The 2008 GMC Envoy classifies as a midsize SUV that has received fairly positive feedback. The Envoy comes in three models and offers various packages that enable the consumer to put together the vehicle he desires. The popular crossover SUVs focus on comfort and the ride of a car while still maintaining some off-road capabilities. However, the Envoy still falls into the traditional truck-based SUV category, with better off-road and towing capabilities. The Envoy offers a choice of rear drive or four-wheel drive and two engines big enough to do some serious towing. The Envoy offers respectable performance, a roomy cabin, and a relatively smooth ride.
Body Styles: four-door SUV, two-door SUV
Engines: 4.2-liter six-cylinder, 5.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: GMC Envoy SLE, GMC Envoy SLT, GMC Envoy Denali
The 2008 GMC Envoy gains a satellite radio and head curtain airbags as standard equipment, marking the only changes this year.
The 2008 GMC Envoy serves as a larger traditional size SUV than recent crossover SUVs built on a car chassis. The XL trim is has a wheelbase that stretches 16 inches longer, which provides for third-row seating. The XL can be distinguished from a regular Envoy by the fenders overlapping the rear door edges. The Envoy has a very strong appearance, and at the same time, it looks somewhat upscale and conservative. You can immediately recognize its GMC roots by its huge black grille and the big red GMC logo. It has distinct headlights, round fog lights, with a slim slit at the bottom of the bumper and a sleek appearance. To add to the imposing look of the Envoy, it features beveled shapes that run along the sides and around the wheel wells. Large wheel openings allow for the 17-inch wheels. The XL appears to be too long in the back in proportion to the front.
The Denali features a chrome honeycomb grille, body-colored mirrors and bumpers, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The running boards integrate into the rocker panels.
The 2008 base Envoy and the Denali seat five passengers and the XL adds another row that makes seating for seven. It has wide and thick seats with side bolstering, however the bottom of the seats do not feel supportive.
The SLE interior standard features include dual-zone air-conditioning, a CD player, satellite radio, keyless entry, full power accessories, and OnStar.
The SLT adds to those features a power driver’s seat with memory, automatic climate control, a trip computer, leather seats, and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel.
The Denali adds heated seats, power-adjustable pedals, a power passenger seat, and a Bose audio system.
One of the optional packages available on the SLE, the SLE-2 package, adds an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a power driver’s seat, an overhead console, a roof rack, and power-folding heated side mirrors.
Another optional trim, the SLE2, adds a roof-mounted luggage rack, power lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and heated mirrors. It also includes a universal home remote and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with a compass and outside temperature display.
Optional features for all 2008 GMC Envoys include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. A navigation system provides an option only on the SLT and Denali.
Performance & Handling
On the road, the 2008 GMC Envoy gives a cushioned ride; however, the steering leaves a lot to be desired due to a lack of road feel. Unstable handling around corners results from a soft suspension. The Envoy does not plan to climb mountains, but it can tackle moderately rough terrain. Because of the engine size, the Envoy offers a decent amount of pep.
Anti-lock brakes, stability control, and head curtain airbags provide standard safety features on all versions of the 2008 GMC Envoy. Other standard features include front and rear ventilated disc brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, an engine immobilizer, daytime running lights, and cornering lights. Automatic safety equipment includes auto delay-off headlights, dusk-sensing headlights, a post-collision safety system, and tire-pressure monitoring.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration gives the Envoy five out of five stars for its protection of front and rear occupants in side-impact crash tests. It receives the low score of three out of five stars for the driver and four out of five stars for the front passenger in frontal-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Envoy a “Marginal"" rating for its frontal-offset crash test.
EPA Fuel Economy
GMC Envoy six-cylinder: 14/20 mpg city/highway
GMC Envoy V-8: 13/19 mpg city/highway
- Comfortable ride for a traditional SUV
- Powerful engine selection
- Good ergonomics
- Many features
You Won't Like
- Clumsy handling around corners
- Steering not solid
- Low-grade interior materials
- Low crash test scores
A roomy cabin and strong performance may not make up for the subpar materials and disappointing handling that make it inferior to competing SUVs.
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