2005 Envoy New Car Test Drive
The GMC Envoy name applies to a whole family of versatile, sophisticated, and comfortable SUVs and that family expands again for 2005. Two Denali models have joined the line, bringing the same machined-billet styling and ultra-luxury status associated with the Denali editions of the full-size Yukon and Yukon XL.
The Envoy comes in two sizes: regular and extra-long. The standard-length Envoy is a compelling alternative to the Ford Explorer and other mid-size SUVs. Smooth, stable, and responsive, the Envoy comes with a smooth, powerful inline six-cylinder engine that gives up nothing to the Explorer, even when the Ford is equipped with its optional V8. The Envoy is a five-passenger SUV with just two rows of comfortable seats.
The Envoy XL is the extra-long model, a stretched, long-wheelbase version of the Envoy that features third-row seating. Some buyers see the XL as a less-expensive alternative to the full-size GMC Yukon. Indeed, the Envoy XL is actually longer than the Yukon. Envoy XL can carry seven passengers, and an optional V8 engine is available. Its third row adds versatility. But because it's longer and heavier, the Envoy XL doesn't seem to handle as well as the standard Envoy, nor does it feel as reassuring as the wider Yukon.
The Envoy XUV might be the perfect vehicle for a landscape architect. It's brimming with innovation and clever engineering for those who need to haul messy stuff, like dirt, or tall things, like trees. The XUV seats five but features an all-weather cargo area designed to be cleaned out with a hose. This cargo area is sealed off from the passenger compartment when the Midgate and power rear window are closed. Need more space? Lowering the window, Midgate and rear seats reveals a pickup-like bed suitable for hauling 4x8-foot sheets of plywood. Got something tall? The rear section of the roof retracts at the press of a button, leaving a wide-open cargo area that can haul tall items like potted trees. And depending on what you're trying to load or unload, the dual-function tailgate can be dropped like that of a pickup or swung open like a door. The Envoy XUV is built on the longer wheelbase of the XL.
GMC Envoy, Envoy XL, and Envoy XUV are offered in SLE or SLT trim, each with a choice of two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). All come standard with the highly regarded, overhead-cam six-cylinder Vortec 4200 engine. A 5.3-liter overhead-valve V8 is available ($1,500) for Envoy XL and Envoy XUV. All models come with automatic transmissions.
SLE trim means manually controlled dual-zone air conditioning, CD stereo, anti-lock brakes (ABS), power windows and locks, keyless entry, an electric rear window defogger, 17-inch aluminum wheels and fog lights. An Enhanced Package ($970) for the SLE adds an overhead console with Homelink transmitter, eight-way power driver's seat, illuminated vanity mirrors and a compass in the rearview mirror.
SLT adds automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power seats for driver and passenger with memory on the driver's side, a driver information center, audio controls on the steering wheel, separate rear-seat audio controls, heated outside mirrors with turn signals, a machined finish for the aluminum wheels, and other features.
Retail prices range from $29,750 for the Envoy 2WD SLE to about $40,000 for an Envoy XUV SLT V8 4WD. Four-wheel-drive models are priced about $2,250 above their two-wheel-drive counterparts. Major options (and there are a lot of them) include head-curtain and side-impact airbags ($495), power-adjustable pedals ($150), tilt-and-slide sunroof ($800), automatic load-leveling rear suspension ($375), DVD entertainment ($1,295), XM Satellite Radio ($325), and OnStar telecommunications ($695). Electronic navigation ($1,995) and a Bose premium sound system ($495) are available for SLT models, along with an MP3 player. Discount packages bundle the sunroof with various audio and entertainment options. The 2WD models can be ordered with a locking rear differential ($270) and traction control ($175).
The Denali package for 2005 Envoy and Envoy XL models includes the 5.3-liter V8, a premium leather interior, unique styling cues, plus all of the features of the SLT. Envoy Denali models will be available with 2WD or 4WD.