View Full Version : OT-Bought A New SUV, Talk Me Off the Ledge!

01-26-2005, 08:57 AM
We made a deal on a new ( to me) SUV on Saturday, now I have some buyers remorse and I'm looking for opinions from the owners of 2004 Chev Trailblazer (or it's twin, GMC Envoy). We bought a (slightly) used 04 EXT LS 4WD, with 40K on it. I know we got a very, very good price because we have been doing our research. We usually drive imports, so going to a domestic vehicle is a leap of faith for me. We have a '97 Pathfinder LE now, but we just traded up to a larger camper in the summer, and while the Pathfinder does the job, we felt the engine was "struggling" and chose to camp locally rather than stress the engine with a longer road trip ( the trailer is within the towing capacity, but near the limit).

I have read some horrible reviews of the trailblazer, but the problems seem to be in the 2002 -2003 models, and have been repaired in the 04's. I have also read some stellar reviews on this model, so I really don't know what to expect from this vehicle. Any thoughts, opinions, and experiences on this vehicle would be appreciated.

RC Fan
01-28-2005, 12:13 PM

My boyfriend's mom has a 2003 Envoy. I don't believe at this point that she has had any major problems. I have driven it a couple of times, but I am not a GM fan, or a fan of domestic vehicles period. I love cars and have always driven Subarus.

01-28-2005, 04:42 PM
I've stayed away from this particular vehicle because I learned after having a Dodge Durango that mileage is a killer. Now I have a Honda Pilot which is OK but it doesn't have the strength of the Durango or your SUV, but I get great milage for a SUV. I am currently looking at my options as I am planning on getting something else next year.
Those who do have one that I know love it though - lots of room and you'd never get stuck in the snow. Enjoy!

01-29-2005, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the responses! The mileage on the Pathfinder is horrible, so there won't be any sticker shock at the pumps. ( I am optimistic that the newer, more efficient engine might be a little better, but we know what to expect.) We have an economy car that we drive mostly as our family vehicle, but I suspect we will do some "nonessential" trips with the new truck to show it off!

My husband also has a motorcycle that he will drive to work when the weather allows, so in the summer the truck will mainly be used on for the camping trips.

02-01-2005, 04:10 PM
After driving several "American Cars", I decided to never ever drive them again.

02-01-2005, 10:13 PM
We took the plunge, and picked up the new truck tonight. All I can say is WOW! I drove the new one home and I am very impressed. This is a gorgeous vehicle, very comfortable and powerful. I may need a second mortgage to pay the speeding tickets in this baby.

02-02-2005, 12:50 PM
I'm looking to go the opposite route and purchase a smart car. So Faye, if you see me on the road PLEASE don't run over me!!!! :rotfl2:

02-02-2005, 12:57 PM
I just saw a "Smart Car" for the first time on the weekend. They are cute!

02-02-2005, 01:19 PM
cute yes...but I'm sure you can picture the driving over one thing! :teeth:
To be fair I'd have to wait a year anyway-they're on back order and I still have some saving to do.

02-02-2005, 01:49 PM
cute yes...but I'm sure you can picture the driving over one thing! :teeth:
To be fair I'd have to wait a year anyway-they're on back order and I still have some saving to do.

I was about to buy one last weekend.


the handling, the noise, the built quality... I wouldn't pay anything more than CDN$10,000 for that car.

I ended up buying another Jetta, but this time it's the TDI.

02-02-2005, 09:16 PM
I have a 2004 GMC ENVOY XL..
It has had some minor glitches..mostly computer and the like...it's a piggy at the pump...but I love it!!!! When the roads are bad..it's a treat to drive! Like I say..passes everythign except the gas pump! :rotfl2:

No car is perfect..and look at it this way..you are helping the North American autoworkers maybe keep their jobs a bit longer!

02-02-2005, 10:56 PM
No car is perfect..and look at it this way..you are helping the North American autoworkers maybe keep their jobs a bit longer!

and ruin the environment a bit faster.

02-02-2005, 11:32 PM
This wasn't a question about whether or not to purchase an SUV but rather whether this particular vehicle was with or without problems.

I am only relaying my opinions on the reliablilty and experience with this car.

I guess really there should be NO cars on the road..but it's not a perfect world is it? I am married to a guy that will not support anything but North American vehicles and thus this is my feelings about this SUV.

02-03-2005, 12:02 AM
and I'm only relaying my opinions on how damaging SUVs are to the environment.

If you really need an SUV, get a Tuareg diesel, it gives you 23 mpg (actual city driving) with 553 Torque at 2000 rpm vs GMC Envoy that guzzles 18 mpg (also actual city driving) with only a puny 200-ish Torque at 2000 rpm

Even my Jetta 1.8L engine produces 180 Torque at 2000 rpm at 24 mpg (again, actual city driving)

I'm sorry (well, I'm not) but nobody in the GTA needs an SUV. I came from Australia and experienced the real Outback... even there most people don't need SUV.
Besides, what's the point of having an SUV with towing power only a tad better than my puny tiny little Jetta but guzzles close to 50% more gas?

I love the look of SUV, I love driving in one, but am I willing to take part in furthering the depletion of natural resources and ruining the environment? That's why for my second car I bought the diesel version of the same Jetta. Same torque as my regular gas Jetta but consumes about 50% less fuel than my previous Jetta. (38 mpg, city driving)

Not too often I can brag that I only need to spend $70 per month for fuel (I drive about 1600 kms per month)

02-03-2005, 07:25 AM
I think a lot of people confuse fuel economy with fuel efficiency..

Sure, our Excursion PSD doesn't get great fuel economy, but load up your Jetta with 7-9 people with all their luggage and you'd realize that getting 17-20mpg in the big ol' Excursion is just as "fuel efficient"... but most people like to lump the SUVs into some great generalization of "who needs an SUV".. true the majority of people don't use them to the extent of their abilities, some do!.. But also owning a TDI Beetle allows me to balance out the universe and not feel too guilty about it! (even with it spewing all those bad NOx gases hehehe) :)

02-03-2005, 07:39 AM
Ahhhhhh, the smell of NOx :)

Regardless, obviously I can't fit 7-9 people in a Jetta, but close. Last autumn for 3 months I drove around with full capacity (5 people plus a very full trunk, equivalent to the weight of 2 more people), and the fuel milage ratio to 22 MPG. Still much better than from both fuel exonomy AND fuel efficiency perspectives compared to any SUV around.

Don't forget, the Envoy 18 MPG is based on my driving it around for a month and I was the only person in the SUV and not carrying anything at all. On the ocassion I hauled my entire family and relatives (total 5 people plus a whole bunch of travel gears), it went down to 17 MPG... still pointless to me. Pay double the $$ for the car, pay at least 50% for the fuel, get the same torque, wreck the environment further and siphon the natural resources more... why? :confused:

02-03-2005, 09:23 AM
I may be wrong, and Lord knows if I am the automobile gurus out there will tell me, but I don't think that torque directly translates to towing capacity, which was the issue for me. I bought a fairly large camper, 3300 lbs, and needed a vehicle with better towing capacity than the one I had. Although I may have paid twice as much for this type of vehicle than for a more fuel efficient/environment friendly, it wouldn't pull my trailer so the point is moot. I am delighted that I actually paid 1/2 of the MSRP for this vehicle, had we bought it brand new last year. My post was mostly because we have learned from experience that "you get what you pay for" and I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to have to learn to make lemonaide, if you get my drift.

In the big scheme of things, you are right, city dwellers probably don't need SUV's (having 4 wheel drive doesn't help me much if I'm stuck in traffic behind a Ford Escort), but I don't spend my entire life in the city. However, we also drive an economy car most of the time; this new vehicle has a very specific purpose.

Minnie56, I am delighted to hear you enjoy your Envoy, and have had relatively minor problems. I called a GM service dept. and they checked the VIN #, my vehicle has only been in for warranty work once, at 22K, to replace a switch. We still have nearly 2 yrs . left on the warranty so hopefully I will be as satisfied as you.

02-03-2005, 09:54 AM
Nope, you're not getting a lemon. Your car, if it really is an equivalent to an Envoy (I really don't know much), is a very nice car... and yes, people should use the SUV the way you use it. Those yuppies in a mint-clean Humvee wearing their Armanis driving along the 401 should not be driving those things. If anybody should drive in one, people like you should, not them.

One day, when I have enough money saved up, I'm going to get the Tuareg (for reasons I mentioned before) which I assume will be able pull your trailer very easily, with 500+ lb ft of torque.

PS: I can't imagine how large is a 3300 lbs trailer, but I've personally have travelled around Tasmania in a Jetta 1.8 Turbo pulling a trailer large enough for my entire family to sleep in(at that time travelling with both my parents and my brother) it also includes a mini kitchen and washroom/shower.

02-03-2005, 11:19 AM
FatCow, I had no idea Jetta's could pull so much! Now I'm going to regret this decision every time I go to the gas station ( which will be plenty)!

02-03-2005, 11:46 AM
yeah but that's in Tasmania though, no outback-style driving nor snow. The most is really heavy rain. Definitely can't pull THAT big of a trailer in Canadian snowy weather.

02-03-2005, 12:51 PM
This is not my first SUV.

I buy them because
Number 1..I hate driving on icy roads ...HATE....I had an accident many years ago and in an instant the car can be out of your control and this gives me a bit more of a safe feeling. Though I do realize it too has it's limitations and I respect those.

Number 2..I have a daughter attending Queens in Kingston and at least 2x a year we hitch a U-haul and tow her belongings.Next September there will be another in Montreal.

Number 3..My hubby just will not let me have a small vehicle. Car accidents are a lot more severe than they used to be and he wants me to be on an 'equal playing field' with what's out there on our roads.The same goes for our daughters..they already know he insists upon a bigger vehicle as the small ones often serve as a coffin too.

That's just the way it is for our family.God Forbid any of us is in an accident...we hope to have lots of great General Motors metal around us!