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2005 GMC Safari

$2,335 — $9,507 USED
Passenger Van
1-8 Seats
15-19 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 5 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?
(3.7) 6 reviews

The Good

  • Interior space
  • Towing capacity
  • Cargo-hauling capacity
  • All-weather traction with AWD

The Bad

  • Ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Wet-weather traction with RWD
  • No side-impact airbags
  • Resale value

What to Know

about the 2005 GMC Safari
  • 190-hp, 4.3-liter V-6
  • Available AWD
  • Choice of rear-door layout
  • Tow/haul transmission mode
  • Available Cargo Van

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Like the similar Chevrolet Astro, the Safari is GMC's long-lived midsize van; both date back to 1985. The truck-based Safari remains available in passenger- and cargo-carrying versions and can be equipped with rear- or all-wheel drive. Base, SLE and upscale SLT trim levels of the Safari passenger van are available.

A new standard argent-toned grille on base models was the only modification for 2004, and no changes take place for the 2005 model year.

Passenger vans seat up to eight occupants and can tow trailers weighing as much as 5,400 pounds. Chevrolet has launched a new Uplander minivan for 2005, but GMC doesn't have a comparable model in its lineup. GMC sells far fewer Safaris than Chevrolet does with its Astro.


Exterior
Both the Astro and Safari ride a 111.2-inch wheelbase and stretch 189.8 inches long overall. A regular-length Dodge Caravan is nearly as long, but the Safari is 6 inches taller.

A sliding door is installed only on the passenger side. Side-hinged swing-open rear cargo doors are standard. Optional rear "Dutch doors" consist of a swing-up rear window on the top and twin swing-out half-height doors on the bottom. A rear defogger is included with the Dutch-door arrangement.


Interior
Eight-passenger seating is standard. Rear occupants get a pair of three-passenger benches in most versions. An available seven-passenger configuration for the SLT features two bucket seats in place of the second-row bench.

Cargo volume totals 170.4 cubic feet with ...
Vehicle Overview
Like the similar Chevrolet Astro, the Safari is GMC's long-lived midsize van; both date back to 1985. The truck-based Safari remains available in passenger- and cargo-carrying versions and can be equipped with rear- or all-wheel drive. Base, SLE and upscale SLT trim levels of the Safari passenger van are available.

A new standard argent-toned grille on base models was the only modification for 2004, and no changes take place for the 2005 model year.

Passenger vans seat up to eight occupants and can tow trailers weighing as much as 5,400 pounds. Chevrolet has launched a new Uplander minivan for 2005, but GMC doesn't have a comparable model in its lineup. GMC sells far fewer Safaris than Chevrolet does with its Astro.


Exterior
Both the Astro and Safari ride a 111.2-inch wheelbase and stretch 189.8 inches long overall. A regular-length Dodge Caravan is nearly as long, but the Safari is 6 inches taller.

A sliding door is installed only on the passenger side. Side-hinged swing-open rear cargo doors are standard. Optional rear "Dutch doors" consist of a swing-up rear window on the top and twin swing-out half-height doors on the bottom. A rear defogger is included with the Dutch-door arrangement.


Interior
Eight-passenger seating is standard. Rear occupants get a pair of three-passenger benches in most versions. An available seven-passenger configuration for the SLT features two bucket seats in place of the second-row bench.

Cargo volume totals 170.4 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats removed, and the van offers 41.3 cubic feet behind the upright third-row seat. All passenger versions have a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, and power windows, locks and mirrors.


Under the Hood
A 190-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 produces 250 pounds-feet of torque and mates with a four-speed-automatic transmission. A tow/haul mode in the transmission promises the best shift points when hauling heavy loads or towing a trailer or boat.

Optional all-wheel drive ordinarily sends full engine power to the back wheels. When the wheels begin to slip, the system automatically delivers power to the front wheels until the Safari is able to regain traction. Heavy-duty trailering equipment is available.


Safety
All-disc antilock brakes and daytime running lights are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available.

Driving Impressions
Evaluated by size and overall driving feel, the Safari and Astro look and behave more like scaled-down versions of the GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express full-size vans than like front-wheel-drive minivans. Despite recent refinements, their rear- and all-wheel-drive layouts inevitably produce more of a trucklike experience than you'd get in a front-drive minivan.

With a generous maximum towing capacity and a spacious cargo hold, the Safari serves as a useful compromise. But for everyday driving, most people would be better suited in a conventional, front-drive minivan.


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

3.7
6 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(3.8)
Performance
(3.5)
Interior Design
(3.7)
Comfort
(3.3)
Reliability
(3.7)
Value For The Money
(3.7)
(5.0)

They don't make 'em like this anymore

by Ralph from Phoenix, AZ on January 12, 2018

This is the best vehicle I've ever owned! 80,000 miles with no repairs until the heater core had to be replaced. I'd buy a new one if GMC would make them. The "Savana" is too big. The current resale ... Read full review

(5.0)

They should not have stopped making these!

by Waggstaff from Illinois on August 20, 2017

Very reliable. Powerful. Great style, has a cult following. 8 seats, AWD, plenty of space, strong towing. Unstoppable in snow. Poor MPG. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2005 GMC Safari currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 GMC Safari has not been tested.

Latest 2005 Safari Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Safari received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker