Last post on Jan 06, 2008 at 7:26 PM
You are in the Buick Rendezvous
What is this discussion about?
Buick Rendezvous, Suspension, SUV
#26 of 132 Roll Over ratings???
Sep 27, 2007 (8:28 pm)
For my wife's 2003 RDV, its Roll Over rating is 3 stars out of 5. For more details, surf contents of "NHTSA ROLLOVER RESISTANCE RATING" within:
To me, 3 out of 5 for a family focus mini-SUV that's driving 90% of the time in our little village (doing under 30 mph) is "good enough". Probably explains why my yearly insurance on my wife's 2003 FWD RDV is actually "less" then our previous 2001 2 door FWD SunFire car.
As explained above, its factory suspension for ride comfort and roll over risk is "good enough" for me (as well).
Hopefully, 3 out of 5 stars is the same rating that's in your "most dangerious for roll over" reports as well...
Sep 27, 2007 (9:35 pm)
you are right, the link is no longer working. try these:
btw, i've cut and pasted the contents of the article below. KEEP IN MIND that the authors of this article did not use conventioan NHSTA ratings, they went by their own guidelines and standards which they felt better reflected safety. So it's just another thing to look at.
And also again, I never said I was going to spend tons of $ to turn my minivan platform vehicle into a sports car. Replacing shocks/struts will cost me $600 parts and labor at the most. If I keep the car over 60k it is recommended to replace shocks/struts as part of "maintenance" anyway, so no $ is really even lost...
FROM THE ARTICLE: "The consensus among several safety experts we asked is that the best way to predict how dangerous or safe a new vehicle will be comes from looking at the way it's configured, particularly with respect to several important factors — side-impact protection, stability control and rollover risk — that together span a wide range in real-world safety.
That's what we did. Topping the list of the least safe: the Buick Rendezvous, the Ford Ranger/Mazda B-Series, the Nissan Frontier, the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner and the Toyota Yaris.
While generally heavier SUVs and pickups are at an advantage in multi-vehicle accidents, they've been shown to be at quite a disadvantage in single-vehicle accidents (such as when the driver falls asleep, or loses control swerving around a deer), which comprise 43 percent of fatal accidents.
In this type of accident, SUVs and pickups have more than double the chance of rolling over, according to NHTSA data. This risk relates closely to overall federal fatality data, showing that SUVs and pickups generally have a higher fatality rate than cars of a similar weight.
Electronic stability control systems, which smartly apply the brakes on one or more of the wheels as best to avoid loss of vehicle control in an extreme maneuver, have been offered for more than a decade in some luxury and high-performance vehicles, but the technology has been trickling down to most mainline brands over the past several model years.
NHTSA has called it the most significant development since the seatbelt, and the federal government has mandated electronic stability control, but not until the 2012 model year. NHTSA estimates that the stability-control mandate will prevent up to 9,600 fatalities and 238,000 injuries annually, at an average cost of $111 per vehicle in addition to the cost of anti-lock brakes, which most vehicles already offer as standard equipment or as an option."
note - rdv apparently does not have stability control..
#28 of 132 according to forbes, 3 out of 5 rating is "abysmal"
Sep 27, 2007 (9:38 pm)
from the first link:
"The minivan-based Rendezvous helped bring new customers to Buick dealerships, thanks to the Tiger Woods ad campaign behind it. But after the 2007 model year, the Rendezvous, with its abysmal three-star (out of five) NHTSA frontal impact rating, is history, to be replaced by the 2008 Buick Enclave, a crossover SUV with a full roster of standard safety equipment."
#29 of 132 reason for rating
Sep 27, 2007 (9:58 pm)
if you read the article carefully, their "criteria" was 1. side impact protection, 2. rollover rating and 3. stabilitrack.
this must be at least in part, the reason it earned the most dangerous vehicle award. it must lack all 3 of these things.
#30 of 132 cost effectiveness
Sep 27, 2007 (10:02 pm)
btw, i forgot to mention, while i think i don't think i could cost effectively fix the side impact or lack of stabilitrack problem, the rollover issue is more easily fixed and also can be done quite cost effectively (changing shocks) in comparsion.
#31 of 132 Re: cost effectiveness [hawaiianguy]
Sep 28, 2007 (5:53 am)
Before fixing your RDV to try and lower its roll over "risk rating", may I suggest you contact the author. Ask them to clearly identify if their "roll over" ratings are based on sudden "U-turns" (for hiway "road junk" avoidance), based on getting hit from the side, from too fast speed around a sharp corner, or for other reasons. For example, when the vehicle skids sideways on dry pavement, its front tires dig in and "over she goes". This is caused from tires and too high of upper gravity problem. Based on their detailed feedback, you can then decide to upgrade the front suspension of your RDV, decide to upgrade the rear suspesnion of your RDV, or if their "reason for roll over" can never be changed. For example, no amount of suspension upgrades will stop a vehicle from rolling over - if it gets hit from the side with a higher then normal bumper (on the other vehicle).
I read your artical several times (thanks for posting it) and still, I don't see "any meat" (sort of speaking) in their statements. At first, I read it has a rating of 3 stars out of 5 but then, they rate it the worst of the 20 other vehicles. If having 3 is bad, it sounds like they dramatically lowered the minimum bar (sort of speaking). Within their article, I read lots of high level and emotional words but to me, there's no exact "detailed reasons" why "they feel" the RDV has dangerious roll over risk. And since my yearly insurance on the RDV is less then my previous sports car, my insurance company isn't too worried about RDV roll overs either. Or, they'd be sending me all sorts of warning notices and my RDV's insurance would be triple its current rate (due to its extreme risk).
As explained above, I do feel the RDV suspension (on my wife's 2003 FWD model) can be a little more firmer. Especially when its rear cargo is under heavy load. It could even use better HD shocks - to "tighter her up" on the sharp corners. But I really don't believe the RDV model have dramatic roll over risks (from "too soft" of factory suspension).
Seriously... Do check with the author. Would be nice to read "their meat" (sort of speaking) - to better understand why they rated the RDV with such high roll over risk (yet still gave it 3 out of 5 stars in the roll over section).
Sep 28, 2007 (9:11 am)
like I said, I am pretty meticulosu about maintenance.. i do regular oil changes, air filters, brakes, trans fluid/filter, fuel filter etc. and righ now i only have 38k. the thing is, again, i see shocks as a "maintenance" item that should be done around 60k anyway. right now they don't even make hd shocks for the front (no mfg does, from what i can tell). therefore, right now my only option is to get hd for the rear.
anyway, i don't see it as "fixing" the rdv. if i have to replace the shocks/struts ANYWAY (because like tires, they are a maintenance item), when I DO have to replace them, I am going to upgrade them at the same time. Hopefully by 60k or 70k someome will have come out w/ hd for the front and rear.
likewise, I feel the integrity tires's aren't the greatest and they are noisy. my wear bars are starting to show. my plan is to get michelin hydro edge to replace them soon. of course, another brand of tire would do, even the goodyear comfortread which seems to have better noise ratings.
in any case, i dont' see it that i would be "fixing" my rdv when upgrading shocks/struts. like the tires, I would be uprgrading when I had to replace them anyway. It's like switching over to synthetic oil (which I have) when you have to change your oil anyway.
From my point of view, I wouldn't need to contact the author, because I'm not really wasting any $. I'm just upgrading a maintenance item when the time comes to replace it...
#33 of 132 not being too analytical of their article
Sep 28, 2007 (9:25 am)
by the way, i'm not being overly analyitcal of their article. i understand they are not specific. but they are a respected magazine and they seem to have qualified "experts" which make a lot of sense about the things they say in their article. everyone knows that suv's have high rollover rates and also it may be obvious that the rdv does not have side impact airbags nor stabilitrac. so i am taking their word for it to a certain point. the fact that rdv is "#1" as being most dangerous on their list, is pretty bad. I mean, it might not be so bad being #15 or #20, but #1??
Anyway, even if their rating system is slightly off, if rdv is #1, that means that something is still wrong in the vehicle. Even if giving it some leeway, it would probably still end up in the top 20.
Of course, you have to get into a bad accident for it to count. Either a bad multi vehicle or single vehicle crash. Not everyone is going to get into such a crash in the rdv.
Anyway, I see no harm and also no additional cost ot upgrading maintenance items (such as tires and shocks/struts) with a view to upgradinng and increasing safety, when they have to be replaced anyway. Why would I just replace them with the oem factory replacement when I have to spend the labor and costs anyway? I may not be able to "fix" all the problems, but I sure can make a little difference by doing so. Maybe my car with better tires and shocks would be #20 instead of a #1.....
#34 of 132 Really think about what's in an article...
Sep 28, 2007 (10:04 am)
If I posted an article stating a certain brand of vehicle has safey concerns (yet, rate it at 3 out of 5 and at the same time & splat on front page its the worst roll over vehicle on the road), you'd think someone would question the details.
Since I know the article lacks "meat of any kind", I dismiss it. Another artical from a person who's never crawled under a vehicle or never held an air bag in their hand. Some folks seems to grasp the article and go into a frency. Frency as if that ariticle was the truth and no other "lack of" backup data matters. Read between their lines. They rate it 3 out of 5 (in their own words) then they rate RDV the worst roller over vehicle. Sorry, one can't have it both ways!!! If that's so, give it a 5 out of 5, and all insurance companies, DMV and DOTs would go into a frency as well. Frency to demand recalls or take the vehicle off the road.
The article (in your first post) isn't about maintenance. It isn't about how to look for worn out suspension parts and it isn't about suggestiong ALL owners should remove (or firm up) its factory suspension. This article is about getting people "into a frenzie" - to do something with their RDVs. For some, they read the statement "RDV is worst for roll overs" and they immeaitely want to sell their RDV. For others, they want to perform mass suspension upgrades. Not only suspension upgrades but "aggressive upgrades". Yet, this article does NOT explain where to upgrade - to reduce roll overs.
If you really want to upgrade the suspension on your RDV (because its "your want" and NOT someone else driving the need) then by all means, go for it. Its your RDV.. Take your RDV to many different suspension shops, get them to "analyze it out" and get them to do the work. They are specialists and if you got the spare dollars, they will even remove the entire RDV chassis and place on a Race Car drive train. That's what suspension specialists do. They take factory and make them even better.
I do warn many that if you read any artical (like the one above) stating that RDV is the worst for roll overs, do ask why (the detailed whys), and do ask how they can prove their statements. In the article, I don't "see their meat". Sorry but I really don't see proof (direct and indirect proof) behind their statements. Thus, I ain't buying the contents in their statements.
BTW: If my RDV was the worst on the market for roll overs, my insurace rate would be triple, and both DMV/DOTs would be yanking it off the road. My RDV insuracne is actually "less" then my previous sports car. Go Figure!!!!
Hope this helps as well...
Sep 28, 2007 (11:51 am)
You can dismiss the article, that's up to you. I myself am taking it with a grain of salt. Like anything else, it may not be 100% correct, but there may be "some" truth to it.
I already had in mind the idea to upgrade the shocks/struts before the article came out. So it only reinforced my own opinion that the suspension was a bit soft. I personally like cars that handle better.
I THINK YOU ARE MISSING MY POINT. I am not trying to "MAKEOVER" my suspension. ALL I WANT TO DO is find heavy duty shocks for all 4 corners and that is not going to cost me more than $600 to install. If I could find them, I would install them today. IF not, I am going to wait until 60 or 70k when they need to be replaced anywyay, and hope someone makes them by then.
You can bash the article all you want. If I was "scared" by the article I'd be selling my car. The article is NOT the reason I want to upgrade my suspension, it only confirmed my previous supspicions that the SUV's, vans and trucks in general may not be as safe (in fact the article says in a single car crash SUV's are worse, but better in multi-vehicle crash due to being bigger and heavier and more robust).
I'm not saying everyone should sell their RDV, just saying the article "may" have some truth to it. By the same token, your idea to "completely dismiss" it seems a bit ignorant as well (no offense meant). Again, I am taking it with a grain of salt and honestly I think the truth lies somewhere in between your position and theirs.