Overview & Reviews
Midsize SUVs are some of the best-selling vehicles on the market, as families and singles alike seek out their just-right compromise of space and maneuverability. The GMC Envoy had been among the eligible candidates in this segment since 1998. It was completely redesigned for 2002, and the result was additional size, power and refinement, though the Envoy was still thoroughly eclipsed by its rivals. Its last year of production was 2009.
A platform twin to the Chevy TrailBlazer (as well as Buick, Oldsmobile and Saab models), GMC's Envoy was a traditional body-on-frame SUV offered in two-wheel-drive (2WD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) configurations. Apart from styling, there were subtle differences between it and the Chevy, however. For example, the Envoy offered an optional rear air suspension (which provided a more isolating ride and balanced out heavy loads), which the TrailBlazer didn't. Engine choices included an inline-6 (with 270-291 horsepower, depending on the year) and on some models, a 5.3-liter V8 (with 300-302 hp, depending on the year).
Among traditional midsize SUVs, the GMC Envoy got lost in the pack. It had all the right features to compete in this segment, as well as a comfortable ride and decent power. But it was sullied by sloppy handing and below-average interior build and materials quality. Furthermore, although the Envoy's safety features looked up to date on paper, the SUV actually performed poorly in crash tests. For some used car shoppers, the Envoy may still be an appealing choice, but most would be better served by its more refined rivals.
Most Recent GMC Envoy Models
The second-generation Envoy debuted for 2002 and didn't change much throughout its 8-year model run. Initially, it was offered only with the 270-hp (increased to 275 hp for '03) inline-6 engine in two body styles: regular five-passenger and extended-wheelbase Envoy XL, which provided seven-passenger seating and considerably more cargo capacity. A 5.3-liter, 300-hp V8 became available on the Envoy XL in 2003 and on the regular Envoy (as part of the Denali trim) for '05. That year also saw head curtain airbags replace the front side bags. A more powerful (291-hp) inline-6 came for '06, as did newly standard stability control and cruise control. The Envoy XL was discontinued for 2007 and the Envoy itself was gone after '09.
The most common trim levels were the base SLE and leather-lined SLT; however, in '05 the ultra-plush Denali trim debuted, bringing standard V8 power, a unique grille treatment, more sound insulation and heated seats.
An unusual model called the GMC Envoy XUV was offered in 2004 and '05. The XUV was an Envoy XL stripped of its third-row seat and fitted with a retractable roof over its cargo bay. The result was a vehicle that could function as both a true SUV and a pickup. In practice, though, the multitalented but odd-looking Envoy XUV proved to be a tough sell to consumers.
The first-generation GMC Envoy was sold from 1998-2000 (there was no '01 model). It was little more than an upscale version of the midsize GMC Jimmy, which debuted in '95, and was equipped much like today's Denali. The extra amount of features didn't mask its aged chassis and old-tech V6, however, and the two together delivered a mushy ride quality and lackluster acceleration at highway speeds. Other complaints included numb steering, a large turning radius and poor brake feel. Although these early Envoys are inexpensive to buy on the used market, subpar reliability keeps us from recommending them, even to buyers interested in an old-school, truck-based SUV.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 731.00
I Hate This Car - 2004 GMC Envoy
By Laurie - January 8 - 9:58 am
At 30,000 miles the movie player died. At 85,000 miles all gauges, power/heat for seats died. Gas mileage is horrible. I get 12 miles city and 16 highway (V6). I cant understand why their isnt a recall on the dashboard gauges, its infuriating. Has completely turned me off to all GMC products.
Giving More Cash - 2006 GMC Envoy
By lsrry - December 16 - 12:00 pm
Don't buy it worst piece of junk I will never by another Chevy as long as I live I was a Chevy man never my envoy I replaced the engine pulleys ,fuel gauges, Windows modulated don't work after recall,nine recalls and the vehicle still garbage
2005 Envoy is a Keeper - 2005 GMC Envoy
By Bruce Strickland - December 5 - 6:04 pm
I bought this SUV, certified pre-owned, in 2008, preparing for a move to rural New Mexico. This Envoy's reliability has been flawless. It's gotten us through miles of extremely muddy roads with no problem. Last summer I had an Alpine car stereo installed for the USB and Bluetooth capability. My criticisms are rattling door panels and a poorly placed cupholder on the console. We had a painter do our interior last summer. He drives an older Envoy. 243,000 miles on the odometer, which tells me I can drive this one for quite a while.
Jimmy #4 & I will buy more! - 2000 GMC Envoy
By George - December 2 - 12:02 pm
When buying one or the Blazer Trannys & Ball Joints can be an issue around the 160k mark on the 4x4 models. Other then that pretty much good oil changes and turn key. When I get around the 300k mile mark I usually give them to my bro and he puts another 100k.
looks good too - 2006 GMC Envoy
By email@example.com - November 16 - 9:48 pm
great s u v
ENVOY SLT Solid as Stone Mountain - 2008 GMC Envoy
By Bill Poindexter - July 8 - 12:12 am
We purchased our 2008 GMC Envoy SLT with 10,000 miles on it and one year old. Now we have over 150,000 on it and would not trade it for anything new and free. The best way to describe the old school, body on frame, straight six SUV is SOLID. For work I have the opportunity to rent many vehicles and nothing comes close to the solid feel and stump pulling power of GM's Envoy and Trail blazer twin. My brother in law is a master mechanic and shop owner and rather than purchase a new vehicle (which he could easily afford) he chose a well cared for Trail Blazer. He is highly impressed with the bullet proof power train rugged body on frame design. I can attest it feels like you are driving a SUBSTANTIAL vehicle. The mass of power available at the slightest touch of the gas verifies what I read. The truck engine in these SUVs were over built by GM. The solid axil always stays put and signals when you are adrift in the lane resulting in a reassuring ride and stable tracking regardless of the highway condition. Newer vehicle designs may give you more storage pockets and cup holders but I value solid construction and indestructible power train as more important for getting you from A to B. Comfort is exceptionable and everything is quiet and solid inside the car. Repairs have been limited to a cracked exhaust manifold and wires chewed up by a demented squirrel. I would strongly lean toward buying a well cared for Envoy over a new vehicle just because they simply don't build them like this any more.
2006 GMC Envoy 4.2 I6 - 2006 GMC Envoy
By Ian Brown - April 12 - 10:31 pm
I used to have a Jeep Wrangler with the 2.5 liter engine and the AX5 transmission. Tons of fun to drive, but the transmission is not a drivers transmission, I smoked two of them before trading it for my Envoy. The 4.2 I6 feels stronger than what GMC gives it credit for, the Envoy has a tighter turning radius than my old Jeep! And it is absolutely wonderful to drive! It has excellent driving manners, and you can feel vehicle response in your feet and hands with nothing left vague. My cockpit space feels luxurious and my daughter cant quit raving about the lavish wood grain interior, ventilation, leather seats and well appointed use of chrome. I don't miss my jeep in the least.
2008 Envoy Winter Driver - 2008 GMC Envoy
By phoenixiv - February 25 - 1:01 pm
Just bought the wife a winter driver because the Toyota Corolla Sport can't even make it out of the driveway if it has 2 inches of snow or more. The Envoy is stable, dependable and with automatic or full time 4 wheel drive it plows through snow and ice covered roads well. Most of the time it turns around in the drive with 5-6 inches of fresh snow without 4 wheel drive engaged. The vehicle has a smooth heavy feel on the highway more like a 1/2 ton truck which we both like but it has a softer ride. Great leg room for me for a change which fits my 6' 1" frame better than most of the smaller crossovers or SUVs. The 4.2L inline six has good power and torque at both low and high speeds.
Known Issue - 2005 GMC Envoy
By Michael Petti - February 20 - 11:15 am
I had Leased a 2004 Envoy, mostly highway mileage. Towards the end of the lease had engine code for misfire cylinder4. Vehicle was turned in as the lease expired and I thought nothing of it. Purchased a Pre Owned Certified 2005 GMC Envoy SLT, in 2008. In 2010 had to replace Cam Shaft sensor, (this was early warning of problem to come). A few months ago had misfire cylinder 2, replaced the coil & plug, code cleared engine light off. Problem resolved or so I thought. Last month misfire cylinder 4, replaced coil & plug, still misfire. Had diagnosis done via computer. Low pressure in the cylinder. From the blogs on all the sites cylinder 4 & 5 seem to be issue. GM knows but dosent care
Awesome - 2005 GMC Envoy
By gm_jeepforlife - January 3 - 6:22 pm
Very Comfortable for long distance trips and reliable I have had this vehicle since 2006 and it only has 95k miles and will never get rid of it