The Car Connection GMC Envoy Overview
The mid-size GMC Envoy sport-utility vehicle was a part of General Motors' lineup from the 1998-2000 model years and through the 2002-2009 model years. The more common versions of the Envoy shared a platform with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Buick Rainier, and the Saab 9-7X, all of which were also discontinued as GM entered bankruptcy.
But first, the Envoy nameplate made its debut on a version of GMC's previous small SUV, the Jimmy, in the 1998 model year. This vehicle sported a 190-horsepower version of GM's 4.3-liter Vortec V-6, and was available with four-wheel drive and a host of more luxurious features unavailable on the Jimmy, including a sunroof, Bose audio, and power front seats. This Envoy was discontinued after the 2000 model year.
The Envoy nameplate was revived in the 2002 model year as a part of a new family of GM SUVs with a new body structure, a new in-line six-cylinder engine, and a much better balance of rugged capability and comfort. The GMC's styling was slightly different, but the powertrain was the same. The new six-cylinder displaced 4.2 liters, and was rated at 270 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. It was coupled to a four-speed automatic, and buyers could choose between rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models. The Envoy’s max tow rating was 6,600 pounds.
GM also offered a longer-wheelbase model, the Envoy XL. The higher-roofed XL was able to carry as many as seven passengers with its third-row seat; the two-row Envoy was rated at five passengers.
For 2003, the Envoy Denali came with a version of GM's 5.3-liter V-8, good for 300 horsepower. The engine was an option in other Envoy models. Navigation, satellite radio, and power-adjustable pedals became an option the following model year.
In the 2004 model year, GMC also added an unusual version of the Envoy XL to its lineup--the Envoy XUV. The XUV used the XL's higher roofline to turn itself into an open-air, bedded vehicle. A panel in its rear roof section could slide forward like a moonroof, to open the bed area, which had both a "midgate" panel that could wall off the bed from the passenger compartment, and a two-way tailgate that could be lowered or opened to the side. With all the pieces in place, the Envoy XUV gave the closed-cabin appearance of a conventional SUV. It was, predictably, a tough sell.
Across the Envoy lineup, stability control and anti-lock brakes were standard, but curtain airbags were an option. Denali models arrived in 2005, wearing a distinctive grille, wood dash trim, and leather interiors, all powered by an upgraded 5.3-liter V-8. After the 2005 model year, the Envoy XUV was discontinued.
In the 2006 model year, the six-cylinder Envoy got a power boost to 291 hp, but the XL model was dropped. For the 2007 model year, GM made tire-pressure monitors and stability control standard, and updated the Envoy's OnStar telematics system.
The Envoy's final model year was in 2009. It had already been joined in the GMC lineup by the eight-seat Acadia crossover; a new five-seat GMC Terrain crossover arrived in the 2010 model year.