Bought this based on test drive and 3rd seat. First experience with 4WD. Had the over-size wheel/tire (option?). This XL-7 has been awesome. Dealer repairs VERY expensive. Driver seat back torn out due to years of toddler abuse (LoL). Car still drives like new. Fast steering - handles very similar to my Miata in fact - may give some used to the GM slush boxes some fun in the wind at highway speeds. Only problem was aluminum chips in early production A/C compressors caused a lot of failures in 01 02 XL-7s; and replacement / system flush averaged between $2000 and $2500 at the dealers.
Handling. Wide tires = wide stance = cornering on rail performance. Engine. 4WD works very well. Snow is nothing (tho the Michelin X-Ice tires are awesome in their own right).
The cruise control placement was odd and was fixed for 2002. Third seat was toddler-only; I would have moved the 3rd seat another 8 inches back.