The GMC Envoy was a throwback to the SUVs of old; a bare bone vehicle with little to offer in the way of luxury and comfort. These old vehicles do provide outrageous off road ability and towing capacity. That, however, may be just what you are looking for. The GMC Envoy offers all this. However, the Envoy was beginning to show its age by 2009 being in its eighth year of production. Many other SUV models were offering more. This was the final year of production for the Envoy. The GMC Acadia and the Terrain succeeded it.
The Envoy was offered in three different trim models: SLE, SLT, and the Denali.
Body Styles: mid-size SUV
Engines: 4.2-liter six-cylinder engine, a 5.3-liter V-8 engine
Transmissions: four-speed automatic transmission
Models: SLE, SLT, and the Denali
The GMC Envoy, an aging model for GMC, only received Bluetooth connectivity in the 2009 model year. Everything else remained unchanged.
The GMC Envoy is a mid-size SUV. Like old SUVs, functionality is more important than appearance. The Envoy boasts a truck-like feel and the same boxy features as truck sheet metal; big and utilitarian. The width is a massive 74.7 inches, and the Envoy is 71.9 inches tall.
A trailer hitch and trailer wiring are included standard on the Envoy due to its work-oriented build.
The SLE is the base model, offering 17-inch alloy wheels. The Denali was a special design. The front grille was changed from the other models. Instead of the standard 17-inch wheels, 18-inch alloy wheels were installed. Also offered on the Denali were load-leveling rear suspension and power-adjusting pedals.
The Envoy is not the biggest of SUVs and that can be seen in the cabin. The vehicle will carry five passengers no sweat. Unlike newer SUVs however, there isn’t a third seat option.
The interior feels a bit cheap and gaudy due to the overabundance of inferior plastic materials. The Denali does step it up a notch with brushed metallic features and faux wood.
Cargo space is ample. The rear seat of the vehicle has a 60/40 split. When the seat is down the Envoy boasts 80 cubic feet of storage area.
The base SLE model offers dual-zone air-conditioning system, a CD player, satellite, power accessories, keyless entry, and OnStar. The Denali features heated seats, a power passenger seat, and an upgraded stereo system boasting Bose speakers.
The SLT added a few bits of kit to the SLE model including a power driver’s seat with memory settings, trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity, leather seating, and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. A SLE-2 package was available for the SLE models that added an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power driver seat, a roof rack, an overhead console for extra storage, and power-folding side mirrors. Optional features included a sunroof and a DVD entertainment system.
Performance & Handling
The SLE and the SLT versions of the Envoy have a 4.2-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 277 pound-feet of torque. Not too bad. The Denali has a bigger engine through, a 5.3-liter V-8 engine that produces 302 horsepower with 330 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission controls the engine.
All trim lines are available in two or four-wheel drive varieties. The 4.2-liter engine, when equipped with the four-wheel drive, can tow 5,800 pounds, while a similarly configured V-8 can pull 6,600 pounds.
Although much of the vehicle screams old school SUV the ride is quite comfortable and bouncy. The steering is a bit mushy and the suspension creates a bad turn experience that can be described as a bit frightening. Off road, however, the Envoy handles fine.
The Envoy has anti-lock brakes, stability control, and side curtain airbags. Government crash tests give the Envoy a perfect five-star rating for passengers, but only three stars for the driver and four stars for the front passenger.
EPA Fuel Economy
2009 GMC Envoy: 14/20 mpg city/highway
- The Denali version of the Envoy shows some real teeth with its V-8 engine.
- If you are the working type, the Denali has lots of towing power and endurance.
- The ride is pretty comfortable for the style of SUV.
- A lot of the features in the interior are up-to-date.
You Won't Like
- The handling is a real bummer.
- Even though there are a lot of nice features, the interior feels cheap and out dated.
- The frontal crash test scores are frightening to say the least.
This is the last year for the Envoy and it is probably for the best. Most of the vehicle feels way out of date. The front crash tests make the Envoy a no-go. Skip this vehicle for modern variations for better safety, more features, and better handling.
If You Like This Vehicle
- GMC Acadia
- Ford Explorer
- Mercury Mountaineer
- Toyota 4Runner