The standard GMC Jimmy got better over the years and now goes by the name Envoy. Even in previous years, drivers considered the Envoy simply a dressed-up version of the Jimmy. The Envoy now serves as the sole midsize SUV offering from GMC. An advanced hydroforming technology in the new frame structure adds stiffness levels generally found in upper-class sedans. GMC also improves the ride quality of the Envoy for 2002 by revising the suspension.
As a new member of the midsize trio of General Motors SUVs, the 2002 GMC Envoy fits in perfectly alongside the Oldsmobile Bravada and Chevrolet TrailBlazer. The reworked suspension, powerful engine, and excellent standard features combine to make the 2002 GMC Envoy a very solid choice for a midsize SUV.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.2-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: GMC Envoy SLE, GMC Envoy SLT
The 2002 GMC Envoy gets a long overdue redesign to compete with other midsize SUVs. An aluminum six-cylinder replaces an aging V-6 engine. The ride dramatically improves with a revised suspension. The 2002 Envoy now has a unique look and stands out as a GMC brand.
The 2002 GMC Envoy comes in a four-door sport-utility model with a choice of two trim levels. The SLE and SLT both have an appearance similar to other vehicles in the GM lineup. The shield-shaped grille and distinctive trapezoidal body shape make the exterior unique from its GM companions. A few of the other exterior features of the SUV include 17-inch wheels, Michelin tires, a roof rack, and privacy glass. The regular-sized Envoy has a wheelbase that measures 113 inches, whereas the Envoy XL stretches about 16 inches longer.
The GMC Envoy seats five passengers comfortably in the reclining front bucket seats and folding rear seat. Choosing the available XL adds the extra room to accommodate seven occupants. The Envoy falls a bit shy in cargo volume compared to the XL. The XL offers 100.2 cubic feet and the Envoy has just 80.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
Standard equipment for the 2002 GMC Envoy includes cruise control, a universal HomeLink garage door opener, a theft-deterrent system, and power steering. GM’s system for communication, called OnStar, also comes standard. The rear-seat DVD system for entertainment remains optional on the Envoy.
The upper-level SLT adds memory settings for the driver, rear radio controls, leather upholstery, and a driver information system. The driver information center provides vital stats such as transmission fluid temperature, fuel availability, oil level, and engine coolant level.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 GMC Envoy uses a 4.2-liter inline-six that produces 270 horsepower and teams with an automatic four-speed transmission. The Envoy offers an option of four-wheel or two-wheel drive. The four-wheel-drive system incorporates the provision for automatic and a two-speed transfer case. The rear coil springs come standard, but the air suspension remains an option. A new feature called IntelliStart prevents the engagement of the starter unless the engine turns off. The Envoy delivers exceptional performance. The inline-six provides as much power as a V-8 in acceleration, passing, and merging. Exuding confidence on mountain grades, the Envoy proves adequate in climbing and maneuvering through adverse conditions. The Envoy has an increased torsional rigidity; it shows an approximate 260 percent increase, according to GM.
The Envoy with the regular suspension rides like a car on smooth surfaces. With the optional air suspension installed, the SUV has a softer ride. The steering seems satisfying, yet feels a little disconnected at times. Handling feels a little slow, but this remains common among the midsize SUV segment. Road noise and engine noise seem virtually absent unless pushed hard.
Front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, and anti-lock brakes comprise standard safety features for the 2002 GMC Envoy. Bumpers sit lower to ensure a level more similar to cars when a collision occurs.
EPA Fuel Economy
GMC Envoy SLE: 14/20 mpg city/highway
GMC Envoy SLT: 14/20 mpg city/highway
- Attractive styling
- Good-looking exterior
- Strong six-cylinder
You Won't Like
- Cheap interior materials
- Unsteady in turns
- Insensitive steering
Even with the enormous improvements and the six-cylinder engine, it does not equal its competitors.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda CR-V
- Audi Q7
- BMW X5
- Cadillac Escalade
- Hyundai Tucson