Kelley Blue Book ® - 2003 GMC Envoy Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2003 GMC Envoy Overview

Body
Moderate Size, Maximum Comfort

The GMC Envoy is a business professional's dream. Here is a SUV that is as aptly suited to chauffeuring clients as it is to shuttling kids. The Envoy is one of those vehicles that just seems to push all the right buttons. Its handsome exterior design projects both the image of a rugged off-road SUV as well as an upscale urban transport. This dual personality trait is probably the reason that so many business professionals gravitate toward the Envoy over the numerous other possibilities. Looks, comfort, power and value are all a part of the Envoy success story.

The Envoy rides on a 113-inch wheelbase that allows it to maintain a manageable exterior size conducive to city life and shopping malls. Though it is long enough to allow for generous front and rear seat legroom, the Envoy does not bloat laterally—at least not on the outside—so you can actually fit into narrow parking spaces and still be able to open the doors wide enough to squeeze out. You'd think a narrow exterior would result in some serious shoulder rubbing for those inside, but in the case of the Envoy, there is more than enough shoulder and hip room for those occupying the rear bench seat.

Room for five is not all you'll find inside the Envoy; here is a place where real luxury abounds, especially on the top-line SLT trim. The base SLE, though not as plush, is still nicely equipped and features many of the same visual upgrades as the SLT. The dash for instance, is styled to be both functional and attractive, with large easy-to-read instruments and retro-designed round ventilation outlets. The seats are first rate, soft but still supportive, with wide seat bottoms and back covered in a nappy velour-like fabric. Manual dual-zone climate control allows the front passenger to regulate the temperature independently of the driver's setting; this is a prime example of a feature usually not found on a base level model but one that is commonplace on a GMC. To your left you'll find the power window and door look switches rest on the forward half of the door armrest where they fall easily within reach of your fingertips without having to move your arm. To your right is the center console shifter and above that, the radio and heating/ventilation controls; again, you needn't reach far to make contact with any of these controls.

For those who prefer more luxury and convenience, the Envoy SLT should satisfy even the most demanding consumer. The Envoy SLT offers such amenities as heated leather seating, a DVD-based entertainment system, and a Bose high-end stereo, power sunroof and steering-wheel mounted controls for the cruise, audio and ventilation.

The Envoy is more than just a pretty face and plush domain; it has the muscle and traction to back up its powerful good looks. Under the hood resides an amazing new inline six-cylinder engine developed specifically for this SUV. The Vortec 4200 develops an impressive 275-horsepower, giving it the pulling power of a small V8 yet without the added thirst for fuel. GM's highly-acclaimed four-speed automatic is the standard transmission on the Envoy and helps the SUV attain a very respectable EPA highway fuel rating of 22-mpg (miles per gallon.) The Envoy distributes its power via the rear wheels on base models but offers the sure-footed traction that only 4WD can provide. The Envoy features a high/low transfer case and an Auto mode that allows you to leave the 4WD engaged at all times; the system is not permanently in operation, as with all-wheel-drive, but is alert to the road conditions and will come online the minute any of the wheels begin to lose traction. You can switch the system on or off with just a touch of a button—this is what is known as shift on the fly—at any speed, but you must stop the vehicle and shift into neutral if you wish to engage the four-wheel-low setting.

On the road, you'll find the Envoy's ride to be extremely comfortable, with a firm suspension that soaks up most road imperfections before they ever reach the passenger compartment. Lean, squat and dive are all kept in check by the complex five-line rear suspension and double A-arms up front. Though the Envoy will lean expectedly in sharp turns, it does so gradually and never imparts the feeling of being top heavy or about to come up on two wheels. This may be the Envoy's greatest attribute; though car like in ride, it still has the ground clearance and suspension settings to take it far off road, should that be your intent.

One other feature you can't see but that are worth noting are the Envoy's newly designed hydroformed rails. Running beneath the floor panel, these two rigid beams and their connecting cross members add a measure of rigidity and strength previously unknown in a body-on-frame vehicle. What this means to you is that the Envoy will not flex or loosen over time, keeping the integrity of the interior solid and free of rattles.

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