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The GMC Savana is a versatile commercial van available in a wide range of body, wheelbase and interior configurations ranging from a two-door, two-passenger cargo van or cutaway van up to a passenger van with room for 15. The GMC Savana is manufactured in Wentzville, Mo. alongside the Chevrolet Express. Main competition to the Savana include the Ford E-Series and Dodge Sprinter.

The GMC Savana is a full-size van that features a powerful assortment of engines and rear-wheel drive. There are two styles available, the GMC Savana Passenger van and the GMC Savana Cargo Van.

This vehicle first came to market in 1996 as an answer to commercial needs. Even then, the vehicle came with a wide variety of configurations and options. Several upgrades were done over time, such as a new transmission in 1997, safety options added in 1998 and in 1999 new colors offered. For 2000, the vehicle received a new powertrain and in 2001 a bigger better engine. The improvements between 2002 and 2006 were more safety oriented. In 2007 the engine was switched for the 5.3 L V8 as standard. For this year, the GMC Savana Passenger Van underwent an update. There’s a new audio system, information center and steering wheel.

GMC Savana Passenger Van

The GMC Savana Passenger Van can carry up to fifteen passengers. To accommodate most consumers' needs, this vehicle is available in many configurations. You can choose between three GVWR levels, the 1500 or half ton, 2500 is a three quarter ton and the 3500, which is a one ton. Then there are two wheelbases, two drivetrains and three seating configuration styles. The vehicle is available standard as rear wheel drive or available as all-wheel drive and can contain seating for eight, twelve or fifteen passengers.

For the 1500 model, there is a 5.3L GEN-IV Vortec V8 engine. As on option, you can have a Flex Fuel version. The larger models receive the 6.0 L V8 engine that produces 323 horsepower. This stronger engine is the push behind the heavy tow capacity of 9,800 pounds. Both engines are matched to a four-speed automatic transmission.

Features for the passenger van are minor to keep the price down but does include air conditioning. There are options like rear air conditioning, power accessories, cruise control, remote keyless entry, six-and a disc CD changer.

GMC Savana Cargo Van

The GMC Savana Cargo Van is a commercial vehicle whose standard wheelbase comes as a half, three quarter and one ton variations. The Extended wheelbase comes as a three quarter and 1 ton. This vehicle can be order for job specific requirements. The standard engine for the one tons is a 6.0 L V8 that offers 323 hp and 372 lb-ft torque. The half ton comes with a 4.8 L V8 offering 279 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque. Optional on the heavy duty models is a 6.6L turbodiesel V8 that offers 250 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.

Features included on the cargo van include air-conditioning, two seats, and a anti-theft system. Like the passenger van, the features are limited to keep the price down. Options include a passenger-side sliding door, a rear-air-conditioner and heater, power accessories, cruise control, keyless entry, and a tilt steering wheel to name a few.

GMC Savana Safety

The safety features on both vehicles include anti-lock brakes, air bags all around – frontal, driver, and right-front passenger, brake and transmission shift interlock , door beams, and running daytime lights. The passenger van also has extra enhanced glass for the fourth and fifth rows of seats when equipped. All seats are child seat anchors and tethers for children. There is also a brake/transmission shift interlock for automatic transmissions, StabiliTrak, and vehicle stability enhancement.

The 2009 GMC Savana is a carryover from 2008. The 2009 Savana comes in Passenger, Cargo, Conversion and Cutaway editions, with a range of trim levels and weight classes for each. The Savana 1500 Passenger van can be ordered in either 1LS or 1LT trim. Each of these versions comes with a 5.3 liter V8 that generates 301 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. A Flex Fuel version of this engine is also available. Fuel economy is rated at 13 miles per gallon in city driving and 16 miles per gallon on the highway. All-wheel drive is also an option. The 2500, 3500 and 3500 extended wheelbase Passenger vans makes use of a 6.0 liter V8 that cranks out 323 horsepower and 379 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is not rated for these models. Conversion editions of the van are available in 1500 and 2500 versions and make use of the same engine choices.

The 1500 Cargo van uses a 4.3 liter, 195 horsepower V6 as its base engine. Fuel economy is rated at 15 miles per gallon around town and 20 miles per gallon in the city. Both 5.3 liter V8’s are available as upgrades, and with them comes the option of all-wheel drive. The 2500, 3500 and 3500 extended editions of the Cargo van substitutes a 4.8 liter, 285 horsepower V8 as its base mill, with the choice of either the 6.0 liter V8 or a 6.6 liter turbodiesel as upgrades. The latter provides a very healthy 250 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Fuel mileage ratings are not available for these two engines.

The Cutaway van is sold in either 2500, 3500, 3500 extended or 4500 weight classes, and use a selection of either the 4.8, 6.0 or 6.6 liter motors, with the exception of the 4500 which drops the 4.8 liter.

A 4-speed automatic transmission is matched to each engine across the entire Savana lineup.