2008 GMC Envoy Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine lineup, comfortable ride for a traditional SUV, plenty of features, good ergonomics.
  • Numb steering, some low-grade interior materials, sloppy handling around corners, lower-than-average front crash test scores.
List Price Range
$4,995 - $6,767

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Strong performance, a roomy cabin and plentiful features garner points for the 2008 GMC Envoy, but mediocre handling and interior materials prevent it from seriously challenging the class leaders.

Vehicle overview

With crossover SUVs becoming increasingly popular, it might be easy to forget that SUVs started out based on pickup trucks. While crossovers hold an attractive edge in terms of ride and handling dynamics, and usually better fuel efficiency and interior space, traditional truck-based utes still offer tougher off-road capability and greater towing capacity. For those who prefer this old-school approach to SUV design, GMC offers the 2008 Envoy.

An upscale twin to sister division Chevrolet's TrailBlazer midsize SUV, the Envoy takes a trip uptown with fancier styling, a more luxurious cabin and a longer standard features list. Traditional SUV design means the Envoy offers a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive, with the latter having low-range gearing. A pair of capable engines is offered -- an inline-6 and a V8 -- and either one can handle towing a trailer or a boat.

Although the Envoy's modern features (such as a navigation system, DVD entertainment system and stability control) will attract its share of consumers, there's no denying the fact that this generation (now in its seventh year) is past its expiration date. On the upside, it has respectable performance, a supple ride and a roomy cabin. But examined more closely, the 2008 GMC Envoy can't match its rivals in terms of driving dynamics and interior quality. The Envoy's steering is devoid of road feel, and handling is mushy when pressed.

We've never thought very highly of the Envoy and its GM relatives, and that opinion certainly hasn't changed for 2008. If you still want a traditional midsize SUV for its towing and off-road ability, well-rounded choices such as the Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer twins and the Toyota 4Runner will prove to be more satisfying to own. And if you don't expect to fully utilize the Envoy's truck-based strengths, GMC's own Acadia crossover is a much better choice thanks to its higher-quality (and larger) interior, third-row seating and better fuel economy.

2008 GMC Envoy models

The 2008 GMC Envoy is a midsize SUV that's offered in three trim levels: SLE, SLT and Denali. The SLE features 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone air-conditioning, a CD player, satellite radio, full power accessories, keyless entry and OnStar telematics. The plush SLT adds a power driver seat with memory, a trip computer, automatic climate control, leather seating and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The Denali adds a unique honeycomb grille, 18-inch alloy wheels, a load-leveling rear suspension, power-adjustable pedals, heated seats, a power passenger seat and a Bose audio system.

A variety of options packages are available on the SLE, such as the SLE-2 package that includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power driver seat, a roof rack, an overhead console and power-folding heated side mirrors. Many of the SLT's and Denali's standard features are optional on the SLE. Optional for all are a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and the sunroof. Only the SLT and Denali, however, offer a navigation system.

2008 Highlights

The 2008 GMC Envoy gains satellite radio and head curtain airbags as standard equipment.

Performance & mpg

SLE and SLT trims are powered by a 4.2-liter inline-6. With an output of 291 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, this engine outguns most of its competitors' V8s, let alone their V6 offerings. The Denali packs a 5.3-liter V8 that pumps out 302 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Although the transmission is just a four-speed unit, it's matched perfectly to these burly engines and delivers firm, precise gearchanges.

All Envoy trims offer buyers a choice of either two- or four-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the six-cylinder Envoy can tow up to 5,800 pounds, while the V8 can tow up to 6,600 pounds. Fuel economy estimates for the two-wheel-drive Envoys are 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. The six and the V8 are rated the same, thanks to the V8's cylinder deactivation technology that shuts down four cylinders under light load conditions (such as freeway cruising).


Antilock disc brakes, stability control and head curtain airbags are standard across the board. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 2008 GMC Envoy earned five stars (the best possible) for its protection of front and rear passengers in the side-impact test. That agency's frontal-impact tests resulted in a subpar three-star rating for the driver and a four-star rating for the front passenger. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated GMC's midsize SUV "Marginal" (second lowest) after conducting its frontal offset crash test.


On the road, the 2008 GMC Envoy delivers a well-cushioned ride that most shoppers will like. Unfortunately, the steering offers little in the way of road feel, and handling is sloppy around corners due to the overly soft suspension. Off-road, the Envoy is capable of tackling the moderate terrain owners are likely to encounter while accessing trailheads and campsites. Ultimately, the most enjoyable aspect of the Envoy is its peppy performance that comes by way of its brawny engine lineup.


The Envoy's spacious cabin easily accommodates five adults, but there is no third-seat option. Brushed metallic and, on the Denali, wood-tone accents dress up the interior. But that luxurious effect is sullied somewhat by the use of low-grade plastics on the dash and door panels. The rear seat is split 60/40 and folds for cargo-loading flexibility. With those seats folded, the Envoy has a maximum cargo capacity of 80 cubic feet.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 GMC Envoy.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2008 Envoy Winter Driver
SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
Just bought the wife a winter driver because the Toyota Corolla Sport can't even make it out of the driveway if it has 2 inches of snow or more. The Envoy is stable, dependable and with automatic or full time 4 wheel drive it plows through snow and ice covered roads well. Most of the time it turns around in the drive with 5-6 inches of fresh snow without 4 wheel drive engaged. The vehicle has a smooth heavy feel on the highway more like a 1/2 ton truck which we both like but it has a softer ride. Great leg room for me for a change which fits my 6' 1" frame better than most of the smaller crossovers or SUVs. The 4.2L inline six has good power and torque at both low and high speeds.
ENVOY SLT Solid as Stone Mountain
Bill Poindexter,07/08/2015
SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
We purchased our 2008 GMC Envoy SLT with 10,000 miles on it and one year old. Now we have over 250,000 on it and would not trade it for anything new and free. The best way to describe the old school, body on frame, straight six SUV is SOLID. For work I have the opportunity to rent many vehicles and nothing comes close to the solid feel and stump pulling power of GM's Envoy and Trail blazer twin. My brother in law is a master mechanic and shop owner and rather than purchase a new vehicle (which he could easily afford) he chose a well cared for Trail Blazer. He is highly impressed with the bullet proof power train rugged body on frame design. I can attest it feels like you are driving a SUBSTANTIAL vehicle. The mass of power available at the slightest touch of the gas verifies what I read. The truck engine in these SUVs were over built by GM. The solid axle always stays put and signals when you are adrift in the lane resulting in a reassuring ride and stable tracking regardless of the highway condition. Newer vehicle designs may give you more storage pockets and cup holders but I value solid construction and indestructible power train as more important for getting you from A to B. Comfort is exceptionable and everything is quiet and solid inside the car. Repairs have been limited to a cracked exhaust manifold and wires chewed up by a demented squirrel. I would strongly lean toward buying a well cared for Envoy over a new vehicle just because they simply don't build them like this any more. UPDATE AS OF 1-13-17---- Our Envoy has now 250000 miles on it. Everything still works. Have not had to fix or replace anything, (no lie). Still has the original muffler, shocks, A/C freon. I change the oil and have had all other fluids changed as advised by GM. A great great car.
Love my new Used Envoy
Just a couple days old, I bought this 2008 Envoy with 65000 miles on it. I went to purchase a 2009 Chevy Equinox. Ironically both sat side by side and were the same price, yet the envoy had 20000 less miles. From the exterior, the GMC looked to be more solid of a vehicle, it doesnt have that plastic look to it like the Equinox. Test drive the transmission shifts smooth and no fear of passing on the highway. Equinox was otherwise. Gas mileage better than I expected. Last night did a 115 mile drive on the highway at 65-70 mph, got 22mpg with the air condition on. I was expecting a SUV of this size to be in the teens, its a truck no one should expect 30 mpg. So far I love it
Good Vehicle hate to see it go
The SUV has been great, it has got us through many long road trips. Monthly payment was getting to much so had to downsize to a small car again, but looking forward to being back in a FORD Focus again. Anyone who has mentioned the seats don't fold down flat, WELL THEY DO. We didn't think so at first either until my husband went out one day and figured it out, reading the manual really helped too.

Features & Specs

14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
285 hp @ 6000 rpm
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
285 hp @ 6000 rpm
13 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
300 hp @ 5300 rpm
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
285 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2008 GMC Envoy features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2008 GMC Envoy

Used 2008 GMC Envoy Overview

The Used 2008 GMC Envoy is offered in the following submodels: Envoy SUV. Available styles include SLE 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A), Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A), and Denali 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 GMC Envoy?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 GMC Envoy trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 GMC Envoy SLE is priced between $4,995 and$6,767 with odometer readings between 105686 and146031 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 GMC Envoys are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 GMC Envoy for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2008 Envoys listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,995 and mileage as low as 105686 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 GMC Envoy.

Can't find a used 2008 GMC Envoys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Envoy for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $19,109.

Find a used GMC for sale - 2 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $18,237.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Envoy for sale - 5 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $9,573.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $24,659.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 GMC Envoy?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out GMC lease specials
Check out GMC Envoy lease specials