GMC | Envoy XUV
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What is the history of the GMC Envoy XUV?
The GMC Envoy is an SUV from the GMC marque of General Motors. It was introduced as a luxury version of the Jimmy for the 1998 model year, the same year the Jimmy was restyled.
The five-passenger Envoy XUV, introduced in 2003, was an attempt to create a combination of pickup truck and SUV. It featured a retractable rear roof section that slid forward, giving an open-topped load area. A 'MidGate' could be raised to partition the load area off from the passenger compartment; this was a solid, waist height plastic-lined panel and with a retractable glass partition for the top half. The two-way tailgate could either hinge sideways or drop down; the tailgate glass retracted into the solid tailgate. The cargo area was waterproofed and fitted with a drainage system, allowing it to be easily hosed down for cleaning.
The advantage of the Envoy XUV over a pickup truck or a more truck-like configuration such as the Chevrolet Avalanche (which originated the MidGate feature) is that with retractable roof and rear glass closed, the cargo area is sealed, full roof height and lockable, thus making it an enclosed SUV. The disadvantages include a much shorter cargo bed area and breakable side glass. The Envoy XUV's retractable roof was reminiscent of the Studebaker Wagonaire of the 1960s.
Sales were projected at 30,000 per year for the XUV (approximately a third of Envoy production), but were much slower with just over 12,000 sold in 2004. GM decided to discontinue XUV production on March 15, 2005.