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2004 new car guide, model guide, new car reviews, by brand

2004 GMC LINE-UP

GMCThe GMC Division of General Motors puts out powerful pickups in four sizes for 2004 and sport-utility vehicles in two formats plus stretched and deluxe treatments.

GMC trucks line up behind the full-size Sierra, a light-duty (half-ton) pickup and perennial bestseller in a line encompassing the deluxe and powerful Sierra Denali with Quadrasteer four-wheel-steering (4WS) that literally runs circles around other large trucks. Huge work trucks clustered beneath the Sierra HD (heavy-duty) badge develop top-of-class gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR).

GMC's compact pickup, Sonoma, this year comes strictly in four-door Crew Cab trim as the series makes way for a new midsize model called Canyon. It shows three cab styles and multiple trim choices with optional side curtain-style air bags plus strong muscle from two new engines including the first in-line-five for GMC.

Sierra's platform functions as the foundation for extensive Yukon series with full-size Yukon and stretched Yukon XL plus companions Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali laced with trappings of luxury. Yukon XL 2500 (three-quarter-ton) offers Quadrasteer 4WS as an option to dramatically reduce the SUV's turning circle.

Envoy, the midsize SUV, has regular-length and stretched editions propelled by a straight-six powertrain or hunky V8. It also spins off the new Envoy XUV - first SUV with a power sliding roof and convertible all-weather rear cargo compartment.

GMC Canyon
2004 GMC Canyon

The new truck from GMC fits in size between a full-size Sierra and compact Sonoma. Titled Canyon, the midsize model rolls out in three cab versions (two-door Regular Cab and four-door Extended Cab plus four-door Crew Cab) with rear two-wheel-drive (2WD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) traction.

Canyon's Regular Cab has a bench covered in cloth and divided 60/40, but bucket seats are optional. Canyon Extended Cab carries four doors and a pair of forward-facing rear seats, as the Crew Cab also with four doors installs a rear bench with enough room to accommodate three adults. Front seats in the Canyon Crew Cab consist of twin buckets clad in cloth or optional leather.

Two new engines of in-line design where developed to motivate Canyon. The base Vortec 2800 2.8-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 175 hp, while the optional Vortec 3500 3.5-liter in-line five-cylinder plant climbs to 220 hp. The five-speed manual stick is new, with a four-speed Hydra-Matic 4L60-E automatic also available.

A rack and pinion steering gear and anti-lock brake system (ABS) score among stock items on Canyon, and options extend to side curtain-style air bags, XM satellite radio service and OnStar telecommunications.

GMC Sonoma
2004 GMC Sonoma

Compact-class GMC trucks pare in trims strictly to one configuration -- the Crew Cab with four full-size doors and 4WD traction applied. Powertrain is the Vortec 4300 V6 that puts out 190 hp with a four-speed Hydra-Matic 4L60-E automatic transmission.

The Insta-Trac 4WD system permits shift-on-the-fly switching from rear-wheel to four-wheel mode and has a 4WD low gear for off-road work. Sonoma Crew Cab supports a long list of standard features, including air conditioning, power windows and door locks, ABS and a bedliner.

GMC Sierra LD
2004 GMC Sierra LD

GMC's light-duty Sierra trucks in half-ton 1500 models include Wideside and Sportside body styles, rear 2WD and 4WD modes, and cabs of regular and extended lengths.

But for 2004 there's more - a new 1500 Crew Cab with four full-size doors and two row of seats for up to six passengers. The Crew Cab comes in SLE or SLT trim and 2WD or 4WD and an abbreviated cargo box measuring 68 inches long. The Crew Cab Sierra draws from a Vortec 5.3-liter V8 producing 295 hp to bring down GVWR numbers of 6800 (2WD) and 7000 (4WD) pounds plus maximum trailer towing capacity of 8500 pounds.

Deluxe Sierra Denali with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system stocks Delphi Automotive's Quadrasteer, which controls the direction of rear wheels so all four wheels work together more efficiently than when only the front ones turn. Vortec V8 engines in the series range from a base 4.3-liter plant at 200 hp and 4.8-liter at 285 hp to the 5.3-liter with 295 hp and a 6.0-liter V8 worth 300 hp - but in Sierra Denali it's pushed out to 325 hp.

GMC Sierra HD
2004 GMC Sierra HD

The HD (heavy-duty) label for Sierra signifies big trucks stretched to king-size dimensions. The series shows cabs of regular and extended lengths along with the four-door Crew Cab stocking car-like comforts.

Muscular engines power these trucks to the top of the heavy-duty class, from a big-block 8.1-liter Vortec with 340 hp to a Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel that musters 300 hp. Sierra in 2500 series adds a four-door Crew Cab edition in 2WD or 4WD with GVWR of 8600 pounds, and there's a new 3500 (one-ton) model with single-rear-wheel (SRW) configuration for 4WD and a long-box bed in back with all three sizes of cabs.

GMC Yukon
2004 GMC Yukon

GMC's full-size sport-utility vehicle rides on the Sierra platform and totes Sierra powertrains that reach from a 285 hp 4.8-liter V8 to a 5.3-liter edition good for 295 hp. The 4WD Yukon uses an active transfer case and optional Autoride continuously-variable suspension.

A new tire-pressure monitoring system puts a graphic icon flashing in the instrument panel if air pressure drops below a specified level. New options include a power sunroof and DVD-driven video entertainment system with flip-down LCD screen and two sets of wireless headphones.

GMC Yukon XL
2004 GMC Yukon XL

The XL version has the Yukon structure but with added inches in length and more power. Half-ton XL stocks Yukon's Vortec 5.3-liter V8 rated at 295 hp, while the three-quarter-ton XL gets a 6.0-liter V8 spiked to 325 hp. Further, the big-block 8.1-liter Vortec V8 at 340 hp is available for the largest XL and increases tow rating to 12000 pounds.

Quadrasteer 4WS is optional for Yukon XL 2500, and new communications and entertainment packages range from a DVD-based video player to OnStar telecommunications and XM satellite radio service.

GMC Yukon Denali/Yukon XL Denali
2004 GMC Yukon Denali

Denali represents the top of the line for Yukon and Yukon XL in deluxe editions outfitted with leather seats, a permanently-engaged AWD system and smooth Autoride suspension.

Power stems from the Vortex 6000 V8, with 325 hp in this installation as mated to an upgraded heavy-duty four-speed Hydra-Matic 4L65-E automatic transmission. In the cabin, three rows of seats in tone-on-tone leather make room for up to seven riders plus cargo space.

Denali in 2004 adds a standard tire-pressure monitoring system and options like a sunroof and DVD entertainment system. The color chart lists new shades such as Silver Birch Metallic and Sport Red.

GMC Envoy
2004 GMC Envoy

midsize Envoy returns for 2004 with dual designs, a regular-length version with two rows of seats for five-rider capacity and the Envoy XL, as in Extra Large. It runs 16 inches longer and three inches taller than the standard Envoy with enough extra room in the cabin to apply a third row of seats for two and boost the passenger count to seven. The third row consists of two independent seats set side-by-side.

Each seatback folds down and the entire seat tumbles forward to increase cargo capacity in the rear bay, or the seats may be removed, either separately or together. Access to the third row comes through rear side doors by sliding one of the second-row seats forward, then folding the seatback down and tipping the seat on its front end.

Both Envoy and Envoy XL draw from a standard 4.2-liter in-line-six engine with dual cams and output of 275 hp. Envoy XL also offers a Vortec 5.3-liter V8 good for 290 hp. With the V8 option, XL can tow a trailer weighing up to 7200 pounds in 2WD and 7000 pounds for the 4WD model.

Electrically adjustable pedals are new to Envoy's option list, along with DVD entertainment system.

GMC Envoy XUV
2004 GMC Envoy XUV

Latest variation to the midsize Envoy SUV is the Envoy XUV. It's the first SUV with a power sliding roof. Touch a button and the trailing edge of the roof slides away to form an open-air cargo bay. Use that space to transport large and tall goods like a refrigerator, bicycles, even landscaping trees.

A middle gate positioned behind the passenger area includes a power glass window at the top and a composite lower panel. It closes to seal the back bay from the cabin, while the rear section can be hosed out for cleaning. At the tail there's another gate with power window that drops down or the door swings aside.

Engines for the XUV compare to Envoy XL with the straight-six or optional V8.

[MORE INFORMATION FROM GMC]

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