2017 GMC Savana

#18
in Midsize vans
2017 MODEL

$33,140 - $37,650

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Overview

GMC's are big cars and the Savana is no exception to it, why not, it is a van after all. GMC offers the same car under the two names: GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express. The van has been around for two decades now and it is being offered in the cargo and passenger van variants. Cargo van variant for when you want a few for your small business, and the passenger Van Variant if you are a kind of person who goes out to camp often.

Talking about the 2017 Savana Passenger van, it comes at a starting price of $33,140 and goes all the way up to $36,865 for the 3500 LT. And you can throw in a few optional features to increase the price of the car even further. And what optional features you should go with, you might ask. I would say the combination of a big Samsung TV with the Samsung Blu-ray CD player is a great enough for you to enjoy those ultra HD movies on the go. And you can never go wrong with those recliner massaging seats, might come handy when come tired in your car from some mountain trekking.

Forget all the bells and whistles about the inside of the 2017 GMC Savana Van, this passenger Van is powered by an enormous 3.8 liter V8 engine. Although this V8 engine merely produces 300 horsepower at max, still it is powerful enough to pull the fully loaded van along with the 9000 pounds of extra towing cargo. Even with you extra-large uncle Joe in the back, this van can reach 60 mph under 9 seconds. This car comes with some exceptional features for the price written on the window sticker.

See detailed review »

Pros

Powerful V8 engine

Great payload and towing capacity.

Cons

Dated Touchscreen interface

Not good fuel economy

No High-Roof cargo option

What's New?

Graphite Metallic body color is available

Trailer Harness connector changes to dual 4-pi\\ 7-pib sealed connector


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$33140

bodystyle

3dr Passenger Van

passenger capacity

12

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

293 cu. in.

horsepower

285 hp @ 5400 rpm

torque

295 lb.-ft. @ 4600 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

suspension front

front independent suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

13 in. ventilated disc brakes/12.8 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

135 in.

length

224.1 in.

width

79.2 in.

height

83.9 in.

curb weight

6108 lbs.

ground clearance

7.1 in.

capacity

cargo volume

92.1 cu ft.

towing capacity

9600 lbs.

payload capacity

2470 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.7 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.5 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

42687 mpg

highway range

496 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

roadside assistance

yes



Styles

 2017 GMC Savana in Summit White color  2017 GMC Savana in Dark Slate Metallic color  2017 GMC Savana in Quicksilver Metallic color  2017 GMC Savana in Cardinal Red color  2017 GMC Savana in Marine Blue Metallic color  2017 GMC Savana in Quicksilver Metallic color
Summit White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Variant Name

MSRP


 2017 GMC Savana 2500

2500

Fuel: Flex-fuel (unleaded/e85), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 12

$33,140 - $34,965

Configurations
LS 2500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A)
HP: 285 hp @ 5400 rpm
LT 2500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A)
HP: 285 hp @ 5400 rpm

 2017 GMC Savana 3500

3500

Fuel: Flex-fuel (unleaded/e85), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 12

$35,435 - $37,650

Configurations
LS 3500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A)
HP: 285 hp @ 5400 rpm
LT 3500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A)
HP: 285 hp @ 5400 rpm
LS 3500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A)
HP: 285 hp @ 5400 rpm
LT 3500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A)
HP: 285 hp @ 5400 rpm

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial October 6, 2018

Talking about the 2017 Savana Passenger van, it comes at a starting price of $33,140 and goes all the way up to $36,865 for the 3500 LT. Savana is powered by an enormous 4.8-liter V8 engine. Although this V8 engine merely produces 300 horsepower at max, still it is powerful enough to tow 9000 pounds of cargo.

Features

GMC Savana is being offered in the LS and LT variant. LS variant is the base in the 2500 and 3500, and get features like the front A/C, padded visors, AM/FM radio and many more. Upgrading to the LT variant will give you the few additional features like an 8-point digital compass, rear A/C and few others. A long list of additional features is available with this car, you can equip your Savana with an LCD, a DVD Player, Recliner Seats and what not. Savana is a small house on wheels. We will talk about this more ahead.

Trim LS LT
MSRP (2500) $33,140 $34,965
MSRP (3500) $35,435 $36,865
Key Features
  • air conditioning 
  • padded visors driver and passenger side
  • OnStar 4g LTE 5-year basic plan and 6-month guidance plan
  • OnStar 4g LTE wi-fi hotspot capability
  • daytime running lamps
  • front and rear bumpers black (includes rear step pad)
  • 8-point digital compass located in the driver information center
  • chrome appearance package chrome front and rear bumpers and grille;
  • includes halogen composite headlamps

Engine

"Although it retains that groovy 1970s’ van shape on the outside, the underpinnings on GMC’s 2017 Savana van are more closely related to GMC’s current pickup trucks."-KelleyBlueBook

Engine & Transmission

Powering the 2017 GMC Savana LS 2500 is a 4.8-liter V8 engine. Although you feel low after knowing that this big engine produces just 285 horsepower. But don't let your hopes down as this engine is able to pull a fully loaded Savana along. This 4x4 gets the power to its wheels through a 6-Speed automatic transmission. Savana and Express are essentially the same cars with a different name. And both leave the competition in the dust with their more powerful engine at a lower price. Nissan NV is an odd-one-out here as it is powered by a 5-speed automatic transmission compared to 6-speed automatic transmission in other vans.

Models GMC Savana LS 2500 Nissan NV passenger 3500 S Chevrolet Express LS 2500 Ford Transit wagon 150 XL
MSRP $33,140 $33,800 $33,140 $35,825
Engine 4.8L V8 4.0L DOHC V6 4.8L V8 3.7L V6
Transmission 6-speed automatic 5-speed automatic 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
Horsepower 285 hp @ 5400 rpm 261 hp @ 5600 rpm 285 hp @ 5400 rpm 275 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 295 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm 281 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm 295 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm 260 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

Acceleration

Even the car is powered by a V8, it still does a 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds. This van is humungous with the weight almost double than your regular car. So it is actually impressive that the Savana manages to reach 60 mph under 9 seconds. One thing you might notice here is that the Ford Transit is quicker than the others, because of it's small size and less weight.

Models GMC Savana LS 2500 Nissan NV passenger 3500 S Chevrolet Express LS 2500 Ford Transit wagon 150 XL
0-60 MPH 8.7 sec N/A 8.7 sec 7.6 sec
Quarter mile 16.7 sec N/A 16.7 sec 15.9 sec
Engine 4.8L 4.0L 4.8L 3.7L
Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 13.9 N/A 13.9 N/A

Braking

With a heavy curb weight, these vans need larger brakes to make them stop in a particular distance. Savana gets 12.8-inch front brakes and 13.0-inch brakes at the rear. Take the Nissan NV for an instance, it is almost 600 lbs. heavier than the Savana and so has even bigger 14.2 and 14.4 inches brakes at front and rear. Whereas the relatively lighter Ford Transit comes with smaller brakes.

Model GMC Savana LS 2500 Nissan NV passenger 3500 S Chevrolet Express LS 2500 Ford Transit wagon 150 XL
Brake Front (in.) 12.8 14.2 12.8 12.1
Brake Rear (in.) 13.0 14.4 13.0 12.1
Curb Weight (lbs.) 6108 6694 6108 5488

Ride and Handling

GMC Savana needs a patient driver to get accustomed to its heavy steering but with a large turning radius, it keeps the van under driver's control. Body roll is like a parasite to vans and sticks with this body-type because of the shape of the vehicle. 

Towing Capacity

One thing that the GMC Savana is going to benefit from big V8 is that the vehicle can tow a maximum of 9600 lbs. To put it to a perspective, Savana can tow another Savana along with a Prius. While the Nissan NV has a much lesser towing capacity at 6200 lbs. And the Ford Transit Wagon can only tow 5000 lbs. with it.

Model GMC Savana LS 2500 Nissan NV passenger 3500 S Chevrolet Express LS 2500 Ford Transit wagon 150 XL
Towing Capacity (lbs.) 9600 6200 9600 5000

Fuel Economy

You really thought that you will get a fuel economy of more than 25 mpg in this fuel hungry V8 engine vehicle? Well I hope not. GMC Savana with its big V8 engine, you get a gas mileage of 11 miles in the city roads and 16 miles per gallon on the highway. But I reckon the 31.0 gallon of fuel tank should make up for it. So you can have enough fuel with you when you go camping in the woods, and you don't get lost.

Model GMC savana LS 2500 Nissan NV passenger 3500 S Chevrolet Express LS 2500 Ford Transit wagon 150 XL
MPG (city) 11 N/A 11 14
MPG (highway) 16 N/A 16 18
MPG (combined) 13 N/A 13 16

Interior

"Unlike many in this segment, the GMC Savana offers seating for up to 15 passengers (most others max out at 12). Unfortunately, a high roof is not on the options list. Compared to rival vans, passengers will have to duck more as they enter and exit the vehicle."-Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

GMC has a standard capacity of 12 people but that can be upgraded to a max of 15 people. Same is with the Chevrolet Express. Even in the Nissan NV Passenger you get space for 12. Ford Transit though can let only 8 people sit in it, more like an SUV. GMC Savana is so big that space is not an issue. You get exceptional legroom in this car and the vehicle's roof is high enough that you have to half-stand to bang your head against the roof.

Model GMC Savana LS 2500 Nissan NV passenger 3500 S Chevrolet Express LS 2500 Ford Transit wagon 150 XL
Passenger capacity 12 12 12 8
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 39.8/68.8/41.3 42.8/65.7/42.0 39.8/68.8/41.3 51.9/67.8/41.3
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.4/68.6/36.3 39.6/69.2/33.9 38.4/68.6/36.3 55.7/71.3/69.5
Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.5/65.8/36.6 39.8/66.6/38.5 38.5/65.8/36.6 N/A
Fourth (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.6/69.1/36.6 N/A 37.6/69.1/36.6 N/A

Interior Features

Inside the car, you get the option for standard cloth material or leather for seats. Or you can even go for heated and cooled massaging recliners. Or the option which can turn the last row in a bed, in case you live in the car. There are big cup-holders on the doors. Tilt-adjustable power steering wheel is leather wrapped. Front and rear air conditioning is something that seems standard nowadays. There is lighting on the roof. Or you can equip your Savana with a large LCD TV and Blu-Ray DVD by Samsung. Options to customize the Savana just doesn't have a limit.

  • Single-Zone Manual Air Conditioning
  • Rear Air Conditioning
  • 8-point digital compass
  • Front, side and rear-window defogger
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Cloth Headliner

Infotainment

Infotainment is not the greatest in the car. And the lack of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay only adds up to it. There is availability of XM radio and On Star radio along with the trial membership for a few months. The Infotainment system comes with CD Player and USB ports to sync the music files from your device to the Infotainment system. Or you can connect your device via Bluetooth. There are buttons on the steering wheel to control the media. And that wraps up the infotainment system in the van.

  • Driver Information Center
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Color Touch Nav Radio with IntelliLink

Cargo

With a big vehicle comes great cargo space. Savana gets you a cargo space of 92 cubic feet as standard which is increased to heavenly 216.2 cubic feet. Comparing that to the Nissan NV, maximum capacity you get is 281.9 cubic feet. And somehow the rather smaller Ford Transit has the maximum cargo space of 292.7 cubic feet. It is safe to say that spacious front seats and a big V8 engine took up most of the space that the Savana could have.

Model GMC Savana LS 2500 Nissan NV passenger 3500 S Chevrolet Express LS 2500 Ford Transit wagon 150 XL
Cargo Volume to 3 seat (ft.3) 92.1 28.9 92.1 125.0
Cargo Volume to 2 seat (ft.3) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Cargo Volume to 1 seat (ft.3) 216.2 281.9 216.2 292.7

Exterior

"Function is the priority over form in the 2017 Savana. As either a cargo van doing commercial duty or passenger hauler acting as a shuttle for a hotel or large family, the Savana boast loads of interior space. Unlike competitors, only one roof height is available, but there is an extended-length model that provides even more space. Sturdy plastics and vinyl seats are the cabin materials of choice."-KelleyBlueBook

Dimension and Weight

2017 GMC Savana is a humungous vehicle like all other GMCs. It weighs over 6100 lbs. and to put it to a perspective, Toyota Prius weighs only 3000 lbs. Savana is as twice as heavy as the Prius. This Van has an optional seating feature for 15 people. And all those can fit in this car without any issue because of the 224.1-inch of vehicle length, 79.2-inch of width and 83.9-inch of height. Savana gets a standard wheelbase of 135 inches but a 3500 model with 155 inches of extended wheelbase is available.

The Savana (and the Chevy Express) is undoubtedly bit bigger than the Ford Transit. It falls 16 inches shorter than the Nissan NV in length. And that extra 16 inches of material account for the 600 lbs.of extra weight of Nissan NV. Savana comes with the 11.0 inch of ground clearance, and I can assure you that off-roading is not a problem with this car. Not even the harsh ground of the woods will scratch this car.

Model GMC Savana LS 2500 Nissan NV passenger 3500 S Chevrolet Express LS 2500 Ford Transit wagon 150 XL
Curb weight (lbs.) 6108 6694 6108 5488
Length(in) 224.1 240.6 224.1 217.8
Width(in) 79.2 79.9 79.2 81.3
Height(in) 83.9 84.0 83.9 98.7
Ground clearance (in) 11.0/7.1 8.1 11.0/7.1 N/A
Wheelbase (in) 135.0 146.1 135.0 129.9

Exterior Features

For the exterior, you get everything from the big headlights to big front grille to the GMC lettering up front in extra-large format to match the humongous size of the vehicle. You have the options of either opting for the black or chrome front and rear bumpers. The Savana still has the halogen lamps.  But you do get daytime running LED lights along with the automatic dusk-sensing headlights. Some the features are mentioned below. 

  • Bumpers, front and rear chrome
  • Bumpers, front and rear painted black
  • Grille, Black composite with single rectangular halogen headlamps
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Dusk Sensing Headlamps
  • Swing-out passenger-side door
  • Full-body window package
  • Rear Park Assist
  • 7 Lead Trailer Wiring Harness

Safety

GMC Savana Passenger Van has not been rated for safety yet, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Safety Features

GMC Savana offers airbags on the front for both the driver and front passenger. While the features like the Stability Control and Traction control will make sure the vehicle doesn't lose traction. 

  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Rear Center 3-Point belt
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags
  • Stability Control
  • Child Seat Anchors
  • Rear Door Child Safety Locks
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • Traction Control
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Competition

Nissan NV Passenger 3500 S vs GMC Savana 

Nissan's passenger van comes at the price range similar to the GMC. Although the engine is a little weaker than the Savana, performance is relatively better. Both cars offer similar fuel economy. The seating capacity remains the same although is a 16 inches longer than the Savana. Those extra benefits in the almost 60 cubic feet of extra cargo space when all the seats are folded. If you want extra space in your van, Nissan NV Passenger is a clear choice. 

Chevrolet Express LS 2500 vs GMC Savana 

Comparing the Chevrolet Express with the GMC Savana doesn't make any sense. Both are actually the same cars with different names. To target a different market where Chevrolet couldn't reach, General Motors decided to launch the Express in those markets under the name GMC Savana. Both cars car available in 2500 and 3500 load ratings in both LS and LT trim levels.

Ford Transit Wagon 150 XL vs GMC Savana 

Ford Transit is a rather smaller vehicle offering seating for 8, while you get seating for 12 in the Savana. Ford also gets a smaller V6 engine compared to GMC Savana's V8. In result, GMC does produce some extra power but the lighter curb weight of the Transit Wagon helps to accelerate faster than the Savana. And Ford offers almost 300 cubic feet of space in the Transit compared to the 216 cubic feet in the Savana. It is really hard to choose a winner when one has extra power, other got extra space.

Final Verdict

GMC Savana Passenger van offers great utility and towing capacity. And it doesn't drive bad either. The cargo space up to the first row is good enough but when compared to Ford Transit and Nissan NV, it feels smaller. Fuel economy is a major shortcoming. But not only the GMC Savana but other vans also suffer from a subpar fuel economy. GMC is without any second thought is a great vehicle to own.

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