2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van

in Midsize vans
2017 MODEL

$30,745 - $34,950


Detailed Review

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.

With a rugged and dependable look, unchanged from 1970, GMC believes, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. It’s a great workhorse and perfectly fits into business and contractor fleets. If you need to tow a trailer or a camper, the 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 is the ultimate utilitarian van, whose main priority is to get the job done, without the overcomplicating stuff. Although, if you’re spending all day hauling stuff around the city, you’d start to notice the shortcomings like the maneuverability, accessibility issues and the lackluster infotainment.

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.

2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van Features

The base model includes basic necessities at a price of $30,745, which is good enough for most fleet businesses. For the people buying the van as a personal vehicle, GMC offers add-ons in LS and LT trims, which makes some crucial upgrades to the scanty cargo van.


Savana 2500

Savana 2500 LS

Savana 2500 LT







  • Vinyl seats
  • Air Conditioning
  • AM/FM stereo
  • Power door locks
  • Standard WiFi
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Compass
  • Keyless entry
  • Exterior chrome accents

2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van Engine

The 2017 Savana full-size van offers a choice of two powerful V8 engines. The base powerplant is a 4.8-liter V8 making 285 horsepower..all models are rear-wheel drive and use either a 6-speed automatic transmission (gasoline) or 8-speed unit (diesel). If you require an all-wheel-drive commercial van, look to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. - Kelley Blue Book

Engine and Transmission

The van comes equipped with a 4.8-Liter V8 gas engine mated to a 6-speed automatic as standard. Alternatively, you could even go for a heftier 6.0-Liter V8, which churns out 342hp and 373lb-ft torque, or a more efficient 2.8-Liter Inline-4 diesel engine paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox and producing 181hp and 369lb-ft.


GMC Savana cargo 2500

Mercedes Benz sprinter cargo 2500

Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130”

Nissan NV Cargo 1500 S







4.8 V8

3.0L V6

3.7L V6

4.0L V6


6-speed automatic

5-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

5-speed automatic


285hp @ 5400 rpm

188hp @ 3800 rpm

275hp @ 6000 rpm

261hp @ 5600 rpm


295lb-ft @ 4600 rpm

325lb-ft @ 1400 rpm

260lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

281lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

The Savana is unequivocally a powerful van, and the transmission is capable enough to complement that. The 8-speed optional gearbox is smoother at lower speeds compared to the 6-speed. In comparison, the rivals employ a V6, which may have a reduced power output but catch up in terms of torque figures.


This may not be the best measure for judging the prowess of a cargo van, but when you’re spending your whole day in hauling, you sometimes feel the need for the extra oomph when you’re pulling away from a stop light. The Savana 2500 from GMC feels slow to wake up, but at highway speeds the engine keeps up with the expectation.


GMC Savana cargo 2500

Mercedes Benz sprinter cargo 2500

Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130”

Nissan NV Cargo 1500 S

0-60 MPH





Quarter mile











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





Comparatively, the Nissan is much slower to 60mph, taking 9.6 seconds in the process, while the Ford is much faster clocking in at 7.5 seconds.

Ride and Handling

The Savana’s nimbleness can be best compared to a boat. In terms of parking and maneuvering tight spaces, this van may not be the sharpest tool in the shed. The boat-like handling stems from the outdated 2-stage multi-leaf spring mounted on the rear. Take a corner too fast and you’d feel van wanting to tip over, because of 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.


The Savana 2500’s brakes are adequate enough to bring this 5000+ pound van to a halt, but unless your 10,000lb trailer has a built-in trailer brake, the discs would struggle to keep up the performance. The brake pedal feels firm and direct, however, the van lurches forward upon heavy braking.


GMC Savana cargo 2500

Mercedes Benz sprinter cargo 2500

Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130”

Nissan NV Cargo 1500 S

Brake Front (in.)





Brake Rear (in.)





Curb Weight (lbs.)





60-0 MPH (ft.)





Towing Capacity

Despite all the drawbacks, in terms of sheer hauling power, the GMC Savana 2500 eviscerates the competition. With a whopping capacity to pull 10,000 pounds, you’d never find the capability lacking, when you hook up your trailer or camper to the van.


GMC Savana cargo 2500

Mercedes Benz sprinter cargo 2500

Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130”

Nissan NV Cargo 1500 S

Maximum Towing Capacity

10000 lbs

5000 lbs

7500 lbs

6900 lbs

The Mercedes Sprinter, meanwhile, has the lowest towing capacity of the lot despite having the highest torque figures. The Ford and Nissan have a decent capability, although unmatched against the GMC.

2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van Fuel Economy

EPA has not tested the GMC Savana Cargo Van or its competitors for their fuel economy.

2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van Interior

The Savana's interior makes liberal use of hard plastics. The engine protrudes into the front footwells, a characteristic of old-school vans that rivals have long since abolished. - Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The vinyl front seats and plastic-clad interiors are built to be functional not premium. The seating position is quite high up, aiding visibility from the driver’s seat while parking and turning. The lack of a door behind the driver, along with the low roof height, hurts the van’s practicality. Another one of the features that GMC should’ve gotten rid of is the protruding engine in the footwell.


GMC Savana cargo 2500

Mercedes Benz sprinter cargo 2500

Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130”

Nissan NV Cargo 1500 S

Passenger capacity





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





Comparatively, the Sprinter van has a much better head and leg room. The seating is more comfortable as well as ergonomically better designed. Even the Nissan and the Ford have a more modern and better laid-out interior.

Infotainment System

The infotainment feels just as antique as the GMC’s design. The standard equipment includes 2-speaker setup with AM/FM and an aux input. You can add an 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, 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.

Interior Features

Some of the features GMC has included inside the van are:

  • Vinyl bucket seats
  • Spray-in bed liner
  • Air Conditioning
  • OnStar 4G LTE networking and WiFi hotspot
  • 6 cargo tie downs

Cargo Capacity

The mediocre cargo volume will help you out with most of your transportation needs, but if you feel the storage is lacking, you can opt for an extended wheelbase version of the van.


GMC Savana cargo 2500

Mercedes Benz sprinter cargo 2500

Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130”

Nissan NV Cargo 1500 S

Cargo Volume (ft.3)





The Savana 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 90 cu-ft more than the rest.

2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van Exterior

Dimensions and Weight

The GMC’s utilitarian design has yet to receive an update 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.


GMC Savana cargo 2500

Mercedes Benz sprinter cargo 2500

Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130”

Nissan NV Cargo 1500 S

Curb weight (lbs.)




















Ground clearance (in) F/R





Wheelbase (in)





Track width (in) F/R





It is has a narrower profile than the competition as well as a lower roof height than most, which makes it quite difficult to stand up straight inside. Also available in an extended wheelbase format which gives the cargo area a huge upgrade. The lower ground clearance gives it an imposing stance, which compliments the rugged looks.

Exterior Features

The features on the outside of the Savana Cargo van are:

  • Swing-out 60/40 passenger side doors
  • Sliding side doors
  • Optional Chrome bumpers
  • Optional Dual composite headlamps


2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van Safety

Without having any third party crash testing such as NHSTA or IIHS, you’d have to place your trust in GMC’s safety features, which seem too less for a cargo van of this magnitude. The safety features included are:

  • Anti-lock disc brakes
  • Stability control
  • Front-side airbags
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Backup camera and rear parking sensors


2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van Competition

2017 GMC Savana Cargo 2500 vs 2017 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Cargo 2500

The reliable Sprinter from Mercedes’ inventory is much better handling and maneuverable van than the Savana. With a 3.0-Liter V6 under the hood, the Merc produces more torque at a better fuel economy. The cargo bay can hold more luggage and has the roomiest interior than any of the rivals. Although these features come at a premium of almost $7000, the upgrades are worth the extra money, especially if you intend to spend all day in the vehicle.

2017 GMC Savana Cargo 2500 vs 2017 Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130

The Transit is quite a modern van equipped with features which most vans skip out on to keep the costs down such as Lane keep assist and blind spot assist. The interior is ergonomically designed to feel comfortable throughout the day and the ride quality is smooth and pleasant. The cargo capacity is near identical to that of the GMC, but it lags when it comes to towing capacity. For roughly the same price you get a much better van from the Ford.

2017 GMC Savana Cargo 2500 vs 2017 Nissan NV Cargo 1500 S

The Nissan’s heavier V6 powered cargo van is an affordable alternative to the GMC Savana. Although its engine is a bit weaker than the Savana and as a result loses out on towing capacity. Despite the length advantage over the GMC, the Nissan still has a smaller cargo bay. The interior quality, as well as ride quality, are comparable, but the Nissan’s handling is better through corners.

2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van Final Verdict

Apart from the mammoth towing capacity, the GMC Savana 2500 van has no redeeming qualities going for it. Scanty interior, old-school infotainment system, thirsty engine, barely adequate brakes, subpar cargo capacity, and an uninspiring fuel economy renders the van virtually incompetent versus the rivals.

The new inline-4 diesel engine meant to reduce fuel consumption fails to prevail. Hopefully GMC would improve upon this heavy-hauler in 2018. Meanwhile, we recommend you to either choose the Mercedes Sprinter or the Ford Transit van.


Powerful V8 engine

Great payload and towing capacity.


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-pin \\\/ 7-pib sealed connector


vehicle bio

base price



3dr Cargo Van

passenger capacity




engine type


293 cu. in.


285 hp @ 5400 rpm


295 lb.-ft. @ 4600 rpm


6-speed automatic


suspension front

independent front short and long arm suspension

suspension rear

rigid axle rear leaf suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

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



135 in.


224.1 in.


79.2 in.


84.6 in.

curb weight

5345 lbs.

ground clearance

7.1 in.


cargo volume

239.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

10000 lbs.

payload capacity

3234 lbs.


zero to 60 mph

8.1 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16 sec.

fuel economy


16/16/17 mpg

highway range

314.5 mi.


basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

7 years/100000 miles

roadside assistance



 2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van in Dark Slate Metallic color  2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van in Cardinal Red color  2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van in Cyber Gray Metallic color  2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van in Blade Silver Metallic color  2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van in Bronze Alloy Metallic color
Dark Slate Metallic

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


 2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van 2500


285 hp @ 5400 rpm
Flex-fuel (unleaded/e85)
16 combined

$30,745 - $32,605

Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A) Starting at $30,745 MSRP (16/16/17) 285 hp @ 5400 rpm, 4.8 L, V8, flex-fuel (unleaded/e85)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic rear wheel drive 2 NA
2500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A) Starting at $32,605 MSRP (11/13/17) 285 hp @ 5400 rpm, 4.8 L, V8, flex-fuel (unleaded/e85)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic rear wheel drive 2 NA

 2017 GMC Savana Cargo Van 3500


285 hp @ 5400 rpm
Flex-fuel (unleaded/e85)

$34,065 - $34,950

Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
3500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A) Starting at $34,065 MSRP N/A 285 hp @ 5400 rpm, 4.8 L, V8, flex-fuel (unleaded/e85)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic rear wheel drive 2 NA
3500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A) Starting at $34,950 MSRP N/A 285 hp @ 5400 rpm, 4.8 L, V8, flex-fuel (unleaded/e85)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic rear wheel drive 2 NA