If you are looking for a large SUV, but do not want a vehicle as large or as expensive as a Yukon, the GMC Envoy is a good option. The midsized SUV is available in two different models, the Envoy and the Envoy Denali. With top-tier suspension, it is capable of towing a trailer or a boat, and the roomy interior makes it a great family vehicle.
Even though you cannot purchase a brand new GMC Envoy, there are older models on the pre-owned market. If you are worried about gas consumption, start your search with the 2005 model year when mpg improved. For the 2005 Envoy model, GMC included a Displacement on Demand feature on the V8 engine that shut down four cylinders during gentle driving times in order to make the vehicle more fuel efficient. Also, in mid-2005, the Envoy Denali and XL Denali models were introduced to attract consumers looking for a posh ride.
From 2003 until 2007 GMC offered a 5-passenger, regular length Envoy and a 7-passenger, extended-length option. The Envoy XLs featured a wheelbase that was 16 inches longer than the standard Envoy’s wheelbase, an elevated roofline and a third-row seat. Both the Envoy XL and the Denali XL are good options for people with larger families or moms who drive their children and their children’s friends to various activities.
Smaller changes were made to the Envoy models during other model years—an anti-skid system was added in 2006. Side-curtain airbags were added in 2008. A wireless cell-phone link became available on 2009 models. According to GMC's product information, the 2009 model also features adjustable foot pedals, making it easy to find a comfortable driving position. A rear-seat DVD player was an option, which is a good feature if you have children.
Overall, the GMC Envoy is a smart choice for most people looking for a midsize SUV. You can find used models that have features like the optional DVD player that are geared towards families as well as features, like its towing capabilities and cargo space, that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and people looking for a reliable work vehicle.
The 2009 GMC Envoy—the last year the SUV was made—features a rollover sensor that is designed to automatically deploy the side curtain airbags if the vehicle rolls over in an accident. It also features electronic stability control, antilock brakes and daytime running lights.
After completing a series of crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the GMC Envoy an “Acceptable” rating for the front moderate overlap on Envoy models produced between 2005 and 2009. This is a vast improvement over previous model years—from 2002 to 2004 the Envoy’s moderate overlap flap had a “Marginal” rating and models before that had a “Poor” rating. The IIHS has also given the vehicle a "Marginal" rating for side crash tests and a "Poor" rating for head restraints and seats on every model year that was rated.
NOTEWORTHY ABOUT THE GMC ENVOY
- All models feature OnStar 8.0 which includes Advanced Crash Response System. This means that crash info will be available to 911 centers so that they may send the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.
- The Envoy Denali trim has a robust, all-aluminum Vortec 5.3-liter V8. It delivers 300 horsepower and 321 lb.-ft. of torque. This makes the Envoy Denali a class leader in standard towing capability--reaching 6,600 pounds with 2WD models.