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Buick Rainier, Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy



  • jpnmassjpnmass Posts: 45
    You wrote:
    Why would I ever buy one of the new GM mid-size SUV vehicles when the 2002 Ford Explorer is available

    Maybe because you enjoy being alive. Last time I looked, Ford was trying to cover up the fact that they put defective tires on their Explorer's (or maybe the whole design of the truck is at fault)and they were flipping over like pancakes. Why would you even consider an Explorer after that? Not saying to buy a GM product, but the Ford sounds a bit risky for me.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Americans are sheep. Anyone who buys an Explorer after Ford put in about 6-10lbs less PSI than Firestone told them to put in is crazy. But Ford has some either really good marketing or huge dealer network or something, cause people keep coming back for more torture! It's amazing. What would Ford have to do to get people to stop buying their cars and trucks? Short of having the thing explode upon turing the key in the ignition I think they can put out any crappola and Americans will buy it right up!

  • vindog45vindog45 Posts: 35
    I also read this sites reviews......what a bunch of biased crap!...."ROLLOVER PROTECTION SYSTEM"....yeah right!...My money still says the Explorer with roll over before a Trailblazer would. ...ROLL OVER PROTECTION SYSTEM....Duhhhhhhh!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Comparison Test: 2002 Midsize SUVs

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    I talked to the Master Mechanic at my Chevy/Old's dealer yesterday and he actually got me part numbers for the transfer cases and gave me some interesting infos...

    Both Autotrac and Smarttrak were originally designed and produced by New Venture Gear, but are now being produced by Borg Warner, since DC pulled the majority share of NVG and took it over... GM maintained the Muncie, Indiana plant where Borg Warner is making the transfer cases now. Both companies are producing under the same part numbers, NV 136 for the Olds and NV 246 for Autotrac. Both use electrically engaged wet pack clutch systems with multiple plates. The multiple plates allow both cases to manage torque split, something I didn't think that Autotrac could do. However, the 136 has more plates then the 246, thus giving it a bigger range of torque distribution and in his opinion better suited for on-road applications. the 246, on the other hand, has a lo-range (which produces up to 700 lbs more ft torque) and has a higher hardness rating, which make it more suited for off-road. I was able to find one site to support most of this info...

    So, I guess it looks like tlauro and I were both right and wrong in some regards. I definitely give Autotrac more credit now.

  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    Here's the New Venture Gear Site as well... They have some of the Specs on the cases...

  • funitsfunits Posts: 55
    Lest anyone is confused . . . I own a 2002 GMC Envoy . . . my comments on the mid-size SUV review on this site were my attempts at subtle sarcasim and alluding to that individual's (or an entire organization's) opinions/reviews may be biased by their product allegiance, for whatever reason.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I got that read on your comments, not sure why others didn't.

  • macman246macman246 Posts: 118
    Has anyone found a speed rating for our tires in any of the triplet's documentation?

    I had a '93 Exploder with 93K miles prior to purchasing my '02 Envoy SLT. One thing I do remember very clearly from the owners manual and the Firestone owners manual was that those tires were NOT to be driven over 65 mph. Granted, that's hard to do on the open highway, and I admit I took it up to 75 mph a few times. I wonder how many of those accidents could have been avoided if they had stayed below 65 mph.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmmm I don't buy that one. Most manufacturers will put a speed limiter @ the max tire speed rating. You don't need to look in an owners manual all you need to do is look at the tire. has the codes to tell you what the tires are rated at speedwise. I think Z or V is the highest which is 155+mph sustained. Most trucks come with 115mph speed limiters and tires rated at about 120mph sustained speeds.

    I've had my trooper up to 115mph a few times and generally travel at speeds of 80-90mph on trips. I've switched over to great tires Pirelli Scorpion ATs in 275-70-16 size. :)

  • kimodokimodo Posts: 44
    Boy, after reading that comparison test makes me feel like I have such an inferior suv in my backyard. Well, considering that this is the first american car/suv I've bought, gotta say I like it so far. Edmunds messed up on the mpg for the trailblazer by the way, it's not 12/16. Anyhow, for those of you who like their trailblazers and got the LS with out keyless entry, is there somewhere to buy the keyfob and configure it yourself without getting ripped by the dealers?
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    Isn't it funny how a vehicle can have the best 0-60 time, but feels a little sluggish in stop and go? =) Come on now, they ranked it third in engine performance. All I can say is that I've driven all of those vehicles, except the montero, and the TB engine owns every single one of them in every aspect! Stopping was 6ft behind the leader (Exploder), which is marginal to say the least. I'd also like to drive that slalom course. The say the triplets suffer undue body lean, but I would challenge that in a heartbeat. You just feel it more due to the poor side bolstering on the seats (a little better in bravada than tb, but still not ideal). Funny reading for sure...
  • gam2gam2 Posts: 316
    Motor Trend gave the Envoy "Truck of the Year" honors. Car and Driver ranked a TB ahead of the Explorer in their own test (won by a Hilander). To each their own I guess. It definately should be ranked ahead of the Dodge though. EDMUNDS: the mileage rating for the TB is 15/21 not 12/16. Please correct this oversight.

  • tlaurotlauro Posts: 504
    I sure don't feel it's inferior. Personally, I think the reviews are a bit off, but then I'm considered biased as a TB owner.

    Interesting comments though. One, I agree that even the Envoy and Bravada have nicer interiors, but then if they wanted to take the top of the line trim Explorer against GM, put it against the Envoy or pit the Bravada and Mercury against one another. The TB however, isn't cheap inside. Heck, at least we have padded doors and don't try to put fake grey wood inside.

    I also don't see too many stoplight races in SUV's and I'm an avid track go-er and racer too. Nonetheless, I've run 5.9l Dodge's and V8 Explorer on the road. They get the jump until about 40mph then loose the lead very quickly. Had a V8 Explorer run me until I backed off at about 75mph getting on the freeway and waved as he proceeded to do a flyby from a good ways back ;) I'll give up the stoplight race for much better passing power any day. Afterall, I'm more likely to need power merging than trying to squeeze someone out of a lane that narrows. If you own a V8...don't try & catch me in traffic because you won't. For those that want real V8 oomph...go drive the 265hp V8 Jeep. That's Best in Class power.

    I also don't see too many SUV'ers running the slalom on backroads either. Sure, the Triplets have a softer suspension, but I drove both the LTZ TB and the Limited Explorer each for one day before I made my decision and the Explorer was noticable stiffer in everyday traffic. IMO, if you're running any SUV close to the edge in the twisties, you're an idiot. Especially if you are a Ford Owner, as You'll probably be on your side.

    Styling...I like the one comment about the TB trying to look "cool"...but the Ford doesn't have to try and look boring. It passes the bland test like a plain rice cake.

    I also, have no idea why they commented on the gaps in the dash. IMO, things are very tight. Unless they are commenting on that the TB has more seems as that it does, but again, IMO, it's got style where the Ford inside is pretty plain.

    The closterphobic comment...way off. They are equal by 1/2" in all but rear hip room where the Chevy wins by 4". My guess is they felt that way due to the "Cool" center shifter in the TB

    The traction thing was also interesting. Several trade magazines tested the Snow capabilities of both and I clearly remember the Explorer getting stuck in able to move...the problem. Tires have a lot to play in that according to Motor Trend. They also keep you from rolling over. I've had my TB on ice and snow and the only time the rear kicked out excessively with A4WD on was on ice and my playing with a heavy foot.

    The crash test comparison was very funny. Just jump over the institutes site and you'll see that we faired a hell of a lot better than Ford and if you hit something going 5mph...they fail terribly.

    Overall, their steering was too heavy, ours too soft, their torque higher, our SUV faster, our suspension too soft, theirs rides rougher. Clear statements that the testers are biased for an SUV that handles like a car vs an SUV.

    Nothing wrong with that but if that's what you want, then you should buy a minivan. However, I guess some people want a harsher riding SUV that has heavy steering and that when merging on the highway runs out of steam. Hmmm not me. I like the Caddy like ride, the rain sense wipers, Bose that kicks their butt, styling...which the Explorer doesn't have, steering that allows for easy parking and power that kicks but when traffic. The I-6 is also way smoother and quieter than the antiquated V8 Ford Uses.

    Lastly, it's interesting that the Ford keeps the AC compressor on even in low temps. Also the location of the seat controls and heating elements is a bit odd. But that's Ford.

    Nope....I wasn't ripped off. I'll save my $2,200, get more and if I want to pic about style and finish...get the Envoy.

    off his soap box
    2002 Trailblazer LTZ @ 15.675
    2000 Alero "GT" @ 15.591
    1999 GTP @ 13.689
  • jeppingjepping Posts: 30
    Any updates regarding the tailgate paint issue? I haven’t seen any new posts regarding this. hopefully you guys out there aren’t forgetting about it. I emailed GM customer service regarding the problem but did not get a straight answer and basically they are not acknowledging the problem. The local dealer offered to paint the chipped area but only after I showed them the problem on every Envoy in their lot. However that’s not going to be a permanent fix.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'd bet the Exploder would do better than the Durangort and the TB due to the fact that it has independent rear end, this will and should give it a big advantage in the slalom. But are we buying sports cars here or are we buying trucks? If I wanted a sports car I'd buy a freekin Viper, Vette or Mustang! (actually I'd get a WRX)

    Amazing how reviews shaft vehicles all the time, guess GM didn't make their "donation" :)

  • scottc454scottc454 Posts: 356
    How about a ranking of reviewers?
    Here's my list:

    1) Autoweek
    2) Motor Trend
    3) Car and Driver
    4) Consumer Reports
    5) Edmunds

    Obviously, I can't expect a website reviewer to be as talented as someone who writes for a highly acclaimed magazine, but at least I see some consistency in the top 3.

    Ranking a Dodge Durango above the Trailblazer about makes me toss cookies. And the handsome styling of the Explorer? It looks like station wagon with a lift kit.

    Here's what we can gather from this review:

    1) Apparently we want "sensible alternatives to minivans" and we need them to handle well because we also take them to the autocross races.
    2) A third row of seats scores huge.
    3) Ride quality is not a factor.
    4) Engine smoothness is not a factor.
    5) Fuel economy isn't important either.
    6) Feeling fast is more important than actually going fast.
    7) Off the line power is more important than highway passing power.
  • dshepherd3dshepherd3 Posts: 194
    In my opinion the long term reliability of all these vehicles is one of the most important issues. No matter how happy or unhappy one is with all those driving/comfort/performance tests/parameters, constant trips to the dealership for uncorrectable anamoly's or serious mechanical problems , is what separates the happy from unhappy owners, this of course was not addressed in these comparos, nor anybody else's.
  • kkakkokkakko Posts: 9
    I am waiting for a response from my dealer (Joe MacPherson, CA). The tech advisor told me that he is constantly talking to the body shop manager but he doesn't know how to proceed. Two weeks had passed and I am still waiting.
  • I'm sorry to add this one guys/gals... But after reading that review, I was shocked to see that they dared to include the Nissan Pathfinder BUT not the Jeep Grand Cherokee? Boy.. what biased bs to me.

    I'm sorry but when I walk downstairs, I have the liberty of seeing a 2001 Inferno Red JGC V-8 Limited (mom's vehicle) in the garage next to my 02 Envoy SLT. Now, when I open the door, I have the liberty of seeing another 99 v-8 JGC Limited (father's vehicle) next to my Silver 02 Grand Am GT and although the Jeeps have their fair share of troubles, I have YET to find another SUV (outside of the $50K plus vehicles) that could outperform the Jeep in overall acceleration, off road capabilities. Also.. Tlauro is partially right in his statement (post 4739) "For those that want real V8 oomph...go drive the 265hp V8 Jeep. That's Best in Class power," correction... For those that want real V8 oomph, go drive the REGULAR 235 hp V-8 Jeep. That's the best in class POWER period!

    IF you all don't believe me, I dare you to go out and test drive a REGULAR v-8 model JGC. I swear.. I loooovee my Envoy to death, but with the smorgasbord of vehicles we have around our house, driving the Jeep still reminds me of the first time I drove my aunts 1995 Pontiac Trans AM.

    Now If you all want to hear something rather interesting, my dad's 99 is coming off of lease next month and he's been searching high and low for a vehicle to replace his Jeep. We've looked at everything from Avalanche's to Escalades and so far, not so good. I keep trying to convince him to get an Envoy, but he has the liberty of driving mine anytime he wants and everytime he says, "It's a very nice vehicle, you get a LOT for the money.. as a matter of fact.. I think that the vehicles are underpriced for what you are getting and will probably face a hefty price increase next year, but it still cannot touch my Jeep in terms of acceleration and handling." So from the looks of things, I think that we may venture out to Novi, MI tomorrow to pick up this 02 Grand Cherokee Overland with the H.O. V-8 that he's had his eye on for quite some time.

    I say what's stated above to say this. Of course we are all aware that a lot of those tests are very biased, for goodness sake, how could the Envoy win 2002 SUV of the year with MT and then get ranked 4th in the edmunds poll against some fairly "weak' contenders (and even dinosaurs; i.e. Pathfinders, Durango). Another good example, pick up the Consumers Report edition of the 2002 vehicle ratings. It's biased beyond belief! Practically everything made out of the United States received "Best Buy!" or "Recommended!" After reading the reviews about the triplets in the CR guide, it's enough to make you want to set your triplet on fire, but I know that the vehicle suites my needs just fine and I am happy and NOT EVERYONE'S TUSHY IS MADE THE SAME!

    Oh yeah.. before I forget.. did you all see the stereo review for the 02 TB in the edmunds review? I recall the editors making a note that the BOSE stereo in the TB sounded a little nicer than the BOSE in the Envoy that they tested last year? WHAT GIVES! FIRE THE EDITORS IMMEDIATELY... Hmmm.. As far as I know.. same assembly line, same components right? But then again, who knows.. maybe the BOSE fairy decided to slip a new prototype woofer/tweeter into the batch and it just so mysteriously happened to fall into the hands of the review crew? Oh well.. Just my .02 cents!

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Get a Trooper. Isuzu ranked #2 behind Toyota in both CR and JDP of long term reliability for '97 to present of mid-large sized SUVs. And off-road it will eat just about any other stock equipped SUV out there.

  • vtrip7vtrip7 Posts: 6
  • quickdtooquickdtoo Posts: 266
    My Tb has the same annoying squeaky seat, I too would like to know if there is a far, the best "fix" is turn up the radio volume! ..Tim
  • trek1420btrek1420b Posts: 32
    I bought my TB 3/31/2001 so I have had it a little over a year now, less the 3 weeks GM had it to fix the control arm bracket. So I would guess mine was built about the time of the bad engine blocks. I only have 7600 miles and no problems so far with the engine. I do tend to baby but I don't know if that makes a difference. Guess I have something else to worry about.

    Has anyone put a lock on the spare tire? I live in the Chicago area and wondered if it might not be a good idea.
  • tlaurotlauro Posts: 504
    I was wondering how long you were going to hold out on an Isuzu comment as it related to all the comparisons :)
  • Right on the money scottc454. Can't agree with you more. These agencies must test with bulky winter coats on, eyes blind folded and maybe given a little extra moola in their Pocket! Just doesn't make sense to me....
  • 2002slt2002slt Posts: 228
    How did you get a Trooper to go that fast? They seem so boxy. Did you bring any TP? :) I had an Eclipse GSX up to 125MPH once...That seemed pretty fast in an aerodynamic car. It must have been downright scary in a Trooper. But then again, I'm getting old.
  • pauleulpauleul Posts: 116
    I got my Envoy last Friday. Took it back today because of the tailgate paint issue. Also have a fine grit over the entire paint job (feels like paint overspray). It had 9 miles on it when I test drove.

    It goes back next thursday for an attempt at tailgate fix and a polish and wax detail job.

    The body shop manager said (and this is obvious) it would do no good to paint over the area. The plastic will simply expand and contract and do the same thing. Every Envoy on their lot has the same damage (except possibly the white ones, they were too dirty to tell). He called GM and they told him the fix was to paint it and put a clear 3m tape over it. He said that won't work because the outgasing of the paint (for about 30 days) will cause the clear tape to bubble. I can't believe GM could suggest such a stupid fix! It needs a properly designed gasket. It is going to cost them a fortune to keep messing around with this problem in such a mickey mouse manner. Guess that's the American way.

    My guy is going to try to come up with a better fix which I believe is a P-type extrusion gasket material. We'll see how it goes.

    I'm suprised more people aren't getting very vocal about this problem. Once the primer is worn through, rust will begin to occur, then they will be replacing the entire tailgate.

    Anyone who has one of the triplets, I suggest you take a look at your tailgate (when it is clean) and see for yourself what is going on. The more of us bringing to GM's attention (and costing them money) the sooner they will address it in a proper way. With summer coming, the problem should get more prevelant with the expansion and contraction in warmer weather.

    That's the price we pay for buying a first year out product. My build date was 2/02 so the factory still hasn't done anything to prevent the problem. I believe an earlier post said they are now coming from the factory with a gasket. According to GM, in talking with the body shop manager, that is not so. They told him no gasket exists.

    Otherwise, it sure has been a nice vehicle so far.
  • Paisan's crazy, you don't want to know what he does in that thing. He's even got a video of it airborne. DO NOT RIDE WITH THIS GUY :-)
  • I saw a 3/02 trailblazer on the lot with a black plastic gasket on the tailgate to prevent the paint chipping. It looked fine on the majestic red.
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