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Toyota Highlander vs GMC Envoy

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  • kath00kath00 Posts: 3
    Thanks for starting this excellent thread. I was wondering if I was the only one who is making the decision between these 2 cars.

    I test drove both yesterday and found that the Envoy looked more luxurious than the HL (unlike the previous post) and there were no metals sticking out, rust, etc. I thought it was way more powerful of an engine. It swayed a bit more than the HL, which is the only downside to the vehicle that I found. That and the tiny cupholders, definitely not big enough to hold my supersize drink cups. (The center console on the HL is an extra option? I've never heard of something that silly.) Anyway, I just got a great quote on-line for an Envoy for invoice with 0% financing so after much back and forth, I think we will get it this weekend.
  • Toyota recalls Highlanders for brake work
    DETROIT, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling more than 41,000 Highlander sport utility vehicles because of a potential problem with their brakes.

    The problem, announced by federal regulators in a monthly list of automotive recalls, stems from potential leakage of air into the Highlander's braking system, which can lead to increased stopping distances and heightened risks of a crash.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 41,169 of the SUVs from the 2001 model year were included in the recall.

    Separately, NHTSA said Saab Cars USA Inc., a unit of General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news), was recalling 12,036 of its 1998 model year 900 vehicles because their passenger side air bags may deploy without a crash.

    The agency attributed the potential for inadvertent deployment to a buildup of static electricity in the compartments that house the air bags.
  • brad_22brad_22 Posts: 154
    Hmm...This seems to be old news. I took my HL in for the brake recall months ago. Turns out mine was okay anyway.

    If you want to see some REAL recall news, trying entering "GMC Envoy Recalls" in your search engine. ; )
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    Looks like Toyota has the lead, on recalls that is. A total of 6,000 Envoys, TrailBlazer and Bravadas were recalled and 41,000 Highlanders have been recalled. But lets not bring up the subject of "sludge". Seems to make Toyota owners act a bit strange. But if 3 out of 4 wheels fell off a Toyota, the owners would rave about the "quality" of that fourth wheel.
  • brad_22brad_22 Posts: 154
    IBthedog-
    Really? Did you scroll through all of them or just the first one you saw? Here's what I found:
    -----------------------------------------
    2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy and Oldsmobile Bravada Recalled
    Detroit, MI (SafetyAlerts) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a recall affecting certain 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy and Oldsmobile Bravada vehicles. The affected vehicles were manufactured between July and October 1999.

    30,476 automobiles are affected by this recall.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    GM to recall 6,000 sport utility vehicles

    APRIL 5, 2001 — General Motors plans to recall 6,000 sport utility vehicles because of a safety concern over a suspension part and will temporarily idle the plant that produces the vehicles. GM spokesman Mike Morrissey said Thursday that GM is asking customers who bought a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2002 GMC Envoy or 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada to stop driving the vehicles immediately.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Component: INTERIOR SYSTEMS:CONSOLE (8/82)
    Year: 2002
    Make: GMC
    Model: ENVOY
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 8197
    Manufactured From: OCT 2000 To: MAR 2001
    Year of Recall: '01
    Type of Report: Vehicle
    Summary:

    Vehicle Description: Certain sport utility vehicles fail to comply with requirements of FMVSS No. 201, "Occupant Protection in Interior Impacts." These vehicles have a console cover/armrest lid latch that could release at less than the 10g vertical load requirement of the standard.

    In the event of a crash, the console cover could open and the cover or items stored under it could injure an occupant.
    --------------------------------------
    GMC Envoy: [3,116 vehicles] Daytime Running Lights have candela value greater than 2,600, were located less than 100 mm from turn signals and hazard lamps, and are not deactivated when turn signal or hazard lamps are activated.
    --------------------------------------

    etc.....That's a wide variety of problems for such a new vehicle.
  • robz3robz3 Posts: 28
    Please reread the first recall you posted. In the first line it says 2002 TB,Envoy, Bravada. But then on the fourth line it says it's for vehicles manufactured between July and October of 1999. This doesn't add up. Was GM making production cars two years before sale? I don't think so. Over 30,000 made?
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    Wow, you're right. A loose console lid could prove to be deadly. And those daytime running lights being dim could really be a hazard. Who would think that the company that started putting DRLs on voluntarily could put so many lives at risk by not making them bright enough. It really must be a safety enhancement to have a brake system recalled. But the guy before me was right, how'd they recall vehicles from two years before they were built? Does GM have a "Wayback" machine? But still this doesn't add up to 41k. Got some more?
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    41K.....I think not. Check your source. This recall is old news. Maybe Toyota has made 41k Highlanders total, but the recall was issued long before they made 41k. Take it from someone who understands Japanese manufacturing methods and worked in the auto industry, that problem was fixed as soon as they found it and before they made another vehicle. I don't recall any reports of Highlander owners not being able to brake. I do recall stories of a Envoy/Bravada/TBlazer owner whose vehicle would not shift out of reverse. Compare something else between the two vehicles, because there is no competition when comparing quality. Good luck driving home....BACKWARDS.
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    >>Toyota recalls Highlanders for brake work
    DETROIT, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling more than 41,000 Highlander sport utility vehicles because of a potential problem with their brakes.

    The problem, announced by federal regulators in a monthly list of automotive recalls, stems from potential leakage of air into the Highlander's braking system, which can lead to increased stopping distances and heightened risks of a crash.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 41,169 of the SUVs from the 2001 model year were included in the recall.<<

    My source is "Reuters", your source is "Hearsay", what's your wager now?
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    You'd probably believe there's a bridge for sale in Brooklyn too. With respect to Reuters they are a financial information news co. They happen to be reporting a story that is months old. Check out the Highlander board if you don't believe me. This should tell you how much they know about what's going on in the auto industry. I'm speaking from personal experience about an industry I've worked in. If you would like to speak with the gentlemen in Ann Arbor, Michigan who couldn't get his SUV out of reverse I'll get his email for you. Hearsay that. The bottom line is that the Highlander is far more likely to be a better built, higher quality vehicle than the GM triplets.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,643
    Edmunds reports that the Highlander brake/master cylinder recall covers 41,169 vehicles and the owners were notified in July, 01.

    Check out The Edmunds Maintenance Guide for details on this and most cars since 1990 or so (TSBs included).

    Steve
    Host
    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    jblaze13: Would you care support your statement "The bottom line is that the Highlander is far more likely to be a better built, higher quality vehicle than the GM triplets" with any facts or is this statement merely your opinion. In the absence of direct data on these two new models, your statement can only be considered as an opinion not fact.
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    I have no idea where you're going with this subject but just like your Highlander, you seem to unable to stop. So they got recalled a few months ago. How many got recalled? You know the answer. And how many current model Envoys? Most these boards are little more than pissing contests. You don't know the warranty data that Toyota has or the data GM has, you never will. It's not JD Power any of that drivel. It's all internal stats derived from claims from dealers. And even if you could get something close to the truth, it won't exist for at least two or three years. There's no bull or "hearsay" about that. Give us some root cause analysis. Tell us how you've analyzed data and drawn a conclusion with absolutely no data? I will say this, GM does not enjoy the same perception of quality that Toyota does. That does not mean that Toyota is better, they are just perceived as better. That alone will skew some data in their favor. Some/many consumers will accept a product that doesn't meet standards and allow their prior convictions to enhance their expectations. In others words, if Toyota sells a P.O.S. some buyers will pass it off as an anomaly solely because of reputation. GM will have a tough time beating this kind of competition. But just as Ford has found out, you screw up, and things can go in the dumps fast. And don't tell me that Toyota cannot screw up.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    HEATWAVE3: If you look at what I said "...the Highlander is FAR MORE LIKELY to be a better built, higher quality vehicle...". Which means only time will tell for these vehicles. However, what I do know to be a fact ,from personal experience, is that GM assembly lines have not been set up in the past to solve quality problems as they occur. When problems occur on assembly lines of Japanese manufacturing firms(i.e.Toyota), the assembly line is stopped until the problem is fixed. This is not the case at some American firms (i.e. GM). I also know that Toyota places far more stringent quality requirements on their suppliers than GM does. I have a degree in industrial engineering, I studied this for years and worked in the industry. If you're so anxious for a source, read a little old book called "The Machine that Changed the World" for starters. I don't know what the future holds for GM quality but I do know that the quality differences between GM and Toyota are not a perception. In FACT, GM spends time with Toyota and recruits their people to try to understand what they are doing wrong. Toyota is the standard that GM is trying to achieve. That is a fact. If you don't believe me, research it yourself. I've studied this long enough to know the facts, how about you(ibethedog)?
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    Because you said so. That's pretty good. But you have no data, have been proven wrong about recalls, so why believe you now? Lee Iacocca went to Mitsubishi for cars to sell under the Chrysler nameplate a while ago. Exact same cars as were sold under the Mitsubishi badge, with the exception of grills and taillights. Quality ratings came back and the Chrysler badged vehicles were consistently lower. Had nothing to do with performance or engineering. Came back to perception. Exact same stuff happened with the Nova/Prism and Corolla from Fremont. Let's agree on one thing, as consumers, Americans can be incredibly stupid. We made a guy who put rocks in a box a millionaire. If there is a gap in "quality", it is not as large as some want you to believe. This is being exploited by Toyota and who blames them. You've got your story about somebodies Envoy stuck in reverse, I've got my story about a co-worker who's brand new Celica wouldn't start two days after he bought it. Care to hear the cause of the no start, he was told he washed it the wrong way. It was his fault. And what's sillier is he accepted this. That's what GM, Ford, etc. are up against.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    I could care less about wether you believe me or not. The fact is, I've studied and worked in this industry and you have not. The data is there if YOU look for it. You speculate that the Toyota quality difference is "perception", where's your data since you are so in need of proof? You replied that the gap in quality is not as large as some want me to believe. Where's your proof/data? I agree that perception helps...that's what marketers are for. However, the proof is in the pudding and consumers communicate. I'd rather by a vehicle that my best friend told me was great before a vehicle that has great commercials. No car company is perfect. Cars are too complex and change too much to build them perfectly. Its just that some do it better than others. You might want to read up on quality manufacturing before you assume that the quality difference is perception. Start with the book I recommended. After you've read, then you'll believe.
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    Sorry but again you are wrong. I have no idea what you do, neither do I care. But you also have no idea what I do and again, I don't care if you know. All of that is irrelevant. To make a blanket statement that a Toyota "is a higher quality vehicle" and back that up with " I read a book" is not what I would call substantial data. This is like most other threads around here, wasted time. By no means does GM, Ford or Chrysler build vehicles as bad as Toyota, Honda and the rest want you to believe. I'll say this, if you want to pull a trailer of any sort, you'd flat out be a fool to take a Highlander over an Envoy. If you worry about long term reliability, nobody knows on these vehicles. The Envoy is all new while Toyota's reputation has been soiled by "sludge" accusations. Which have not been proven true or false by any source of any authority. This comparison is apples versus oranges.

    By the way, I am in the auto industry, you've "studied it". I'm not going to say how much you know, how do you know what I know?
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    By the way, I've read many books. I was recommending one for you. I agree with you about pulling a trailer. I don't pull trailers so I don't need an Envoy. I'm wondering what world you live in "Toyota's reputation has been soiled". Wherever you work, its obviously not in the auto industry. You also mis-qouted me. Take note to the words "more likely". This is the first I've heard of the great Japanese automaker conspiracy to slander the quality reputation of American cars. I think we accomplished that reputation on our own. Those within the industry have realized that there is something that the Japanese companies have been doing right and tried to benchmark their processes. Others think there is some great conspiracy. I think its time to agree to disagree and move on.
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    you know everything
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    jblaze13: Thanks for sharing your opinion on the quality differences between the Highlander and the GMC Envoy. As I suspected you have nothing to support your statement that the Highlander is of better construction than the Envoy other than your opinion.

    These are both new models and as an Industrial Engineer I am sure you are familiar with the fact that many new techniques, quality checks and sub-contractor inspections are deployed to ensure the latest model is better than the previous one.

    My view is simple, only time will tell which is better in the area of quality and resale value.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    That's what I've said several times already. You misqoute me as well. I never said the Highlander is of better construction than the Envoy. I SAID the Highlander is "far more likely" but "only time will tell". I ALSO SAID of GM processes "in the past" and "who knows what the future of GM quality holds". Because as an IE I KNOW that processes change. Furthermore, I was sharing my opinion on the diferences between Japanese and Amercian automaking processes which have a direct affect on the quality of their products. As I suspected, you didn't read my statements. I'm usually a very low key person until someone tries to tell me about something I know. Ironically, I've clearly agreed with what you state is your view but it doesn't seem so because you clearly didn't read what I stated. Oh well.
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    jblaze13: actually I never quoted you. If I did I would clearly use quotations. The theme of your posts was clearly your belief that the HL is of higher quality in manufacturing than the Envoy.

    You supplied no data to support your view therefore I simply repositioned your comments as opinions not facts. In fact, given the safety recalls on the Highlander brakes and the Envoy having received best new SUV of the year by several magazines, there is a good case to suggest your opinion is not only unsupported but wrong.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    You changed what I said to fit a point you were trying to make. In case you haven't noticed the Highlander has received several accolades from many magazines as well. Big deal. What you also failed to mention is the GM triplets being recalled for suspension problems on top of the recalls already mentioned. There was only one recall on the Highlander. I'll let you count up the recalls on the Envoy. My comments are about the quality of the two vehicles. Quote a magazine that even suggests the Envoy is of higher quality than the Highlander. In fact, most of the write-ups on the Highlander mention the fact that it is built on the same highly reliable platform as the Camry. Suggesting that these publications believe the Highlander will prove to be reliable as well. Even Edmunds road test says "This Toyota's impeccable build quality became readily apparent...". Edmunds review of the Envoy states "the cabin was fraught with various rattles and squeaks from the dash and empty cargo area, gap tolerance variances abounded...". It seems that I'm not the only one who believes in Toyota quality and that the Envoy has to prove it is up to par. The very source that is allowing us to communicate with each other agrees with my view of the quality of these vehicles. THERE'S YOUR DARN SUPPORT!!! WHERE'S YOUR SUPPORT (heatwave3 & ibthedog)???
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    That's it. One recall of approximately 6k of the triplets. You're trying to lump the old model in with the new.

    P.S care to know how many actually had a problem? 3, all caught at the dealership before delivery.
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 131
    enuf on the cat fight -- let's move on.

    I would like some feedback on those who have compared these two fine vehicles. Personally, i've never bot a GM vehice but i am willing to consider a change fi they are really that good. The highlander turns me off because i promised my kids that we would have AC in the rear ((we live in arizona)).
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    But there is a third model in the mix. Not that you can get one yet but if you care for a bit more room, the stretch Envoy is only a couple months away. You will see a bit of a difference in options between the TrailBlazer / Envoy this time around and if you so desire, the Gen 3 V-8 will be an option. Not going to say the triplets introduction was perfect but since then, there have been a few changes, mostly software related, and all things considered, they are fine vehicles that are earning a good reputation quickly.
  • I believe these forums are a good source of information for people,such as me,to learn about the many vehicles on the market today.I read a number of posts and eventually bought a 2001 Highlander.I will not defend my decision- since I am the one that signed the check.I respect everyones choice to buy whatever they want because I dont have to pay for it or put up with the consequences, but I will relay some facts.In the Oct,2001 edition of Consumers Reports,page 53,in Recommendations "If your looking for a mid-sized SUV,the refined and well thought out Toyota Highlander is an excellent choice.It slightly outscored its costlier cousin,the Lexus RX-300.The smooth powertrain provides quick acceleration,normal handling is sound and responsive,and the ride is comfortable and quiet.Access is easy...etc".On the same page is a table listing 12 SUVs/Station Wagons,in decending order of overall performance.The HL is 3rd and the Envoy is 12th.The two cars rated ahead of the HL are the Audi A6 & the VW Passant.They were rated ahead of the HL for emergency handling.This was resonable since cars have a lower center of gravity than SUVs.The HL was noted for its reliabilty-much better than average.In the Sept,2001 issue of CR page 55 there is areport on the GMC Envoy.CR gives good marks for ride,quiet interior,acceleration and access.There is also a comment on the towing capacity-6100lbs highest in its class.The Envoy was not rated on reliability since its a new design.The HL is a recommended SUV,based on comparison to the other vehicles in the test including the Envoy.The Envoy is not recommended for the same reason.I also noted the HL has a larger cargo volume-41.5cf v 39cf.I consider Consumer Reports one of the few unbiased,reliable sources when buying a car.I would also refer you to www.auto.com/industry/cowger10_20010810,it is an article by Jeffery McCracken of the Detroit Free Press titled TOYOTA GETS GM CREDIT.It quotes Gary L.Cowger GM group VP for manufacturing "The roots of our improvement is the Toyota Production System.We learned from them.We've got to give credit where credid is due."This is quite a statement from a GM VP but it takes a big man to give others credit.Like I wrote I wont defend my choice but I consider the Highlander the best engineered,best built, most reliable mid-size SUV on the U.S. market today.Obviously others do to.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,643
    On that note, what are the most important factors in your car-buying decisions? The Chicago Tribune is looking for a ranking of concerns such as safety, price, monthly payment, styling, quality, etc.

    Please send your response to our media person, Jeannine, at jfallon@edmunds.com. Thanks!

    Steve
    Host
    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    hsvillage: thanks for the data based response. All good information and valid for making a buying decision. I used to be a long standing subscriber of Consumer Reports but have found their approach to vehicles and overall subject matter covered in their magazine far from unbiased and discontinued my subscription some years ago.

    When they started running articles on pharmaceutical benefits and why abortion should be supported, they went was over the top in my book for a "consumer" magazine.

    Once they moved to their rollover tests with outriggers without full disclosure of the incident of rollover in the real world, readily available in insurance data, they became nothing more than a mouthpiece for the left wing and far from providing an independent view of vehicles.

    I have come to trust publications like Popular Mechanics, Motor Trends and Car & Driver (even with their ads) far more than Consumer Reports. Any magazine that has resorted to 30 sec sensational sound and video bites prepared for the evening news in order to generate news stand sales is worse than a publication accepting good old fashioned advertising...which is the American way in my book (pun intended).

    Are you aware of any Car Magazine that has chosen the HL over the Envoy in a comparison? Even most car mags comparing American brands to European or Japanese cars have chosen the non-American vehicle, however the Envoy has received numerous accolades over its competition.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    hsvillage, thanks for the information. That further backs most of the things I've said and supported on this topic. I'd consider Edmunds a good source as well. The addition of the "real" center console and the rear center armrest should make the Highlander even better for 2002.
This discussion has been closed.