2019 GMC Savana Cargo

#8
in Vans
2019 MODEL
$31,900 - $35,800

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2019 GMC Savana Cargo Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

The dependable cargo hauler still has the rugged and dependable looks from the 70s, but GMC believes, the van does not need a makeover yet. It's a great workhorse and perfectly fits into business and contractor fleets. If you need to tow a trailer or a camper, GMC offers you up to 10,000 pounds of capacity, which stacks on the top of the competition.

Starting at $30,745, the GMc Savana 2500 is the ultimate utilitarian van, whose main priority is to get the job done, without overcomplicating stuff. Although, if you're spending all day hauling cargo around the city, you'd start to notice the shortcomings like the maneuverability, accessibility issues and the lackluster infotainment.

See detailed review »

Pros

New diesel engine

Monumental towing capacity

Cons

Low fuel economy

Subpar handling

Low cargo volume

What's New?

New 8-speed transmission

New 6.0L V8 engine

Standard rearview camera



Styles

 2019 GMC Savana Cargo in Cardinal Red color  2019 GMC Savana Cargo in Dark Slate Metallic color  2019 GMC Savana Cargo in Marine Blue Metallic color  2019 GMC Savana Cargo in Onyx Black Metallic color
Cardinal Red

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

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 GMC Savana Cargo 2500 Work Van

2500 Work Van

power
276 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
TBD

$31,900 - $33,800


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2500 3dr Van (4.3L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $31,900 MSRP TBD 276 hp @ 5200 rpm, 4.3 L, V-6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
8-speed automatic rear wheel drive 2
2500 3dr Ext Van (4.3L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $33,800 MSRP TBD 276 hp @ 5200 rpm, 4.3 L, V-6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
8-speed automatic rear wheel drive 2

 2019 GMC Savana Cargo 3500 Work Van

3500 Work Van

power
276 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
TBD

$35,000 - $35,800


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
3500 3dr Van (4.3L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $35,000 MSRP TBD 276 hp @ 5200 rpm, 4.3 L, V-6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
8-speed automatic rear wheel drive 2
3500 3dr Ext Van (4.3L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $35,800 MSRP TBD 276 hp @ 5200 rpm, 4.3 L, V-6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
8-speed automatic rear wheel drive 2

Top GMC Cars

2019 GMC Canyon
6.1/10

Engine: 200 hp @ 6300 rpm, 2.5 L I-4

MPG: 22 combined

2019 GMC Sierra 1500
6.3/10

Engine: 285 hp @ 5300 rpm, 4.3 L V-6

MPG: 17 combined

2019 GMC Terrain
6.9/10

Engine: 170 hp @ 5600 rpm, 1.5 L I-4

MPG: 28 combined

2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab
N/A

Engine: 285 hp @ 5300 rpm, 4.3 L V-6

MPG: 17 combined

2019 GMC Yukon
8.0/10

Engine: 355 hp @ 5600 rpm, 5.3 L V-8

MPG: 18 combined

2019 GMC Canyon Extended Cab
7.9/10

Engine: 200 hp @ 6300 rpm, 2.5 L I-4

MPG: 22 combined

2019 GMC Terrain diesel SUV
6.5/10

Engine: 137 hp @ 3750 rpm, 1.6 L I-4

MPG: 32 combined

2019 GMC Acadia
7.8/10

Engine: 193 hp @ 6300 rpm, 2.5 L I-4

MPG: 23 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial August 16, 2019


The competition in this segment may not seem cutthroat from an outsider's point-of-view, but with the reliable Mercedes Sprinter and the feature-rich Ford Transit at its tail, the minimalist GMC may have a hard time maintaining its grasp on the market. Let's compare them and see how the Savana fares.

2019 GMC Savana Cargo Features

Many of the features added by the LT are available on LS models as well with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and other stand-alone options like power-adjustable heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor, a heavy-duty locking rear differential, remote engine start, a sliding rear door, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable front seats and satellite radio.

Model

LT

LS

MSRP

$36,095

$37,695

Key Fearures

16-inch steel wheels

Front and rear chrome bumpers

 

60/40-split opening passenger door

Remote locking and unlocking

 

12-passenger seating (2-3-3-4 with a 50/50-split back row)

Lane departure warning

 

Air conditioning

Forward collision alert

 

Power windows and locks

Cloth upholstery

 

Rearview camera

Carpeted flooring

 

Driver information display

Tilt-only steering wheel

 

Vinyl upholstery and floor covering

Cruise control

 

4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot

 

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Some features and packages are available only when the appropriate body type is selected. The Paratransit package for extended-wheelbase 3500 models removes the rear seat and reverts to vinyl floor coverings. It is best to choose the body type first before you decide which trim to have.

2019 GMC Savana Cargo Engine

Tidy handling and accurate steering are not among the big GMC's marching orders. The upgraded V8 engine is responsive, though, and easily gets the van up to highway speeds, even with a full load of passengers. - Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

The van comes equipped with a 4.3-Liter V6 engine mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission as standard making 276 hp and 298 lb-ft. Alternatively, you could choose a 341 hp and 373 lb-ft 6.0-Liter VORTEC V8 engine. You can also choose a 181 hp and 369 lb-ft 2.8L inline-4 turbo diesel engine for using the Van as a fleet vehicle.

Models

GMC Savana 2500 regular wheelbase cargo van

Chevrolet Express 2500 Cargo van

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 150 standard roof van

Ford Transit 150 low roof cargo van

Nissan NV2500 HD S cargo van

MSRP

 

$32,490

$33,790

$34,530

$29,340

Engine

4.3L V6

4.3L V6

2.0L i4 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded

3.7L V6 Regular Unleaded

4.0L V6 Regular Unleaded

Transmission

8 Speed automatic

8 Speed automatic

9-G Tronic

6 Speed automatic

Continuously variable automatic

Horsepower

276 hp@ 5200rpm

276 hp@ 5200rpm

188 hp@ 5000rpm

275 hp@6000rpm

261 hp@ 5600rpm

Torque

298 ft-lbs@ 3900rpm

298 ft-lbs@ 3900rpm

258 ft-lbs@ 2500rpm

260 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

281 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

The GMC Savana and the Chevrolet Express vans are essentially rebadged twins from General Motors, have the same engine and powertrain. The Ford Transit van isn't far behind with just 1 horsepower less than the GMC and Chevy. The Nissan NV2500 comes with a 261 hp V6, while the Mercedes Sprinter lags behind with a 2.0L inline-4 engine making merely 188 hp.

Acceleration

The cargo van with the new engine has gotten significantly faster than than it used to be. The 0 to 60 sprint that took 8.5 seconds is now down to 7.8 seconds, despite the drop in power. The rest of the vans in the segment complete the sprint to 60 in the same ballpark, except for the Sprinter with the tiny engine.

Models

GMC Savana 2500 regular wheelbase cargo van

Chevrolet Express 2500 Cargo van

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 150 standard roof van

Ford Transit 150 low roof cargo van

Nissan NV2500 HD S cargo van

0-60 MPH

7.8 sec

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Quarter mile

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Engine

4.3L V6

4.3L V6

2.0L i4 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded

3.7L V6 Regular Unleaded

4.0L V6 Regular Unleaded

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Ride and Handling

The Savana's agility can be equated to that of a boat. Parking and maneuvering tight spaces, may not be easiest task at hand. The boat-like handling roots from the outdated 2-stage multi-leaf spri ng mounted at the back. Take a corner at a higher speed and you'd feel van wanting to tip over, due to the body roll.

The antiquated van is not meant to speed around corners, but neither is it made to be comfortable. The suspension deserves better damping, and every undulation in the road is carried through to the cabin. The competition, such as the Ford Transit has a more modern approach to driving dynamics.

Braking

The mammoth cargo van weighing over 5000 lbs is not easy to stop once the momentum builds up, but the 12.8-inch discs up front and 13s at the back make the job significantly easier. The smooth and linear brake pedal works great in conjunction with the in-built trailer braking to keep the hauler in control even on inclines.

Model

GMC Savana 2500 regular wheelbase cargo van

Chevrolet Express 2500 Cargo van

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 150 standard roof van

Ford Transit 150 low roof cargo van

Nissan NV2500 HD S cargo van

Brake Front (in.)

12.8

12.8

N/A

12.1

14.2

Brake Rear (in.)

13.0

13

N/A

12.1

14.4

Curb Weight (lbs.)

5158

5225

4696

2788

5819

60-0 MPH (ft.)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

2019 GMC Savana Cargo Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency is one aspect in which City vans need to be good as the owners buying vans are mostly
into small businesses and a fuel guzzling van would burn a whole in their pocket. The Cargo Van is
not as fuel efficient as its competitors in city driving conditions, but on highways it can provide best-in-
class fuel economy.

2019 GMC Savana Cargo 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

The plastic interiors with the cloth-upholstery in the seats make the van functional but you would want to steer clear if you need anything premium. For better visibility, the seats are mounted high up, it not only aids maneuverability, it also helps you park the van easily. Apart from the low roof, another issue is the lack of a door behind the driver's seat, which has an impact on the practicality.

Model

GMC Savana 2500 regular wheelbase cargo van

Chevrolet Express 2500 Cargo van

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 150 standard roof van

Ford Transit 150 low roof cargo van

Nissan NV2500 HD S cargo van

Passenger capacity

2

2

2

2

2

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.8/68.8/41/3

39.8/68.8/41/3

 

40.8/67.9/41.3

42.8/65.7/42.0

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

-

-

 

-

-

In contrast, the new Sprinter has much better headroom and legroom compared to the GMC Savana, with an ergonomically better designed interior. Even the Ford has added a plethora of features to make the Transit relevant for 2019.

Infotainment System

The infotainment feels just as antique as the GMC's design. The standard equipment include 2-speaker setup with AM/FM and an aux input. You can add optional CD player and a touchscreen panel, to keep you entertained if you're planning to spend a lot of time in the vehicle.

On the contrary, the Ford's modern take on the interior fit and finish. Even the Mercedes has decked out the van with features that make the GMC look 10 years out of place.

Cargo Capacity

The average cargo volume will work for you in most of your cases, however, if you feel the need for more, you can choose the extended wheelbase version of the van which increases the amount of cargo you can haul.

Model

GMC Savana 2500 regular wheelbase cargo van

Chevrolet Express 2500 Cargo van

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 150 standard roof van

Ford Transit 150 low roof cargo van

Nissan NV2500 HD S cargo van

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

239.7

239.7

319

246.7

234.1

The Savana 2500 competes well with the vans like the Ford and the Nissan, but it can't hold a candle against the Mercedes Sprinter, whose cargo bay is almost 80 cu-ft more than the rest.

2019 GMC Savana Cargo Exterior

Design and Dimensions

GMC hasn't updated the basic super-familiar design which follows the utilitarian design since it was conceived 30 years ago. The black front and rear bumpers can be replaced with a chrome-clad fascia and front grille, along with composite headlamps. The 60/40 opening passenger side doors, or a sliding doorway with optional swing out ladder rack, improve the cargo bay's accessibility by a wide margin.

Model

GMC Savana 2500 regular wheelbase cargo van

Chevrolet Express 2500 Cargo van

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 150 standard roof van

Ford Transit 150 low roof cargo van

Nissan NV2500 HD S cargo van

Curb weight (lbs.)

5158

5225

4696

2788

5819

Length(in)

224.1

224.1

233.5

219.9

240.6

Width(in)

79.2

79.2

92.3

81.3

99.5

Height(in)

84.6

84.6

96.3

83.6

83.9

Ground clearance (in)

7.1

7.1

N/A

N/A

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

135.0

135.0

144

129.9

146.1

Track width (in) F/R

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

68.7/68.9

Although the GMC has a narrower profile than most of the competition, the low roof height is the real issue. It makes the van difficult to stand up straight in, for taller users. However, the extended wheelbase version of the Savana 2500 adds a few more cubic feet of cargo capacity.

2019 GMC Savana Cargo Safety

Safety feature

  • StabiliTrak, traction assistance and vehicle stability
  • Brake/transmission shift interlock for automatic transmissions
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Door beams
  • Daytime Running Lamps
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Airbags, frontal, driver and front passenger
  • Airbag deactivation switch, frontal passenger side
  • OnStar and GMC connected services capable
  • GMC Connected Access with 10 years of standard connectivity
  • Child seat anchors
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

2019 GMC Savana Cargo Competition

GMC Savana 2500 vs Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

On the timeline, the GMC is stuck in the paleolithic age compared to the Sprinter from the 21st century. With not just a better cabin and infotainment, but also a larger cargo bay, the Sprinter seems far ahead of the Savana, however, Mercedes has decided to go with a tiny 2.0L inline-4 with the 2019 model with barely manages to make 188 hp compared to the 276 hp V6 in the GMC. So if you're hauler does not need too much power, the Sprinter is a good option to consider.

GMC Savana 2500 vs Ford Transit

The Ford Transit has a much more modern outlook toward the cargo haulers and has a much more tech rich infotainment for the user. The cabin is comfortable for long rides and the ride is smoother and compliant, compared to the springy suspensions on the Savana 2500. In terms of pure hauling power, however, the GMC pulls ahead.

GMC Savana 2500 vs Nissan NV2500

The Nissan has a hard time competing with the American vans, despite the ageing design and technology. The GMC offers more cargo volume and towing capacity than the Nissan, however, the Nissan's engine is much more fuel efficient as compared to GMC. The smaller dimensions of the Nissan means better maneuverability and this a better choice for city transportation.

2019 GMC Savana Cargo Final Verdict

The GMC Savana 2500 survives the cutthroat competition against the Mercedes and the Nissan by doing one thing right, plenty of power and capacity. At the end of the day that's all that matters in a van. You can glance over high end features and comfort if you're choosing the GMC as a fleet vehicle. However, it would be better to get the Spriner if you're going to spend a lot of time in the cabin.