2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van

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2018 GMC Savana Passenger Review

by Danny Shin

The GMC Savana is a full-sized van that can be configured to carry a large amount of passengers or cargo depending on your needs. It has, along with its Chevrolet Express twin, been on sale for longer than just about everything else on the road. Its age may count against it in most areas but its proven reliability, low price point and high level of customizability still make sense for many shoppers.

Is the 2018 GMC Savana a good Van?

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 5 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 5 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 6 /10
  • Value For Money 7 /10
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2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van Models

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2500 LS
4.3L V6 Flex-fuel (FFV)
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
2500 LT
4.3L V6 Flex-fuel (FFV)
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
3500 LT
4.3L V6 Flex-fuel (FFV)
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
3500 LS
4.3L V6 Flex-fuel (FFV)
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive

See all Trims and Specs

2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van Front View Driving GMC

What’s it like inside?

Climbing into the Savana is like taking a step back in time, 1996 to be exact. That is when the first model rolled off the production line and the basic design has not changed much. In fairness the Savana has been subject to a number of minor revisions but the overall look and feel of the cabin is still well behind that of the competition. Buttons and controls are robust and the front seats provide adequate comfort. Space is plentiful and you

2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van Dashboard GMC

How does it drive?

The Savana may not offer much in the way of engaging dynamics but what it does provide is a quiet and relatively smooth ride. Maneuvering in tight spaces remains tricky thanks to its large dimensions but the sharply angled extremities and high-geared steering do help in this regards. The Savana deals with rutted roads better when fully loaded but general progress is unflustered in most situations.

2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van Front View Driving 1 GMC

What about the performance?

The Savana is fitted with a 285 horsepower 4.8-liter V8 in the base model. It produces 295 lb-ft of torque which gives it decent performance for most needs. The 342 hp 6.0-liter V8 with 373 lb-ft of torque is optional and both engines come standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission which transmits power to the rear wheels. The fuel economy figures are very close for these two models and moving up to the 6.0-liter model is not a pricey option either so it may be the better option.

If you are looking for better economy, rather look at the available 4-cylinder diesel engine which may produce less power at 181 hp but It does counter with a near 6.0-liter V8 equaling 369 lb-ft of torque. It is fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission which is unique to the diesel engine.

2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van Top View GMC

What are my options?

The GMC Savana Passenger is a full-sized van which offers seating for up to 12 passengers in regular wheelbase versions or 15 passengers in the extended wheelbase offerings. There are two main trim levels and two load ratings, either the 2500 or 3500. There is also a Savana Cargo which is fitted with two front seats and offers a large cargo area in the rear.

Base LS trim offers 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, power windows, vinyl upholstery, 2-speaker audio system and if the extended wheelbase 3500 model is chosen then tilt steering, rear air-conditioning and cruise control are standard fitment too.

LT trim adds the extended wheelbase options as standard as well as remote locking, chrome trim, cloth upholstery, a console with storage bin and carpeted floors.

Various options are available such as a 6.5-inch touchscreen with rearview camera, Bluetooth and USB support as well as a Navigation system. Heavy-duty locking rear diffs, towing hitches and rear parking sensors are also available. Safety systems other than a few basics such, traction control, ABS and airbags are notable by their absence. A Paratransit option can be had on extended wheelbase models.

2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van Dashboard 1 GMC

The Verdict

The GMC Savana continues largely unchanged for 2017, it may be outdated in many areas but it offers a lot of space and practicality for the money and in the full-sized van market this is clearly what shoppers are interested in. The available diesel engine and customizable interior add to this aging vans appeal.

2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van Front View Driving 2 GMC
2018 GMC Savana Passenger Van Side View GMC
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