The Savana range of GMC vans have been for sale in the USA since 1995 and, along with their Chevrolet Express clones, are the oldest vans on the market. Thoroughly outdated in terms of ride, handling, and modern luxury and safety features, these GMC van models bring old-school charm, rugged construction, excellent durability, and class-leading hauling and towing capabilities to this market segment. There aren’t any GMC minivans, only these full-size vans whose single-minded purpose is to work hard and prioritize functionality over style.
GMC Van Models
The Savana is the only van model for 2021 and 2022, and it’s hardly any different from last year’s, except for a more powerful V8 gas engine. The range is very simple, with only two vehicles in it, the cargo and passenger van.
Here is a quick rundown of the GMC vans:
- GMC Savana Passenger Van: With loads of available space, the passenger van can transport up to 15 passengers, with room to spare for cargo. It also has a very good towing rating, all at an affordable price. The new V8 engine is powerful, as well, and the rugged construction should see it deliver years of dependable service. However, the driving experience is crude, the ride quality harsh, and the equipment levels lacking. Safety is mediocre, the infotainment system is very basic, and no AWD option is offered.
- GMC Savana Cargo Van: The cargo van’s credentials mostly mirror those of the passenger van, although the comfort shortcomings are perhaps a bit more palatable because of its focus on hauling and towing. For that, it’s very good, offering a tough body-on-frame structure and excellent hauling and towing capabilities, although these are hamstrung a bit by the unavailability of a high-roof option or AWD.
GMC Van Price List
The current MSRP pricing of the GMC vans is as follows:
|GMC Savana Cargo Van
||4.3L V6 Gas
|GMC Savana Passenger Van
||4.3L V6 Gas
What to Consider Before Buying a GMC Van
Here are a few pros and cons to keep in mind if you are considering a GMC van:
- Excellent hauling and towing capabilities
- Tough body-on-frame construction
- Powerful V8 engine
- Availability of a diesel engine
- Harsh ride
- No high-roof option
- No AWD available
- Crude interior and basic infotainment
What is the towing and hauling capacity of GMC’s vans?
The Savana Passenger Van is rated to tow up to 9,600 pounds and can carry a maximum payload of 3,706 pounds. The Cargo Van is rated to tow up to 10,000 pounds and can carry a maximum payload of 4,396 pounds.
Are GMC vans safe cars?
Hailing from the ’90s, the Savana’s safety specs are not up to modern standards. It has not been crash-tested by either the NHTSA or IIHS and in the only test the NHTSA has performed on it - the rollover test - it scored a mediocre three stars out of five. It is unlikely to fare as well in crash tests as more modern competitors. Both vans have six airbags, with the curtain airbag in the passenger van covering the first three rows of seats. Forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning are only standard on the LT trim.
Which are the best GMC van models to buy?
If you are going to use the Cargo Van’s hauling and towing capabilities, you should opt for the new 401-horsepower V8 gas engine, which ensures that you always have some power in reserve, even though its gas mileage is poor. Add the Safety Package that incorporates blind-spot alert, rear park assist, and cruise control. On the Passenger Van, we’d go for the LT trim that already incorporates these safety features. The 4.3-liter V6 engine should be adequate unless you are going to tow heavy rigs. The vans’ rugged construction and simple mechanicals also make them reliable used buys.
Which are the GMC vans’ major competitors?
The GMC vans are identical to the Chevrolet Express vans in almost every way, so it’s up to you which you prefer based on the minor differences, which mostly come down to styling. The Ford Transit is a much more modern vehicle and is far nicer to drive, even though it does not match the GMC’s towing and carrying capacity, nor the power output of the V8 engine. Other good vans include the Mercedes Sprinter - also available with all-wheel drive - and the Nissan NV.
Read our reviews and model comparisons for more information and to view more photos and specifications of these vans and their rivals.