For consumers needing to move a lot of people in one vehicle, the Savana still is one of the leading choices in the auto industry. The GMC Savana is one of the only consumer level vehicles that can transport up to 15 passengers without stacking them up. Any organization or business that needs to transport groups of people often will find this to be a perfect solution to their problem. Depending on your needs, this large van can also be ordered in a cargo van or conversion van option. This allows for the complete back section to be used for storage instead of seating.
The Savana can be purchased with a few different transmissions and engines and is highly customizable to fit any consumer or industrial application. The GMC Savana can be ordered ready to seat 8,12 or 15 passengers depending on the size of your travel party or organizations needs. There are few other choices when it comes to transporting this many people and GMC has become the industry leader in this niche market.
Bodystyles: Full-size van
Engines: 5.3L V-8, 6.0L V-8
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic, 6-speed automatic
Models: 1500, 2500, 3500, 3500 extended wheelbase (LS and LT trims)
Both of the Savana's V-8 engines are now E85 capable, and the 5.3-liter V-8 has received a slight boost to 310 horsepower. The 2500 and 3500 models now feature GM's six-speed Hydra-Matic transmission as standard equipment and their axle ratios have been revised to help improve low end torque and achieve slightly better highway mpg. A remote start option was also recently added to the option mix.
You're not going to mistake the Savana as anything more than a big, hulking van, with a massive front bumper and lots of glass in the Savana's greenhouse. A chrome appearance package is available and there's a choice of sliding or swing 60/40 passenger doors.
The Savana isn't exactly the most thrilling cabin in the world and it's a little Spartan, but it's clean and easy to navigate in the cockpit and options including power recline cloth bucket seats are available. The Savana has plenty of room overall, but lacks a tall-roof option like the Sprinter.
Performance & Handling
The GMC Savana is powered by two engines with enough power to keep the people moving. A 310 horsepower, 5.3-.liter V-8 is standard for the 1500 models and the 6.0-liter V-8 with 323 horsepower propels the 2500 and 3500. While the 6.0-liter is mated GM's solid six-speed automatic, the 1500s continue to be saddled with a dated four-speed auto. The Savana is not surprisingly somewhat balky to drive, but 1500's power rack-and-pinion steering helps to keep things pointed in the right direction.
The Savana has received a five-star crash rating from the government in frontal crash tests, and the van has side curtain airbags for the first three rows of passengers. All Savanas come with four-wheel discs with ABS and of course GM's StabiliTrak stability system as standard equipment.
EPA Fuel Economy
1500: 13 city/17mpg highway
- Decent ride for its size
- Available AWD
- Multiple engine options
You Won't Like
- No tall roof option
- Outdated cabin
- Aging platform
Not bad for hauling humans
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford E-Series
- Mercedes-Benz Sprinter