The first Envoy got a straight 6 Vortec 4200 engine making 270 horsepower, a big increase over the Jimmy. In later years, that engine output would be increase to 275 and, for the 2006 model year, 291 horsepower.
In its initial year, Motor Trend awarded the Envoy its Sport/Utility of the Year award. The Vortec 4200 was also named to Ward's 10 Best Engines list.
The XL option on the Envoy is very popular, mostly for one reason: it seats 7 people, and it seats 7 people comfortably. That's right, even a 6-foot-tall person will have no problem sitting in the third row of this big boy. The plant making the XL version of the Envoy was closed in 2006, but the model will be replaced by the Acadia XL.
GMC also made an Envoy XUV, for people who wanted an SUV that had a small cargo bed like a truck. I don't know who these people are, and I've definitely never met them, but General Motors seemed to think they existed in abundance from about 2003 until 2006. The Envoy XUV was discontinued in 2005 due to lagging sales (shocking!).
The Denali trim became available on the Envoy in 2005. It was also available on the XL.
This trim upgrade includes a luxury car-like interior with features such as heated seats and woodgrain trim. The Envoy Denali and Envoy XL Denali sold in the $40,000 range when new.
This is probably a good time to be buying a used Envoy. Dealers are going to be discounting most remaining stock to make way for the new Acadia SUV that is replacing it. Many owners might also be selling so they can purchase the latest and greatest from GMC. That means lots of these SUVs on the market... and lower prices as a result. Try checking for any listings on eBay. Some dealers will dump all of their excess stock there because it's quicker to get rid of it that way so they can make room on their lots for new models.