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GMC Savana

Room to haul.


The full-size-van segment is not one that has seen much innovation in the past several decades, and the GMC Savana is no exception. There is not much to be found in the way of class-leading features or whizbangery here, but then again, there’s not much to change. The Savana offers simplicity and competence when hauling is the name of the game. It can be configured to hold up to fifteen passengers, making it an ideal vehicle for transporting a church group or a kids’ soccer team. Alternatively, the Savana can be had as a cavernous cargo van with up to 284 cubic feet of space behind the front seats and the ability to tow up to 10,000 pounds. The Savana serves as the perfect chassis on which to build a conversion van. There are few interior amenities, but the Savana now has available navigation, a rear parking camera, and rear parking sensors. People who buy big vans like this aren’t usually that concerned with fuel economy, and that’s a good thing, because the Savana isn’t particularly fuel efficient, especially with its top-spec V-8 engine (although the 6.0 can be retrofitted to run on compressed natural gas). However, the Savana’s combination of simplicity and versatility makes it a solid choice for anyone with a lot of people — or stuff — to transport.


Chevrolet Express

Ford E-series

Nissan NV3500

new for 2013

LS and LT Savanas get the following options: navigation, rear parking sensors, and a backup camera that will display in the rearview mirror or in the nav screen, if so equipped.


Front and side curtain air bags are standard for the first three rows of seats. “Enhanced-technology glass,” which reduces the possibility of passenger ejection, is standard for the fourth and fifth rows. Traction and stability control, ABS, tire-pressure monitoring, and six months of OnStar connectivity are also standard.


CITY 11–15

HWY 16–20


Lots and lots of space

Wide range of engines

Seating for up to fifteen


Thirsty engines

Aging transmissions

Bland interior

Base Price Range: $26,085–$34,995


DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Passenger, Cargo, 1500 LS, 1500 LT, 2500, 3500

BODY STYLE: Van, 2- to 15-passenger

ENGINES: 4.3L V-6, 195 hp, 260 lb-ft

4.8L V-8, 280 hp, 296 lb-ft

5.3L V-8, 310 hp, 334 lb-ft

6.0L V-8, 323 hp, 373 lb-ft (CNG compatible)

6.6L turbo-diesel V-8, 260 hp, 525 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 4- or 6-speed automatic

CAPACITIES: Towing 6200–10,000 lb; cargo 216.2–284.4 cu ft

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