|Assembly||Moraine, Ohio, United States
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States (XL/XUV)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
GMT370 (Envoy XL)
GMT305 (Envoy XUV)
|Engine||4.2 L LL8 I6
5.3 L LM4 V8
|Wheelbase||113.0 in (2,870 mm)
129.0 in (3,277 mm) (XL/XUV)
|Length||191.6 in (4,867 mm)
207.6 in (5,273 mm) (XL)
208.4 in (5,293 mm) (XUV)
|Width||74.7 in (1,897 mm)|
|Height||71.9 in (1,826 mm)
75.5 in (1,918 mm) (XL)
77.0 in (1,956 mm) (XUV)
|Successor||GMC Acadia (Envoy XL only)
The GMC Envoy (pronounced ON-voy) is an SUV from the GMC marque of General Motors. It was introduced as a high-end version of the Jimmy for the 1998 model year, the same year the Jimmy was restyled. After a short hiatus during which the Jimmy was phased out, the Envoy nameplate reappeared in the GMC line of vehicles from 2002 through 2009 as a standalone model until the unibody 5-seat Terrain and 7-seat Acadia crossovers replaced the standard and XL models, respectively; the Envoy sold alongside the Acadia from 2007-09.
The Envoy nameplate had previously used by GM in Canada in the 1960s, for imported British made Vauxhaul Victors that were sold through the Chevrolet/Oldsmobile network.
First generation (1998–2000)
The Envoy nameplate made its first appearance as a high-end trim line of the GMC Jimmy SUV, itself a clone of the Chevrolet Blazer. This version used a 190 horsepower (140 kW) 4.3L L35 Vortec 4300 V6, and was retired after the 2000 model year. Unlike the Chevrolet Blazer, the GMC Jimmy was no longer produced starting in 2001 (US only, Canada continued to receive it until 2005).
Being the top trim of the Jimmy line, the Envoy had many extra features not available on the regular Jimmy, including a remote trunk release, HID headlamps, both heated exterior mirrors and front seats, as well as a Bose audio system. Optional features included a power moonroof, a locking differential, and a power front passenger seat.
The 1998-2000 GMC Envoy had a four wheel ABS braking system standard as well as standard front driver and passenger airbags. The Jimmy (same as Envoy) received a four star rating for both the driver and passenger in the frontal crash test from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Second generation (2002–2009)
Envoy replaced the Jimmy name in GMC's lineup for 2002. While it still shared a platform with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the exterior styling is different. The interior, however, is extremely similar. The Vortec 4200 straight-6 engine was rated at 270 hp (200 kW) and 275 lb·ft (373 N·m), while the 2003 model received a small boost to 275 hp (205 kW). This rating grew to 291 hp (217 kW) for the 2006 model year with a redesign of the Vortec 4200. All models in the line-up have 4-wheel disc brakes. A Displacement on Demand 5.3 L V8 was optional only on the Envoy Denali beginning in 2005.
- 2002–2009 LL8 4.2 L (256 in³) I6
- 2003–2004 5300 5.3 L (323 in³) V8 (Only available in Envoy XLs)
- 2005–2009 5300 5.3 L (323 in³) V8 with Displacement on Demand
The Envoy was also offered with an extended wheelbase to increase accommodation of more cargo and/or passengers. The Envoy XL was the full-size counterpart to the five-passenger mid-size Envoy. One unique element of the Envoy XL was the availability of a usable third row that was comfortable for a 6-foot (1.83 m) passenger. This vehicle is 16 in (406 mm) longer and has a higher roofline to allow easier access to the third row of seats. This roof is disguised by standard roof racks. The Envoy XL was longer than the short-wheelbase Yukon.
During this year, GMC detached many options from packages in order for customers to save money. Additionally, the I6 engine received a small increase of 5 hp (3.7 kW). For the XL model, a new engine was introduced, a 5.3 Liter V8 with 290 hp (220 kW). Other notable changes included making front side curtain airbags previously standard on the 2002 model, optional, recreating the headlight switch to allow a Daytime Running Lamp (DRL) off switch, and also increasing the fuel tank to 22 US gallons (83 L).
Not many changes were made to any of the models this year. The only changes included the added feature of optional adjustable pedals, optional XM Satellite Radio, and an optional DVD-based navigation system.
The five-passenger Envoy XUV, introduced for 2004, was an attempt to create a combination of pickup truck and SUV. It featured a retractable rear roof section that slid forward, giving an open-topped load area. A 'MidGate' could be raised to partition the load area off from the passenger compartment; this was a solid, waist-height plastic-lined panel and with a retractable glass partition for the top half. The two-way tailgate could either hinge sideways or drop down; the tailgate glass retracted into the solid tailgate. The cargo area was waterproofed and fitted with a drainage system, allowing it to be easily hosed down for cleaning.
The advantage of the Envoy XUV over a pickup truck or a more truck-like configuration such as the Chevrolet Avalanche (which originated the MidGate feature) is that with retractable roof and rear glass closed, the cargo area is sealed, full roof height and lockable, thus making it an enclosed SUV. The disadvantages include a much shorter cargo bed area and breakable side glass. The Envoy XUV's retractable roof was reminiscent of the Studebaker Wagonaire of the 1960s, while other features such as the 'MidGate' were similar to those of the GMC Terracross concept SUV.
In 2005, a Denali luxury version of the Envoy became available. Both the standard-length wheelbase Envoy as well as the Envoy XL were available with the Denali trim option. The Envoy Denali features the hallmark bullet pattern grille and an upgraded interior with high-end car-like features such as heated power seats, extensive woodgrain trim, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. It also featured the GM Vortec 5.3 liter V8 engine with "Displacement on Demand," shutting off four of the eight cylinders when workload was minimal. Prices for the Envoy Denali ranged from US$37,145 to $42,750; prices for the Envoy XL Denali ranged from $38,575 to $43,895.
Across the range, seating was restyled in hopes to increase comfort and quality of control of driving position. Additionally, a touch DVD navigation system was offered as an option. The option of side airbags evolved from previously just front-seat side curtain airbags to full-length side curtain airbags, covering both rows of seats (in the XL model, all three rows).
Envoy XUV sales, projected at 30,000 per year (approximately a third of Envoy production), were much slower with just over 12,000 sold in 2004. GM discontinued XUV production on March 15, 2005.
For 2006, GMC added standard stability control, called "Stabilitrak," as well as standard cruise control, OnStar, and a tire pressure monitoring system. For the Denali, new 18-inch alloy wheels were introduced.
The Envoy XL was discontinued after the 2006 model year when the Oklahoma City plant closed on February 20, 2006. It was replaced by the Acadia crossover SUV in 2007.
In 2012, General Motors and Isuzu recalled more than 258,000 SUVs in the U.S. and Canada to fix short-circuits in power window and door lock switches that could cause fires. The recall covered Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X SUVs from the 2006 and 2007 model years. The SUVs were sold or registered in 20 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Canada, where salt and other chemicals are used to clear roads in the winter.
The Envoy (along with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer-Saab 9-7X-Buick Rainier-Isuzu Ascender) were phased out during the 2009 model year. GM closed the Moraine, Ohio plant on December 23, 2008, ending production of all GMT360 products. The closing of the last factory that manufactured the trucks was the subject of an emotional 2009 HBO documentary: The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant.
It is unknown if the Envoy name will return should the second generation of the TrailBlazer go on sale in the North American market.
|Calendar year||US Sales|
- "1999 GMC Envoy standard equipment". Edmunds.com. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Safecar.gov - 1998 GMC Jimmy 4DR. 4x4". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "2002-2009 GMC Envoy: Year-to-Year Changes". Consumer Guide. HowStuffWorks.com. November 13, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2011.
- "GM recalls SUVs for fire hazard". CNN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "GM to shut Ohio SUV plant 2 years ahead of plan". Autoweek.com. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to GMC Envoy.|
|GMC, a marque of General Motors, light truck timeline, United States and Canadian market, 1980s–present|
|Mid-size SUV||S-15 Jimmy||Jimmy||Envoy|
|Full-size SUV||K5 Jimmy||Yukon||Yukon||Yukon||Yukon|
|Suburban||Suburban||Yukon XL||Yukon XL||Yukon XL|
|Compact pickup||S-15 Sonoma||Sonoma|