For 2005, the GMC Envoy has a few changes. The most interesting is the addition of Displacement on Demand technology for the stretch-version XL and XUV’s optional 5.3-litre V8. This system seamlessly deactivates half of the cylinders under low engine load, such as when highway cruising, for extra fuel economy. Since the heavier models benefit immensely from the V8’s power, any fuel savings are appreciated.
There is a new trim model, the Envoy Denali. It includes styling cues taken from the package first used on the Yukon Denali, including a honeycomb chrome grille and body-coloured, one-piece front fascia. The Denali trim has also been added to the stretched Envoy XL.
Other changes include an available curtain air bag system with rollover protection sensing, front passenger-sensing system, new interior colours and features, OnStar Gen 6 with enhanced hands-free capability, and three new exterior colours.
The rugged Envoy is a body-on-frame vehicle, sharing its platform with the Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Saab 9-7X.
The base engine is a 4.2-litre inline six-cylinder used in the SLE and SLT; a 5.3-litre V8 is used in the longer Envoy XL and Envoy XUV models. A four-speed transmission is used in all Envoys. Four-wheel-drive models use an Autotrac automatic system with electronic controls and Auto 4x4, in addition to 2HI, 4HI and 4LO settings.
The base Envoy SLE includes cornering lights, fog lights, power heated mirrors, 17-inch aluminum wheels, variable intermittent wipers front and rear, manual dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, tilt wheel, power windows, cloth seats, CD player, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and power locks with keyless entry.
The SLT adds integrated turn signal mirrors with passenger park assist, automatic dual-zone climate control, cargo net, mat and cover, compass, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, leather interior with eight-way heated driver and passenger seats with memory, CD/cassette, and power-adjustable pedals.
The new Denali package adds bright honeycomb grille, running boards, 17-inch polished aluminum wheels, rain-sensing wipers, headlight washers, wood-and-leather steering wheel, premium leather seats with separate back and seat cushion heater controls, and rear automatic load-leveling air suspension.
The Envoy offers a fairly tight turning radius for a truck, and a smooth-running six that’s powerful enough, although handling isn’t as sharp as with many competitors. The Chevrolet Trailblazer offers a price tag that’s slightly below the Envoy. The Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot are also worthwhile competitors.
The Envoy is built in Moraine, Ohio.
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