NEW FOR 2008:

– 2WD discontinued
– Standard CD/MP3 stereo and head curtain side airbags
– Revisions to equipment groups
– Exterior colours: Dark Crimson Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic and Medium Brown Metallic

For 2008, the GMC Envoy comes only in four-wheel drive, and receives a few changes including the addition of standard curtain airbags.

Similar to the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Saab 9-7X – the Buick Rainer clone has been discontinued – the Envoy uses a 4.2-litre inline six-cylinder in SLE and SLT trim, and a 5.3-litre V8 in the Envoy Denali. Both engines use a four-speed automatic transmission. The V8 uses Active Fuel Management, which deactivates half the cylinders under light load for improved fuel economy.

Features on the SLE include 17-inch aluminum wheels, manual dual-zone air conditioning, fog lamps, cornering lights, heated mirrors, roof rack, variable intermittent wipers, rear washer/wiper, cruise control, floor mats, tire pressure monitoring system, auto-dimming mirror with compass and temperature display, leather-wrapped wheel, six-way power driver’s seat, 65/35 split second-row bench seat, CD stereo, trailer package, automatic headlamps, keyless entry, theft-deterrent system and OnStar.

The SLT adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals and reverse tip-down, garage door opener, power-adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, heated leather six-way power seats, and rear-seat audio controls.

The Denali adds unique 18-inch aluminum wheels and grille, running boards, cargo net, cargo mat and cover, leather-wrapped wheel with wood trim and audio controls, and premium stereo with XM Satellite Radio.

A rugged, body-on-frame SUV with true four-wheel drive, the Envoy could benefit from sharper handling, but is a good choice for those who want to tow a trailer or a boat in comfort. The V6 should be enough for most buyers, but the Denali’s V8 is very nice, especially with the upgraded interior. Shop the Envoy against its Chevrolet sibling, as well as competitors such as the Honda Pilot, Toyota 4Runner, Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango.

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