This is a great 7 passenger SUV, maybe the best
Still too new. No faults to date.
When looking for a family auto, we had the following criteria: must seat 7 passengers, must be above average on safety, must have reasonable storage for vacation use, preferred a SUV and 4wd.
We took about 6 monthes deciding on a vehicle, test driving about every 7 passenger in our market. The major competitors were Explorer, Rendezvous, Odyssey and Tahoe. The "bench warmers" were Pilot, Suburban, Yukon &XL, TrailblazerEXT, XC90, Town & Country, and Pacifica. We looked at, without driving, the Expedition, Armada, Pathfinder, 4Runner and Highlander and Terraza.
The EnvoyXL we purchased has about everything we asked for at a fair price (after all discounts). We like 3 things very well and 1 thing we "hate". All the other things are regular pleasures or disappointments.
The large likes are the 3rd row seating, the interior space for the price and the layout/ features. The 3rd row is about the best 3rd row in the auto industry. There are others that are on par with the comfort, but none beat it. I recommend you try it yourself for verification. 2 average adults can ride for hours and not be uncomfortable. The GMT365 (?) platform is the only one to stretch the length before adding more seats. All the others add a 3rd row to a five passenger auto (save the minivans.) Can't say enough good about the 3rd row; I love it!
The interior space is great too. The only thing as big for a cheaper price is a minivan. We can squeeze a folded twin (series) stroller BEHIND the 3rd row seat. This is so very excellent especially for future vacations. Lastly, my wife really likes the look of the dash and comfort of the front seats; wood grains, nice leather power lots-of-things & quality materials. The other little good things include standard safety features of Onstar, traction / stability control, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes and for $500, airbags for 1st & 2nd rows. XM radio, reclining 2nd row seats, on-board computers, smooth engine, 3.73:1 rear axle ratio, full size spare and automatic climate control round out the good points.
The one large dislike is the handling. The length of the vehicle is too long for the soft suspension. It makes for a stellar ride, but if one performs a somewhat abrupt lane change, the back end takes about.5 to 1 seconds to catch up with the steering input. Therefore, it feels as if the SUV may tip over. I call it a major tail wagging.
The other small dislikes are the headliner material, the lack of full leather seating in all 3 rows, the on-board computer settings, gas mileage and the 4spd automatic tranny. Now the tranny performs excellently, but in the days that most manufacturers are moving to 5 and 6 speed trannys, the 4 seems out of date. The mileage is as stated on the sticker, 14 city, 20 highway so I can't complain.
Over all this is a perfect vehicle for a larger family and with the right equipment, can be a great road trip vehicle. I can recommend it to anyone without regrets.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th July, 2006