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2016 GMC Savana 2500 Overview

James Flammang
Contributing Editor - October 2, 2015

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).

Cargo Van

The Savana cargo van comes with a 4.8-liter V8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, 60/40-split passenger-side doors, 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, power locks and windows, six D-rings for securing cargo, 110-volt outlet, tow-haul mode selector, and vinyl or cloth seating upholstery.

Options include remote keyless entry and start, power seats, satellite radio, steering-wheel audio controls, rear air conditioning, dual heavy-duty batteries, heavy-duty alternator, and rear bench seat. Also available is a 6-liter V8 with 342 horsepower, or the costly 6.6-liter Duramax diesel.

LS Passenger Van

Equipped similarly to the cargo van, the basic passenger-carrying version comes with 12 seats (in four rows). Standard equipment includes side and rear windows, power front windows, vinyl-upholstered seats, and an AM/FM/MP3 radio. Seating for 15 passengers is available, as are satellite radio, power front seats, navigation and remote start.

LT Passenger Van

The step-up passenger model adds such conveniences as rear air conditioning, rear auxiliary heater, and remote keyless entry.

CarsDirect Tip

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.

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