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How about the GMC Envoy SLT 4WD?

7194 Views 35 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  renov8r
I've been considering the new 2002 GMC Envoy with 270 HP. The 4WD SLT with Enhanced Package will run about as much as the MDX with Touring Package. Wonder if anyone has seriously considered the Envoy?
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Hey TD,

Yeah, I took a serious look at the Envoy / TrailBlazer / Bravada... Of the three, by the way, I preferred the Bravada purely for the 5/60 warranty--but I liked the exterior look of the Envoy better. I think in this vehicle, the warranty would be more important.

I've heard of a few recalls on these trucks already--check out the Town Hall at Things like transmission jerking and steering issues made me quickly think twice about the truck, even with that attractive engine config. Makes a sentimental mirror look not so bad...

No 3rd row, and a (IMHO) real plasticky, sub $30K-looking vehicle interior, made the MDX or even Explorer ( :eek: ) beat out the Envoy. Caveat: I must admit on-star was an attractive consideration...

I know you're specifically asking about the Envoy, but I looked at pretty much everything out there, and I've pretty much narrowed it down to the MDX and RX300. Let me know if you want any more details on my research, TD. Also, check out JNanas's reviews he's posted--excellent write-up of his experiences: .

Best wishes,
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Envoy vs. MDX

We looked at both for my wife. The Envoy is a nice package and with all of its attempts to be less trucky, it is still much more of a truck than the MDX.

The power is there and the new GM inline engine is impressive; but it does not purr like the MDX.

The interior is not as luxe as the MDX even though the MDX does have the plastic woodgrain. There is just a feeling that GM tried to get by with too cheap an outfitting of the Envoy for the price that one has to pay. I think the dash and finishing of the SLT is the same as the SLE (cheaper) version.

A big downside of the Envoy to us was the second row seating. It indents in the middle and the car, IMHO, is comfortable for 4 and not even 5. As you know, you can sit 5 super comfortably in the MDX and can use the third row in a pinch. I'm 6'4" and I did find the driver's seat more comfortable in the Envoy. So give it a plus there.

The Envoy is also probably better off-road.

All in all, the Envoy and its siblings are a big improvement over the last generation but they don't compare to the Japanese (or Japanese-Canadians) for reliability (see Edmunds and compare complaints on it with the very minor ones for the MDX), or quality of ride.
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Robyjo - thanks for the plug - nice to know someone can actually read my looooong posts... ;)


I know a couple of guys that have the Envoy, and both suggested I test drive it before I made any final decisions. I opted not to, mostly because I've owned a Chevy Blazer the last 10 years, and quite frankly - I'm bored of it. The styling reminds me too much of the Blazer - which, after 189k miles, and going all over the country - all I replaced was the water pump, and that I did myself.

You have to ask yourself what your primary objectives are for shopping. To be honest, buying an American truck can be a very good idea, IF:

1. You don't fully load them.

The Big 3 just don't know how to make luxury cars. I included the Ford Explorer in my comparos - and guess what? When you have a base Explorer (4WD w/leather and that's it), it's a decent car for the money. Head up to Eddie Bauer or the Limited, and you begin to ask yourself what I did - if I'm paying $35k for an Explorer, why shouldn't I get a Mercedes for $40k?

2. You keep your cars a looong time.

Flame away folks - truth be told, it's so much cheaper to fix American cars, that if you take care of them and own them, it's cheaper in the long run. Or - maybe someone would like to buy my overpriced Honda Accord, which by 100k miles needs to have a very expensive timing chain and water pump replaced (dealer estimated $800), and currently needs a new muffler (dealer estimated $700). For $1500 - I could replace most of the drivetrain on my current truck.

Other considerations - prioritize - safety, reliability, performance, handling, 4WD, towing.

Good luck - hope you get what fits you!

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Agreed on the maintenance/overall repair bill with the Envoy--it WILL be much cheaper in the long run. HOWEVER--when you're driving the car, it will be the difference between the German / Japanese fit and finish and the American finish. Honestly, I really like the reliability of Chevy, et. al--they aren't kidding around with the 'like a rock' thing. But this rock rattles, shakes and comes loose very easily, and doesn't feel nearly as precision built--purely IMHO.

Jnanas--honestly, yours has got to be one of the most exhaustive and serious evaluations I've seen! Really, good job. :cool: Between you, William (wmquan), and the others on this board, one can't go wrong with the SUV buying process (insert unsolicited plug for here).

Rob :D
Drove it

Well all I have to say about the Envoy is it looks Great from the outside! It is the inside where the GMC fails to a high standard. It looks very cheap and the detail is very poor. The second seats are not comfortable and having a third person in the middle makes them sit higher than the rest. The rear seats have exposed metal joints and there is plastic everywhere. The only other problem I had with it is the NOISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I never knew that 260hp could be so loud. The fail to put the needed sound proofing between the engine and passanger compartment. They really need to work on the luxury of it and it would be worth it.
Thanks for the info. You mostly confirmed what I suspected -- the Envoy is really not worth the price compared to others. I am also considering the RX-300, so here's how I rate the three SUVs in the four categories that mean the most to me. Any comments?

A. Quality: 1. RX-300 2. MDX 3. Envoy

B. Styling: 1. MDX 2. Envoy 3. RX-300

C. Comfort/Ride: 1. Rx-300 2. MDX 3. Envoy

D. Power: 1. Envoy 2. MDX 3. RX-300.

Today's winner is the MDX, but if I were to wait til 2004, the new RX-300 may get the nod. (I can't wait that long!)

I'm in the same situation (I guess minus the Envoy), except that I think the RX wins on styling too (IMHO). On my list there's a letter E. 3rd row. Also, I think you can't beat the MDX for value--much better deal for standard options (if only it had stability control...).

Let me know what you decide...I'm making the same decision!


In addition to your list

5. Safety- winner----->MDX

check out the IIHS web site regarding offset crashes
Good point MDXLuvr. The repair cost from a fender bender alone would offset any savings with an Envoy...
TDLoftin said:
Today's winner is the MDX, but if I were to wait til 2004, the new RX-300 may get the nod. (I can't wait that long!)
Is the new RX300 going to come out next year as a 2003 model, meaning you won't have to wait until 2004? If the next-gen RX300 is indeed scheduled for fall/2002 release, maybe that is a possibility?

After seeing the Envoy's recently posted crash test results, I would not consider one -- but that's my own opinion. I think it's disgraceful for a modern-designed SUV to score anywhere less than "good" overall, and the Envoy could not even garner "acceptable."

I think both the MDX and RX300 are excellent vehicles (and so is the ML320 which wasn't on your list), and you can't go wrong with any one of them.
heh compare the MDX's crash test ratings with the Envoy's

MDX Ratings

Envoy Ratings

It's obvious which one is the safer vehicle.
i seriously looked at it, but at the end, it is nothing but a truck, no 3rd seat and most importantly it crash testing is a disgrace. i feel bad for Detroit to put out such a car to compete w/ MDX, RX300, MB ML320, and X5. Sad.
I have a friend who bought an Envoy 6000 miles ago. It's been in the shop no less than 5 times for various problems. Some of which they didn't fix. Most recently, she had a problem with the 4wd system that caused a wheel to lock up so that she spun out while driving. The dealer admitted there was a problem when she had it towed in, but the next day said they couldn't find anything wrong.

When it comes to styling, build quality, and reliability, there's no comparison. The Envoy will clearly cost more over the long haul, especially if you count aggravation and time lost!
Ahhh, don't u just love GM quality.;)

i believe the Envoy has already had 4 or 5 recalls... and GM has gall to claim that there cars are reliable(like on the chevy commerical with the odometer at the bottom of the screen).
Wow, I'm just looking at my posts above (actually page 1) and I'm really glad that the Envoy was a passing fancy for me...

Rob :cool:
Interesting item at the LA Auto Show

Here is the text:

Leading the supersizing assault, GMC has enlarged its award-winning Envoy for more space and comfort, adding a third-row seat and 16 inches to its overall length. Seating for seven and more than 100 cubic feet of storage space offer considerable comfort and roominess for a midsize sport/utility vehicle. Two trim levels provide a variety of features ranging from four-wheel anti-lock brakes, theft deterrent system with remote keyless entry, and Next-Generation OnStar services on SLE models, as well as leather trim, heated seats, six-CD changer, driver information center, and seat and mirror memory in uplevel SLT trim. Prices range from $31,595 for a 2wd Envoy XL SLE, up to $36,595 for a 4wd Envoy XL SLT.
On paper it looks like competition for the MDX. However, I'm happy with the perfect size of my MDX. (Not to mention ride, reliability, safety, etc.)
Tow more things to consider:

7 Passenger Seating - the "big" Envoy that's coming out soon is $38K when equipped like the MDX. Yikes!

Resale - with 50K on the odometer, there will be no comparison between the MDX and Envoy in terms of marketability. U.S. cars just don't hold up as well when compared to their Japanese competition. Even if Acura doubles production of the MDX there will still be demand on the used market. Look at the prices of used Honda's versus used Chevy's that cost the same when new.
MDXLuvr said:
.. i believe the Envoy has already had 4 or 5 recalls... and GM has gall to claim that there cars are reliable..
It is quite amazing that on this MDX site we see comparably very few reports on troubles on MDX at all. Even with something like weeping mirror in the 2001 is nothing compared with those other major repairs on those SUVs we hear often on the other domestic and foreign made.

The MDX is just right... ;)
Build quality vs reliability vs Cost-of-ownership

Honda has been a leader in "build quality" as measured by things like "defects on delivery" "squeaks & rattles" "return trip to dealer".

GM has made significant strides in "reliability", measured by "failures & problems". Many GM products are among the most "reliable".

Cost of ownership includes the depreciation as well as repair cost. While many GM repair costs (especially for maintence-type repairs) are low, the lower build quality means that many people get tired of their GM vehicles quicker than other (like Hondas & Toyotas). GMs suffer from the large numbers of fleet & lease vehicles too. Really hurts resale.

It makes sense, the Hondas are more "pleasing" to drive for longer. It also helps that with a smaller dealer base they don't clamor for a high turnover rate -- GM dealers are in constant competition with other GM dealers are like people to trade-in frequently (though economically this takes car buyers for a bath...)
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