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WHEELS OF THE WEEK

2004 GMC Envoy XUV: GMC's Envoy XUV is billed as one of the most versatile SUVs on the market, thanks in part to its power-sliding rear roof. With the touch of a button, the XUV converts the cargo area from fully enclosed to open air.

When the rear roof is fully retracted, a 32-by-32-inch opening allows the vehicle to carry large items upright, so it's great for hauling objects such as refrigerators or indoor trees from place to place.

This innovation does not overlap XUV's optional power-operated sunroof. The XUV also has a power-operated mid-gate glass panel that, when raised, seals off the passenger compartment from the rear cargo area. Lower the glass, fold and tumble the seats, flip down the mid-gate and _ voila! _ you have an extended cargo bed.

Finally, there is the "drop or swing tailgate" with power window. The tailgate power window can be raised or lowered at the touch of a button. With the window fully lowered, the tailgate can be dropped for loading and unloading. The tailgate can also swing right, allowing bumper access to the cargo area. Pretty nifty stuff!

Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $31,890.

_ FRANK R. HOTCHKISS

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