The Envoy was Motor Trend magazine's Sport/Utility of the Year for 2002. The 4200 Vortec I6 engine has been named to Ward's 10 Best Engines list several times.
- 2003-present LL8 4.2L (256in³) I6
- 2003-2004 5300 5.3L (323in³) V8
- 2005-present 5300 5.3L (323in³) V8 with Displacement on Demand
Safety features The GMC Envoy has a variety of safety features available as standard or optional.
The GMC Envoy received a 3-Star Frontal Crash Rating for the Driver and 4-Stars for the Front Passenger. All areas including side-impact crashes received 5 stars. These tests were conducted by the NHTSA. These ratings pertain to the model year of 2002 to present. When IIHS tested it, it earned an ADEQUATE for Front and a MARGINAL for the side test.
For 2006-present, GMC added standard stability control, or as they call it "Stabilitrak." And for 2008 it added side-curtain airbags as a standard.
The Envoy XL was the full-size counterpart to the five-passenger mid-size Envoy. One unique element of the Envoy was the availability of a usable 3-row that was comfortable for a 6-foot (1.83m) passenger in the, 7-passenger Envoy XL version. This vehicle is 16in (406mm) longer and has a higher roofline to allow easier access to the third row of seats. This roof is disguised by standard roof racks. The Envoy XL was larger than the short-wheelbase Yukon.
Production of the XL model was handled by the Oklahoma City Assembly plant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The XL model was discontinued after the 2006 model year when the Oklahoma city plant closed on February 20, 2006. The Envoy XL has since been replaced by the Acadia crossover SUV as of 2007.
The five-passenger Envoy XUV, introduced in 2003, was an attempt to create a combination of pickup truck and SUV. It featured a retractable rear roof section that slid forward, giving an open-topped load area. A 'MidGate' could be raised to partition the load area off from the passenger compartment; this was a solid, waist height plastic-lined panel and with a retractable glass partition for the top half. The two-way tailgate could either hinge sideways or drop down; the tailgate glass retracted into the solid tailgate. The cargo area was waterproofed and fitted with a drainage system, allowing it to be easily hosed down for cleaning.