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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was anxiously awaiting a chance to drive the new 3.6 Rendezvous and finally did today. I was dissapointed with the power. It has very little low end and doesn't really kick in until 4500 RPM. This is not a range that is very usable for most Rendezvous customers. Off the line it did not feel any better than a 3.4 version. The only purpose for this engine in this vehicle that I can see is to say that we have a DOHC motor with VVT. In the real world, it does not get the job done.

Some informal testing on a favorite straight stretch of blacktop adds to the problem. All 4 of the following were run through the same stretch from a standing start on the same day.

Rendezvous 3.6: 76 MPH
Ranier V8: 85 MPH
Colorado Z71 Crew Cab: 79 MPH
Impala SS: 95 (hard to hook up at the start, traction control kicked in twice).

I think that the upcoming 3.9 will be a much better engine for heavy SUVs, and cars as well, even if it is "ancient" OHV technology. I'll take ancient that works and costs less to build any day, plus the 3.9 will have VVT......
 

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Here's the problem:

Cadillac CTS w/ same engine:
Curb Weight (Automatic Transmission)3568

Rendezvous Ultra:
Curb Weight (Automatic Transmission) 4250

700 pounds more -- that's like a couple of Sumo wrestlers in the back seat of your CTS.

That's too bad. I agree that I'd like to see the 3.9L be employed in a lot of GM vehicles. As far as I'm concerned its new, has VVT, and will be a great engine. I was really hoping they would use the 3.9L in the CSV's, but they are going with the Malibu's weaker 3.5 instead. Hope they add it later, and also make it the standard Rendezvous engine, or at least up the base Rendezvous to the 3.5L.
 

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That's too bad. I agree that I'd like to see the 3.9L be employed in a lot of GM vehicles. As far as I'm concerned its new, has VVT, and will be a great engine. I was really hoping they would use the 3.9L in the CSV's, but they are going with the Malibu's weaker 3.5 instead. Hope they add it later, and also make it the standard Rendezvous engine, or at least up the base Rendezvous to the 3.5L.
Yeah, I kind of think this is a case of "be careful what you wish for."

At the same time, though, as Buick has been saying all along, the 3.4L's response in comparison to the Lexus RX isn't all that different either. It has a lot more to do with perception and torque than hp.

I'm curious, though, about how the transaxle works with the 3.6 vs. the 3.4, as its tendency to hunt with the 3.4's modest upper powerband was a major complaint.

As for the 3.9, we will -very- likely see it in the CSV's, though not right away. And while I agree that the 3.5 will be "just fine," the 3.9 would go a long way toward making them better, especially the Terraza.

Ghrankenstein
 

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The Rendezvous is no lightweight, especially the Ultra with Versatrak and all the goodies. I'm sure that if you ran the same accelleration test with a 3400 Rendezvous and a 3.6 DOHC Rendezvous you would clearly see a difference.

3400 Rendezvous -185hp
3.6 DOHC Rendezvous-255hp
Ranier V8-285hp
Colorado -220hp
Impala SS-240hp

All the cars you compared the 3.6 to were all probably much lighter cars, with the possible exception of the Ranier, which cant be that much heavier than the 4200lb Rendezvous.

It would probably feel a little more spunky in a FWD CX or CXL Rendezvous, than the heavier AWD Ultra.

Though I must say that an all black Rendezvous Ultra with the navigational system and moonroof would be a very nice car to own!
 

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The most important issue it what is the gear ratio in the Renedvous?
Secondly, it has a 4 speed auto with a 3.06 1st gear vs. the 3.52 in the
SRX, CTS.
I have a driven the SRX V6 and it feels like a 7.5 sec 0-60 vehicle, which is not slow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have not tried a 3.4 Rendezvous on the same test, but that is a good idea. I have driven the 3.6 again and I feel that a 5 or 6 speed auto would help alot. The closer ratios would allow it to stay in the power band better while still maintaining fuel economy.

I still feel that for as heavy as a Rendezvous is, it needs more low end torque than this engine has to offer....
 

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Originally posted by Ghrankenstein@Feb 21 2004, 02:42 PM
[As for the 3.9, we will -very- likely see it in the CSV's, though not right away. And while I agree that the 3.5 will be "just fine," the 3.9 would go a long way toward making them better, especially the Terraza.
Not to mention the pleasure it would bring having an SV6 put a Honda Odyssey in its proper place - the rear view mirror. ;)
 

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Its just MORE PROOF that DOHC/4VPC is not REALLY that BIG a deal when geared the same as a pushrod 2VPC unit.When the 3.9L comes out there will be more PROOF of this when it gets better fuel economy as it delivers the same performance as the (MORE ADVANCED) OHC competiters.
 

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You know, this engine introduction might not be entirely about performance. What is Buick's new raison d'etre? To be the American 'Lexus' (man that hurts to type). The 3.6L is an infinitely smoother engine, with superb NVH compared to the old 3.4/3.5. That dovetails quite nicely with the 'refined luxury' image Buick is trying to portray.

While more power is always needed, in this case, the other attributes that the 3.6L VVT brings to the table are more welcome additions.
 

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not to ignore the engine discussion... but i took a close look at some rendezvous on a dealers lot last night, and they are very well executed vehicles. growing on me more and more as time goes on. i hope buick is careful not to let them get stale... they're well regarded, from what i've heard, and can hold their own with the MDX and RX330. i have a 21 year old buddy who's considering buying his first car... and his top choice is the rendezvous! not quite the intended market... but i think it's THAT appealing. well done buick!
 
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