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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Aug 28, 2004

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz


This year, General Motors has introduced three new vehicles with trick folding or sliding roofs. The all-new Cadillac XLR is the first Cadillac to feature a power folding hardtop, the all-new Chevy SSR is the first pickup truck to feature a power folding hardtop, and the all-new GMC Envoy XUV is the first sport utility vehicle to feature a power sliding roof above the rear cargo section. The GMC Envoy XUV is quite extraordinary in that it is the only sport utility that you can load tall items into the cargo area. This has been the deciding factor in many decisions about whether to purchase a pickup or sport utility to transport cargo of all different sizes and types. That factor is no longer relevant, as you can load any type of tall cargo into the new XUV.

The new GMC Envoy XUV's unprecedented levels of flexibility, functionality and state-of-the-art technology include: A power-sliding rear roof. With just a touch of a button, the sliding rear roof converts the cargo area from fully enclosed to open air. When the rear roof is fully retracted, a 32-inch-by-32-inch opening allows Envoy XUV to carry larger or taller items upright. This innovation complements, (and does not cover), XUV's available power-operated sunroof up front, giving Envoy XUV both exceptional versatility and open-air fun. Next-generation Midgate with power glass. Along with its power-sliding rear roof, Envoy XUV's advanced Midgate is key to its versatility. The Midgate glass can be raised or lowered with the push of a button. When the window is raised, the passenger compartment is sealed off from the rear cargo area. Lower the glass, fold and tumble the seats, then flip down the Midgate, and an extended cargo bed appears that offers a total of 95.2cu.ft. of cargo space. With its dual-function tailgate, which allows two-tier loading in the cargo area, Envoy XUV is also the perfect vehicle for transporting wide cargo, such as multiple 4-feet-by-8-feet sheets of plywood.

An all weather cargo area. The rear cargo area is engineered to be weather-resistant, with the innovative QuickDrain system that can channel as much as 35 gallons of water per minute out of the cargo area. This allows the cargo area to be quickly hosed down after hauling wet or messy items like topsoil or hay. The cargo area itself has four tie-down rings, which can be moved to any of 12 different locations, and there are another four fixed rings on the roof, allowing for maximum flexibility in hauling all types of cargo. GM also offers an extensive selection of GM accessories to expand Envoy XUV's cargo carrying versatility even further. Drop or swing tailgate with power window. Envoy XUV's dual-function tailgate provides increased flexibility. The tailgate power window can be raised or lowered at the push of a button. With the window fully lowered, the tailgate can be dropped for ease of loading and unloading. The tailgate can also swing right, allowing bumper access to the cargo area. Envoy XUV's reconfiguration features were designed to allow consumers to perform every functional change with ease. At the push of a button, Envoy XUV's power-sliding roof, tailgate window and Midgate glass open or close. The tailgate drops or swings right with one-handed operation for ease of loading and unloading. The seats and Midgate can be reconfigured in seconds without tools. Envoy XUV is specifically designed to meet the diverse needs of today's SUV customers in one multifunctional vehicle. For all of its versatility, Envoy XUV never forgets its family roots. Envoy XUV maintains the expressive styling, and high levels of comfort, performance and amenities inherent in Envoy's five and seven-passenger models.

Standard power for the Envoy XUV is the award-winning Vortec 4200 4.2-liter 24-valve, DOHC, aluminum alloy inline six-cylinder engine. It's rated at 275 hp at 6,000 rpm and 275 lb.ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm. If you need more power and torque you can option for the 5.3 liter OHV V8 engine that makes 290 hp at 5,200 rpm and 325 lb.ft. or torque at 4,000 rpm. Both engines hook up to a four-speed automatic/overdirve transmission turning the rear wheels, with an electronic, push-button four-by-four system optional. The Envoy XUV features a suspension with an independent front featuring double A-arms, coil springs, 46 mm gas-charged shocks and a 34 mm stabilizer bar. The rear features a five-link solid axle (an optional electronically controlled air suspension), 36 mm gas-charged shocks, and a 21 mm stabilizer bar (24 mm on four-by-four). Steering is by power-assisted rack & pinion with excellent feel for the road. Four-wheel vented 12.8-inch steel discs at all four corners quickly stop the XUV with ABS keeping you in control on slippery pavement or during severe braking. This rugged steel body-on-frame sport utility rides on 17x7-inch cast aluminum wheels wrapped by big 245/65R17 all-season steel-belted radial tires. The revolutionary GMC Envoy XUV opens new cargo carrying capacity for a sport utility vehicle and adds to the fun of driving when the sun is shinning and the outside temperatures are warm. If you need the versatility of a pickup but like the styling of a sport utility, this is the vehicle for you.

© All text and photos by Harvey Schwartz For more information on GMC products, go to More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2004 GMC Envoy XUV Price: $35,840.00 base, $39,690.00 loaded Engine type: 4200 4.2 liter DOHC 32 valve In-line 6 cylinder Horsepower: 275 at 6,000 rpm Torque: 275 lb.ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/rear-wheel-drive or optional 4x4 Transmission type: Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed electronically controlled with torque converter clutch Front suspension: Independent, double A-arms, 46 mm shocks, 34 mm stabilizer bar Rear suspension: 5-link solid axle (opt: electronically controlled air suspension) 36 mm shocks, 21 mm stabilizer bar on 2WD, 24 mm on 4WD Wheels/tires: 17x6 cast aluminum wheels, P245/65R17in. all-season steel belted radial tires Brakes: Front: 12.8-inch vented discs with a dual-piston caliper Rear: 12.8-inch vented discs with a single-piston caliper ABS brakes Overall length: 208.4 in. Overall width: 74.7 in. Overall height: 77 in. Curb weight: 4,945 lbs. EPA mileage: 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway

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