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The GMT360 Midsize SUV Platform Underpinned 11 Different Vehicles

When it came time to replace the second-generation Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and GMC Jimmy for the 2002 model year, General Motors introduced the GMT360 midsize SUV platform. While it’s primarily known for underpinning the Chevrolet Trailblazer and the GMC Envoy, the GMT360 platform and its three additional bodystyle variants would go on to form the basis for a total of 11 different vehicles from six different brands in GM’s product portfolio from the 2002 through 2009 model years, making it one of GM’s most badge-engineered platforms of all time. Here’s a refresher on each of those 11 models.

Chevrolet Trailblazer - 2002-2009

Chevrolet Trailblazer – 2002-2009

The most mainstream of the GMT360 offerings, the basic 5-passenger Trailblazer was offered for all eight years of the GMT360 platform’s lifespan. The highlight of the Trailblazer range was the performance-oriented SS model, which packed the same 6.0-liter LS2 engine found in the 2005-2007 C6 Corvette. The Trailblazer SS was sold from model years 2006 through 2008. Find a Chevrolet Trailbalzer for sale

Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT - 2002-2006

Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT – 2002-2006

Nothing too interesting yet — the Trailblazer EXT was the primary vehicle built on the long-wheelbase GMT370 platform, which offered three rows of seats and room for up to seven passengers. The EXT was introduced for 2002 shortly after the 5-passenger Trailblazer and sold through the 2006 model year. Find a Chevrolet Trailbalzer EXT for sale

GMC Envoy - 2002-2009

GMC Envoy – 2002-2009

The Envoy was simply a GMC-badged version of the Trailblazer. Stylistic differences included unique front- and rear-end design and black B- and C-pillars with a body-colored D-pillar — the opposite of the Trailblazer’s pillar organization. A Denali model was offered from 2005 to 2008. Find a GMC Envoy for sale

GMC Envoy XL - 2002-2006

GMC Envoy XL – 2002-2006

As the Trailblazer EXT was for the regular Trailblazer, the Envoy XL was the elongated 3-row 7-passenger version of the Envoy. It was offered from 2002 through 2006, just like the Trailblazer EXT. Find a GMC Envoy XL for sale

GMC Envoy XUV - 2004-2005

GMC Envoy XUV – 2004-2005

The Envoy XUV was built on a unique version of the GMT360 platform referred to as the GMT305. A bizarre vehicle, the Envoy XUV swapped out the traditional rear hatch altogether and featured a retractable roof over the rear cargo area paired with a rear window that rolled down into a tailgate. This allowed for the transportation of tall items like grandfather clocks and trees. Altogether, it was a complex design that wasn’t as useful in practice as it was in theory, and the Envoy XUV was sold during just the 2004 and 2005 model years. Find a GMC Envoy XUV for sale

Oldsmobile Bravada - 2002-2004

Oldsmobile Bravada – 2002-2004

While it’s easy to forget, the Bravada was in fact offered alongside the first- and second-generation S10 Blazer and Jimmy, and GM introduced a third-generation Bravada alongside the Trailblazer and Envoy for 2002. But Oldsmobile was discontinued after the 2004 model year, and the Bravada went away for good. Find a Oldsmobile Bravada for sale

Buick Rainier - 2004-2007

Buick Rainier – 2004-2007

The Rainier was introduced for the 2004 model year as a replacement for the Bravada. While the Olds was only offered with an inline 6-cylinder engine, the Rainier could be had with a V8. Offered from 2004 to 2007, there wasn’t much that made the Rainier stand out, aside from its unique styling. Find a Buick Rainier for sale

Saab 9-7x - 2005-2009

Saab 9-7x – 2005-2009

While it was arguably the best-looking of all the GMT360 SUVs, many Saab traditionalists saw the 9-7x as sacrilege. Traditionally a quirky Scandinavian brand that appealed primarily to, well, quirky customers, GM slapping the Saab insignia onto its rear-wheel-drive, body-on-frame family SUV was a bold move. But as GM had fully acquired Saab in the year 2000, it was free to do with the brand whatever it pleased.

The 9-7x at least offered somewhat different interior styling, with unique HVAC vents and Saab’s trademark center-console ignition switch. All three of the GMT360’s available engines were offered in the 9-7x, with the Corvette-sourced LS2 V8 coming in an Aero-badged model. Find a Saab 9-7x for sale

Isuzu Ascender - 2003-2008

Isuzu Ascender – 2003-2008

Arguably the rarest GMT360 model, the Isuzu-badged Ascender used the Envoy’s basic design. Notice how the GMC grille would slot right into the Ascender’s front arrangement, while the two vehicles’ greenhouses are identical. Although unlike on the Envoy, the Ascender’s B- and C-pillars are body-colored. The end of Ascender production coincided with Isuzu’s withdrawal from the US market after the 2008 model year. Find an Isuzu Ascender for sale

Isuzu Ascender 7 Passenger – 2003-2007

The Ascender was offered in a 7-passenger bodystyle as well, starting with the 2003 model year. This made for the third and final application of the long-wheelbase GMT370 platform. Unlike the Trailblazer EXT and the Envoy XL, which were discontinued after 2006, sales of the 3-row Ascender lasted into the 2007 model year. Find an Isuzu Ascender for sale

Chevrolet SSR - 2003-2006

Chevrolet SSR – 2003-2006

The only non-SUV application of the GMT360 midsize SUV platform, GM’s quirky Chevrolet SSR was offered through the 2003 to 2006 model years and rode on a modified version of the GMT360 known as the GMT368. Always offered with a V8, it used the 5.3-liter for 2003 and 2004 before switching over to the 6.0-liter for the 2005 and 2006 model years.

Transmission options were a 6-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. A rare convertible pickup, the retro-styled SSR featured a standard hard tonneau cover and folding hard top that folded down into a space between the cab and the bed. Find a Chevrolet SSR for sale

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I remember the reason to go for the Isuzu back then was it had the best warranty at the time, like 5 years 60k miles back before it was more common. It was the ugliest of them though, Bravada or the 9-7X were the best to me. 

  2. I knew about the others, but the SSR is a surprise. Although its not like i’ve ever given much thought to the vehicle in any capacity. 

    • I randomly looked up the SSR recently and gleaned that information, but I would have had no idea otherwise. 

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Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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