2009 GMC Envoy

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2009 GMC Envoy Review

By KBB.com Editors

Do you find yourself attracted to the reasonable size and off-road ability of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, but feel your position in life requires you to drive something a bit more upscale? Well, you're in luck, because that's exactly what you'll find in the 2009 GMC Envoy and Envoy Denali. Though identical to the TrailBlazer under the skin, the Envoy visually excels beyond its Chevrolet counterpart with its upscale exterior, plush interior and, for those who can afford the extra premium, high-end Denali trim package. The Envoy is extremely flexible, offering a choice of six- or eight-cylinder engines with two-wheel or four-wheel drive. When equipped with the V8 and the optional tow package, the Envoy can pull up to 6,600 pounds.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a big SUV but can't make the Yukon's size or price fit your driving needs, the 2009 GMC Envoy holds the answer. It has excellent front-and rear-seat legroom, lots of headroom and a fair amount of cargo space.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2009 GMC Envoy is a well-rounded SUV, but some observers think that the lack of independent rear suspension is a detriment. Those seeking better fuel economy, the latest in safety and eight-passenger comfort might be better off with GMC's Acadia crossover SUV.

What's New for 2009

Bluetooth hands-free communication technology is added to OnStar 8.0 for 2009.

Driving the Envoy
Driving Impressions

On the road, you'll find the 2009 GMC Envoy's ride to be extremely comfortable, with a firm suspension that soaks up most road imperfections before they ever reach the passenger...

... compartment. Extreme lean and dive are kept in check by the complex five-link rear suspension and double A-arms up front. Though the Envoy exhibits some body lean in sharp turns, it does so gradually and never imparts the feeling of being top-heavy. This may be the Envoy's greatest attribute. It offers a car-like ride but still has the ground clearance and suspension settings to take it far off-road.

Adjustable Foot Pedals
The optional power-adjustable foot pedals make finding a comfortable driving position a breeze.

Rear-Seat DVD
The Envoy's optional rear-seat DVD player is a great way to keep the kids amused on long trips.

2009 GMC Envoy Details
2009 GMC Envoy photo Interior

The Envoy's interior is typical GMC: simple and clean. The seating is firm, and the instrument panel controls are handsomely adorned with wood trim and sturdy black plastic. Backlit power-window buttons and steering wheel-mounted controls are two of the Envoy's finer features – details sometimes overlooked by other manufacturers. Safety features include standard head-curtain side airbags for front- and rear-seat outboard passengers. The airbags are tied to an advanced rollover detection system capable of determining if and when deployment is necessary. Unfortunately the Envoy no longer offers the option of a third-row seat, limiting its passenger capacity to five persons.


The 2009 GMC Envoy strikes a rugged yet refined pose that seems equally comfortable off-road or at valet parking. Tall doors make it easy to get in without bumping your head, and there's enough glass around the sides to give the driver a good 360-degree view. The Envoy's generous ground clearance creates a high step-in height, but not so extreme it requires the use of a grab handle. The Envoy features a lift-up rear window, which allows placing smaller items inside the cargo hold without having to open the full tailgate. Although the Envoy design has been around a few years, it still looks good, especially in Denali form.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 GMC Envoy SLE features a powerful in-line six-cylinder engine, dual-zone manual air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Stabilitrak, illuminated entry, keyless remote, cruise control, tire pressure monitoring system, power liftgate release, dual power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, head-curtain side airbags, XM Satellite Radio, rear window wiper/washer and aluminum wheels. The SLT model adds a garage door opener, heated mirrors, eight-way power driver's seat and the TravelNote digital recorder. The Denali trim features a V8 engine, revised grille and front bumper, heated leather seats, power-adjustable passenger seat and 18-inch polished aluminum wheels.

Optional Equipment

Options for the Envoy include four-wheel drive, a 5.3-liter V8, power moonroof, rear DVD entertainment system, limited-slip rear differential, rear load-leveling suspension, locking rear axle, navigation, 20-inch wheels (Denali), and power-adjustable foot pedals.

Under the Hood

The 4.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine is all the Envoy needs, unless it will be towing something really big. The Vortec 4200 engine is very impressive and offers the pulling power of a small V8 without the added thirst for fuel. The 5.3-liter V8 delivers a little more horsepower and a usable increase in torque, and at lower engine speeds, and its Active Fuel Management technology helps improve highway fuel economy by cutting fuel to four of the eight cylinders when they're not all needed.

4.2-liter in-line 6
285 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
276 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 14/20 (4WD)

5.3-liter V8
300 horsepower @ 5300 rpm
321 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (2WD), 14/20 (4WD)

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