Like its Chevrolet Express counterpart, the GMC Savana has for many years been a pillar of the commercial van market segment. For many businesses with heavier-duty hauling needs, nothing other than a traditional full-size van, with a strong V8 engine and plenty of interior space, will do. Vans like the Savana are sought-after for hauling sizable loads of cargo, or for carrying a dozen or more passengers. Constructed with heavy-duty truck underpinnings, on a separate chassis, few vans are more capable.
What's New for 2016
OnStar 4G LTE connectivity is new for 2016, including provision for a wi-fi hotspot in the vehicle. IntelliLink with navigation now is optional. So are single-pane side-view mirrors. Savana vans have six airbags, including seat-mounted thorax protection. Cargo vans gain a digital AM/FM radio.
Choosing Your GMC Savana 2500
The Savana comes in two basic forms: a cargo van and a more plushly-fitted passenger van. Both are built on either a regular (135-inch) or extended (155-inch) wheelbase. Two gasoline engines are offered: a 4.8-liter or 6-liter V8, making 285 or 342 horsepower, respectively. A 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 also is available, which is much more capable for towing/hauling; but it adds almost $12,000 to the price.
Maximum towing capacity of a Savana is 9,800 pounds. Standard features are limited to basic creature comforts on the cargo van, but passenger models can be had with some additional niceties. No matter how it’s equipped, though, the Savana isn't a luxury cruiser. GMC also offers a heavier-duty 3500 series. Savanas also can be fitted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
The diesel-engine option probably doesn't make much sense for most buyers because of its hefty price and not-so-thrifty fuel consumption. For a considerably smaller extra cost, the 6-liter V8 could be justified. Be careful with options, in any case. Like other vans, a Savana can get quite expensive. Besides, no array of features will transform it into a luxurious cargo vehicle or a truly comfortable people-hauler. That's not the mission of Savana or any large full-size van.