to nit-pick. They may have made their mistakes in the past, and like any other car company in business, are probably making some now. I will admit I do not have any personal experience with the Rendevous, but I see the engineering and longevity testing going into most (not all) new GM vehicles, and think they the new GMs have excellent quality, and an excellent line of vehicles.

Go ahead import car lovers, tell me I am wrong, or point out a bad apple or two among predominantly successful lineup. I am sure I could superimpose an almost identical list from any other car maker, foreign or domestic, with very similar results. But the bottom line is most rantings I see against American cars (not saying this reviewer falls into this category) are based on preconceived notions, or an unwillingness to accept that past mistakes could have possibly been corrected.

I have faith in my country, and will always give it the benefit of the doubt. For the record, I have had owned several GM vehicles, including presently a 2003, and loved/love each one of them. With the exception of routine maintenance and a bad alternator on one after 120,000 trouble-free miles, have not had a single problem. If there is something wrong with that, I would like to know.

I have regrettably owned a few imported cars, and am not saying they were bad, except for my Mazda which went through hydraulic lash rocker arms like they were going out of style. Am I saying this is a judgement against the quality of all Japanese cars, or even all Mazdas... absolutely not.

I am an American, love America, and buy American. I would not expect a citizen of Japan or Germany to do any different for their country. I hold my head high when I drive down the road in my American cars. I cannot do that when I am driving an import. Except for the Mazda, I have not had a serious problem with any of the 12 cars I have owned, foreign or domestic.

2006 Buick Rendezvous cxl 306 vvt from North America


I purchased a 2005 Rendezvous July 2nd and after 100 miles on it the temp gauge was erratic, GM had no fix for it they tried and could not fix it so they bought the truck back after 3 months of negotiating,and gave me a 2006 Rendezvous on Sept 28th. This one too after 109 miles the temp gauge went all the way around past hot to the six o’clock position and stayed there, so I took it to the dealer and they kept it for 4 days then they told me it is fixed picked up on Friday Oct 3rd. The truck was still doing the same thing took it back on Monday and now they want to keep it for 4 more days. They changed the cluster the first time, but it did not work. Remember, GM does not care about you once they take your money. Both times I had to file with the BBB auto line to get some action started.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th October, 2005

10th Jan 2006, 11:55

Leased a 2005 Rendezous in December, 2005. Took the vehicle on a 300 mile trip the following day. Called the dealer before returning home and complained about harsh road noise.

Tire and wind noise is BAD. Also back-up sensors didn't work. Dealer worked on sensors five or six different times before correcting problem. Dealer finally replaced tires at 3k miles. Didn't help road noise. Wind noise around right rear passenger is unbelievable.

This is the worst body assembled vehicle that I have ever owned and I'm 68 years old. No wonder the imports are taking over the U.S. market. Until GM gets serious about quality vehicles and customer service, they can count me out.