ASH FORK, Ariz. — Cruising I-40 west from Flagstaff on a cushy test drive, our luxurious sport-utility wagon follows paths of the historic Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe rail line and old Route 66 in a descent from the Colorado Plateau of northern Arizona. Ponderosa pine forests in the White Mountains gradually cede to hardy high desert vegetation like juniper, yucca and sage.
What a way to go. Perched high on ultrasoft leather-bound buckets, we tour the West in sublime comfort surrounded by trappings of luxury, with Zebrano wood dotting the doors and console and a symphony of melodic CD sounds flowing from six speakers of the deluxe Bose stereo system. Warm light filters softly through a glass sunroof as sensors in the climate-control system compensate for any heat gain and subtly maintain cabin temperature at a preferred level for comfort.
The list of practical equipment is impressive as well –- traction for all wheels; anti-lock disc brakes; automatic load-leveling suspension; heated rearview mirrors; high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps; on-board trailer equipment, including platform hitch and harness; and even the latest in navigation and communication gear with satellite link to global positioning satellites (GPS) and OnStar's staff on call to find roadside attractions or to summon help.
Envoy to luxury
What's the deal with such special wheels?
1999 GMC Envoy interior
The Envoy’s interior contains every imaginable luxury device, like automatic climate control, trip computer, CD changer, and buttery leather seats.
We're floating along in an Envoy, latest luxury vehicle to come from the GMC Truck Division of General Motors. The Envoy is a sturdy midsize sport-utility wagon, one in which the outfitters went positively manic in specifying every conceivable component for luxury, comfort and convenience.