2005 GMC Safari consumer reviews

$22,930–$26,830 MSRP range
side view of 2005 Safari GMC
71% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.3
  • Interior design 3.7
  • Performance 3.4
  • Value for the money 3.7
  • Exterior styling 4.0
  • Reliability 3.6
Explore the 2005 GMC Safari
3.7

Great size and looks, can carry a lot of stuff

Bought in 2006 as a year-old former rent-a-car with 32K miles on it. Good looking van. Visibility of road, interior space, and cargo capacity is really good. Can carry full sheets of plywood and furniture very easily. It has the "alley" between the front seats that allows you to climb to the back if needed. Engine acceleration and braking is average, gas mileage rather poor, ride is slightly choppy. I'm 6-3 height, so I have lots of headroom but the seat doesn't go quite as far back as I'd like, so leg room is limited. That makes stop and go city/highway driving tiresome to the right leg since the gas pedal action, unlike other cars, requires some foot pressure. Had a 1996 Astro before the Safari, so I can approximately compare the cycle of repairs for the 2005 Safari. I'm an easy driver (not a lead foot)--but within 130K miles, the Safari has had three transmissions. Also, two AC overhauls, two fuel pumps and malfunctioning power locks and some fixed brake light circuitry. The engine runs hot in its tight bay, which tends to wear the distributor components and ERG valves. It's an old-school cult car because there are no like-sized vans made in 2021-- it's paid for, I'm used to it, I love it but it's somewhat punishing to drive. For the uninitiated, I would not recommend this vehicle for anything beyond utilitarian use.

5.0

They don't make 'em like this anymore

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 value of these vans should encourage GMC to make them again!

4.7

They should not have stopped making these!

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

4.1

GMC Safari fan

I own a 2001 GMC Safari AWD SLT that has 143,000 miles on it. It has been very reliable and gets >17.5 mpg doing package delivery in northern Nevada. It drives well, feels planted on the road and is rattle free. With regular maintenance this van should easily eclipse 200K miles. I added a cold air intake system and a chip in place of the air temp sensor on the engine to improve performance and MPG. With the rear seats removed you can stuff a lot into it.

1.4

05 safari

Lousy vehicle, handles terrible on ice even in AWD. It has 120,000 miles on it and the engine rattles like a bunch of marbles in a coffee can. Vehicle is obviously not built to last.

3.4

Most Room of any Mini-van

We've owned an Astro or Safari for 14 years. Used as a 'family' hauler seating up to 8 comfortably. With the 2nd and 3rd row out the vehicle becomes a mini-hauler. Has the power to tow up to 6,500 pounds from a V6 motor without strain.

3.0

Good vehicle for what I use it for.

My wife and I own a residential cleaning business. We have three Safari's in our business. They haul a crew of 4 and all of the equipment they need for the day. Two of them are AWD. The old one is not but I'm replacing that one with a 2005 Safari AWD in spring 2007. You can pick them up pretty cheap due to low resale value. I can usually get a dealer down by about $1,500 to $1,800. from their price without a trade in. I would never have bought a new one as there are too many repairs to warrant GM's price when they were new. Power window motors and switches, mirror switches, door handles inside and outside go bad way too often. That's O.K. if you can replace them yourself, which is very easy, and you can buy the van cheap enough. For hauling you can't beat them and with normal maintenence the engines run forever.