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2003 GMC Envoy Sport Utility

4dr 2WD SLE

Starting at | Starting at 16 MPG City - 22 MPG Highway

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  • $28,645 original MSRP
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Printable Version

2003 GMC Envoy Sport Utility

Printable Version

2003 GMC Envoy Sport Utility

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2003 GMC Envoy

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

All-new last year, GMC Envoy has become a standard for mid-size sport utilities. Envoy is smooth, stable, and responsive. It comes with a smooth, powerful inline six-cylinder that gives up nothing to the Ford Explorer's available V8. Envoy carries five people in comfort with two rows of seats.

Envoy XL can carry seven passengers and is available with a V8 engine. XL is a stretched, long-wheelbase version of the Envoy. Its third row adds versatility. XL lacks the response and stability of the standard Envoy, however.

GMC Envoy shares its chassis and engine with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Buick Rainier, and Oldsmobile Bravada. Each boasts unique styling, however. Envoy has conservative, upmarket styling. The GMC offers more features than the Chevy.

Model Lineup

GMC Envoy comes in two lengths, Envoy and Envoy XL. Each is available in SLE or SLT trim. Each is available with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. Long-wheelbase models are called Envoy XL and are 16 inches longer overall to provide a third row of seats for seven-passenger capacity.

All Envoys come standard with the Vortec 4200, an all-new six-cylinder engine introduced for 2002. This sophisticated 4.2-liter inline-6 uses dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and variable phasing for the exhaust cam to produce 275 horsepower, best by a wide margin in a class that includes Ford and Jeep V8s. Its torque output is impressive at 275 pounds-feet. It's an excellent engine.

A 5.3-liter overhead-valve V8 is available for Envoy XL that develops 290 horsepower and 325 pounds-feet of torque. Equipped with the V8, a 2WD Envoy XL can tow 7,200 pounds (7,000 pounds with 4WD).

SLE ($28,245) is the base trim level and includes slightly less standard equipment this year than last. SLE is still well equipped, with dual-zone air conditioning, CD stereo, anti-lock brakes, power windows and locks, keyless entry, 17-inch aluminum wheels and fog lights. The SLE interior has splashes of brushed nickel on the console and instrument panel, while SLT gets wood trim with nickel trim rings. Envoy XL SLE ($30,545) is equipped similarly.

SLT ($33,095) adds luxury conveniences such as leather upholstery, automatic climate control, separate rear-seat audio controls, power seats with memory, and OnStar telecommunications. SLT also adds a driver information center, light-sensitive outside mirrors with turn signals, and more controls on the steering wheel. Envoy XL SLT ($34,895) is equipped similarly.

Options include Bose premium sound system, headlamp washers, rain-sensing wipers, and TravelNote digital recorder. Also available is a rear seat DVD entertainment system ($1000), with a seven-inch flip-down screen and wireless headphones.

Four-wheel drive adds about $2225 to any model.

Walkaround

GMC Envoy is considered a mid-size SUV, about the same size as a Ford Explorer. It's smaller than a GMC Yukon, but much bigger than the old GMC Jimmy.

Envoy XL is 16 inches longer than Envoy. Envoy XL is nearly 9 inches longer than a Yukon, yet it's 4 inches narrower. One way to distinguish Envoy XL from the standard Envoy is to look at the rear doors. Envoy's rear doors are interrupted by the rear fenders. Envoy XL, with its length stretched amidships, has enough space for full-size rear doors.

Envoy's styling looks more sophisticated to our eyes than that of the other mid-size SUVs from General Motors. Envoy shares its platform with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the upcoming Buick Rainier, and the outgoing Oldsmobile Bravada.

Envoy has a wide-mouth black grille with a big ruby red logo that says GMC all the way. Sleek and clean are the distinct headlamps, round fog lights and pouty front bumper with a wide, slim slit at the very bottom. Strong beveled shapes extend along the Envoy's clean sides and around the wheel wells, and help make the Envoy look imposing. Envoy dispenses with the TrailBlazer's showy fender flares, by housing its standard 17-inch wheels inside hefty fenders that are part of the trapezoidal design theme. The rear bumper is stepped for its full length, and includes big round backup lights.

From behind the wheel the Envoy seems to be raked, as you look down over the strong hood. It looks cool. Under that hood is GM's newly developed inline six-cylinder engine. Advancements in electronics, metallurgy and manufacturing now enable an inline engine to soar, and GM has fully exploited this technical opportunity.

Interior Features

Envoy seats five passengers. Envoy XL seats seven.

Where Ford Explorer squeezes an optional third-row seat onto a 113-inch wheelbase, Envoy XL uses a 129-inch wheelbase. Envoy XL is 18 inches longer than Explorer. In theory, that should mean the Envoy XL is a lot roomier.

Most of the Envoy XL's extra length translates into increased roominess in the second row. Envoy XL offers significantly better second-row leg and hip room than the Ford Explorer. Envoy XL provides 37.5 inches of leg room and 58.4 inches of hip room, versus the Explorer's 35.9 and 54.2, respectively. Even the standard-wheelbase Envoy betters the Explorer in the second row, with 37.1 inches of leg room and 58.1 inches of hip room.

Envoy XL's third row isn't roomier than the Explorer's, however. Head, hip, and leg room in the Explorer's third row measure 39.0, 45.3, and 34.8 inches, respectively. The corresponding numbers for the Envoy XL are 38.5, 45.9, and 32.2. We put some adults back there and it worked fine for visiting neighborhood museums. They claimed feeling like they were sitting in a tunnel, however.

GMC's seats seemed more comfortable to us than the Chevrolet TrailBlazer's seats. The Envoy's seat cushions are longer, wider and thicker than those in the TrailBlazer, and offer noticeably more side bolstering. We would choose an Envoy over a TrailBlazer for the seats alone. Envoy SLT's leather was way plush, while Envoy SLE's cloth was grippier. On the SLT, the driver's bucket is eight-way power adjustable, with two-way lumbar support and optional heat.

Instrumentation is complete and clean. A big tachometer is on the left, speedometer in center, and on the right are smaller gauges for water, battery, gas and oil. The brushed nickel trim looks classy, with or without the wood. Four big round registers for heating and air conditioning look stylish and purposeful in nickel. The four-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel comes with both models, and on the SLT includes controls for climate, sound, cruise control and driver information center.

SLE's dual-zone manual climate controls use sliders and seem like a big step backward from the SLT's digital controls. Turning a knob is easier than sliding a switch when bouncing on rough roads. Radio buttons are non-standard and we kept changing the channel when we meant to adjust the volume, but familiarity solves this.

The center console houses an open storage bin, an enclosed compartment, and two cupholders forward of the gear lever. The emergency brake lever is also located there. There are pockets in the front doors and behind the front seats, but we'd like more places to put small items in the center console area. Behind the rear seat is a small hidden compartment under the floor, a cargo net and a power outlet.

SLT's overhead console includes a sunglasses holder and an optional Travelnote digital recorder, which allows the driver to orally take phone numbers while on a cell phone. Heating and air conditioning can be controlled separately by the driver, front, and rear passengers. Interior lights abound, including reading lights.

We found the optional 275-watt Bose system with six-disc in-dash CD player offers outstanding sound quality and adjustment versatility. All the systems include RDS (Radio Data Systems) technology, allowing the listener to search for stations by type, display information including song and artist information, and provide traffic and weather updates.

The OnStar communications system is standard on the SLT. It includes GPS navigation, hands-free cell phone communication (including a free first year of safety and security service) automatic crash and theft reporting, as well as remote unlocking and other services.

Rear-seat headrests conveniently flip down to give the driver a better view to the rear. Fold the rear seats and Envoy XL offers about 100 cubic feet of cargo, more than Envoy (80) or Explorer (82), and nearly as much as a Yukon (105). SLT models come with a scrolling cargo cover.

Driving Impressions

GMC Envoy is responsive and stable. The six-cylinder Vortex 4200 engine is exceptional and a perfect companion for the Envoy. It incorporates state-of-the-art engine construction and management, and gets 16/22 mpg city/highway mileage with 2WD. From 4.2 liters, the inline-6 produces a dazzling 275 horsepower, 36 more than Ford Explorer's new 4.6-liter sohc V8. Envoy's engine boasts a broad torque curve peaking at 275 pounds-feet, only 7 less than the Ford and arriving 400 rpm sooner. About 90 percent of the peak torque is available at just 1600 rpm and it's still there at 5600 rpm. That means quick response at any engine speed, allowing the Envoy to bound past trucks on steep uphill two-lanes with confidence.

With the engine's broad and bountiful torque, the transmission does dramatically less downshifting. And when the full-throttle upshift comes at about 6000 rpm the engine is only striding, not screaming. The smooth-shifting four-speed automatic transmission is the proven Hydramatic 4L60-E, used in GM applications from Corvettes to Cadillac Escalades. A 3.73:1 rear-end ratio is standard, but a 4.10 is available for better towing and a 3.42 is available for better gas mileage. With the strong torque available, we couldn't discern a significant improvement in acceleration performance with the 4.10. Towing was a high engineering priority, and the six-cylinder, standard-wheelbase Envoy is rated at 6200 pounds for 4WD, 6300 pounds with 2WD.

Envoy feels smooth and stable at high speeds. It rides smooth and car-like at lower speeds without being overly soft in corners. On a high-speed washboard surface, the rear end stayed impressively planted. Envoy is designed to roll (lean) exactly 5 degrees in the corners, and then stop leaning. Envoy's track is among the widest in the class (2.2 inches wider than the Ford Explorer between the front tires and 0.9 inch wider between the rear tires). This, coupled with a lowered mass from the engine position, lowers the center of gravity. Envoy has a relatively low ground clearance of 8 inches under the engine.

The optional load-leveling air suspension ($375) is intended to provide a more luxurious ride. It uses a silent air compressor, which yields one additional benefit: a 22-foot air hose for filling everything from tires to toys that attaches to a small valve in a compartment in the cargo area. Off-road, we found that the load-leveling suspension bottomed easily, signaling a need for the optional skid plates ($200). Our test model had the skid plates, of course, which we also dragged in soft sand, chugging easily along at 5 mph in Auto4WD. On low-speed whoop-de-doos, the front end bobbed up and down more than we would have liked.

Envoy XL lacks the responsiveness and stable handling of the standard-length Envoy. Envoy XL feels long and narrow. That's not surprising, given that the Envoy XL is longer, narrower and taller than the GMC Yukon. Envoy XL's wheelbase is stretched dramatically, by 16 inches. It's suspension is soft. It wallows in corners. On exit ramps, when braking and turning at the same time, Envoy XL does not feel as stable as an Envoy or a Tahoe. On the highway, the XL wanders around in the lane. Stability is also affected by strong crosswinds at high speeds. Equipped with the optional V8 engine, Envoy XL feels distinctly underpowered. It weighs about 286 pounds more than the standard Envoy.

Autotrac, the four-wheel-drive system, works well. Autotrac features four settings: 2WD, Auto4WD, 4HI and 4LO. Auto4WD shifts power to all four wheels as conditions require. Switching in and out of 4WD can be done on the fly with a flip of the switch (although it must be in neutral to engage or disengage 4LO). We tried out the Auto4WD by deliberately driving into soft sand in 2WD. The moment the Envoy bogged, we switched to Auto4WD on the fly, it clicked and began pulling us right along again. (Of course, it makes more sense to stay in Auto4WD.)

The four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are impressive. The Envoy's nose doesn't dive under hard braking, keeping the vehicle remarkably level and stable.

Envoy fuel tanks have been increased for a greater range.

Summary

GMC Envoy is an excellent choice among mid-size sport-utilities. GMC's brilliant inline six-cylinder engine gives up nothing to the Ford Explorer's available V8. It's well engineered and enjoyable to drive, stable and responsive.

Envoy XL, however, lacks the handling stability and responsiveness of the Envoy. Need a third row? We think a minivan, such as the less-expensive Pontiac Montana, or a larger SUV, such as the more-expensive Yukon, would make better choices.

 


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Envoy SLE 2WD ($28,245); Envoy SLT 2WD ($33,095); Envoy SLE 4WD ($30,470); Envoy SLT 4WD ($35,320); Envoy XL SLE 2WD ($30,545); Envoy XL SLT 2WD ($34,895); Envoy XL SLE 4WD ($32,770); Envoy XL SLT 4WD ($37,120)
Engines: 275-hp 4.2-liter dohc 24-valve inline six; 290-hp 5.3-liter ohv 16-valve V8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): dual-stage front airbags, door beams, energy-absorbing steering column, three-point seatbelts including center rear, crush initiators within the chassis, halogen headlamps, 4-wheel ABS
Safety equipment (optional): front side-impact (thorax) airbags, traction assist
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Moraine, Ohio

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): GMC Envoy SLE 4WD ($30,470)
Standard equipment: dual-zone manual heating and air conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, cigar lighter and four accessory power outlets, front manual-reclining bucket seats with lumbar support, folding 60/40 split second-row seat, remote keyless entry, power windows, power locks, interior lighting package, rear wiper/washer/defogger, floor console with storage and cupholders, deep tint glass
Options as tested (MSRP): SLE Enhanced Package ($2095) includes cargo convenience net, retractable rear cargo shade, overhead custom console with HomeLink universal transmitter, electric rear window defogger, electrochromic rearview mirror, OnStar one-year Safe & Sound service, 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar, illuminated vanity visor mirrors, power heated exterior mirrors, special aluminum wheels; Skid Plate Package ($200); power passenger seat ($275); power sunroof ($800); rear load-leveling suspension ($375)
Destination charge: ($650)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $34,865
Layout: four-wheel drive
Engine: 4.2-liter sohc 24-valve inline-6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 275 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 275 @ 3600
Transmission: four-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 15/21 mpg
Wheelbase: 113.0 in.
Length/width/height: 191.6/74.6/71.9 in.
Track, f/r: 63.1/62.1 in.
Turning circle: 36.4 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 40.2/55.5/43.1 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 39.6/58.1/37.1 in.
Trunk volume: 80.1 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 6200 Lbs.
Suspension, f: independent
Suspension, r: live axle
Ground clearance: 8.0 in.
Curb weight: 4767 lbs.
Tires: P245/65R17
Brakes, f/r: ventilated disc/ventilated disc, ABS
Fuel capacity: 22.0 gal.

 

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of January 30, 2003.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-462-8782 - www.gmc.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.


 

Printable Version

2003 GMC Envoy Sport Utility

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade n/a
Passenger Crash Grade n/a
Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Rear n/a

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2003 GMC Envoy Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

GMC Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-Year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty.

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2003 GMC Envoy Sport Utility

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