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2001 GMC Savana 1500

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5
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Passenger Van
7 Seats
15 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
GMC’s full-size van sells in fewer numbers than the similar Chevrolet Express but attracts a loyal clientele. Along with its full-size rivals from Dodge and Ford, the rear-drive truck-based van has been on the market for decades.

Like Chevrolet, GMC produces both a cargo van and a passenger model, in two sizes and three capacity ratings: G1500 (half-ton), G2500 (three-quarter-ton) and G3500 (one-ton). Two regular trim levels are offered, the base SL and upscale SLE. General Motors and the Lear Corp. have been working together on a Savana SLT luxury van, which would be comparable to the new Chevrolet Express LT.

Built on an extended, 155-inch wheelbase, the 2500/3500 vans can seat 12 to 15 occupants. A new 8.1-liter 8100 V-8 engine has replaced the 7400 V-8 for 2001. Otherwise, changes are primarily technical and are said to boost engine and transmission efficiency. Savana vans also are provided to conversion companies in unfinished form.



Exterior
The regular-length Savana rides a 135-inch wheelbase and measures 218.8 inches long, and extended-length models have a 155-inch wheelbase and stretch to 238.8 inches overall. These vans are considerably taller than minivans, ranging from 79.4 to 83.9 inches above the ground. With the seats removed, cargo volume is 267.3 cubic feet in the regular-length van or 316.8 cubic feet in the full-length model.

Two swing-out passenger-side doors can be replaced by a single sliding door, if desired. At the rear, two doors open ...
Vehicle Overview
GMC’s full-size van sells in fewer numbers than the similar Chevrolet Express but attracts a loyal clientele. Along with its full-size rivals from Dodge and Ford, the rear-drive truck-based van has been on the market for decades.

Like Chevrolet, GMC produces both a cargo van and a passenger model, in two sizes and three capacity ratings: G1500 (half-ton), G2500 (three-quarter-ton) and G3500 (one-ton). Two regular trim levels are offered, the base SL and upscale SLE. General Motors and the Lear Corp. have been working together on a Savana SLT luxury van, which would be comparable to the new Chevrolet Express LT.

Built on an extended, 155-inch wheelbase, the 2500/3500 vans can seat 12 to 15 occupants. A new 8.1-liter 8100 V-8 engine has replaced the 7400 V-8 for 2001. Otherwise, changes are primarily technical and are said to boost engine and transmission efficiency. Savana vans also are provided to conversion companies in unfinished form.



Exterior
The regular-length Savana rides a 135-inch wheelbase and measures 218.8 inches long, and extended-length models have a 155-inch wheelbase and stretch to 238.8 inches overall. These vans are considerably taller than minivans, ranging from 79.4 to 83.9 inches above the ground. With the seats removed, cargo volume is 267.3 cubic feet in the regular-length van or 316.8 cubic feet in the full-length model.

Two swing-out passenger-side doors can be replaced by a single sliding door, if desired. At the rear, two doors open a full 180 degrees to ease loading. The new SLT luxury van gets some distinctive exterior additions, as well as a fancier interior. Locks have been improved for 200l.



Interior
Base-model SL G1500 vans have vinyl high-back front buckets and a pair of rear bench seats for eight-passenger capacity. A dozen people fit into the G2500/3500 vans, seated on twin three-passenger benches in the middle two rows and a four-passenger bench in the way back. Seating for 15 is an option for the extended-length G3500 by adding another bench seat. Cargo vans come only with the two front bucket seats, and the passenger seat can also be removed. Cloth upholstery replaces vinyl in the SLE series, which also adds such extras as a tilt steering wheel and cruise control.

A new family of radios operates with Radio Data Systems (RDS) technology, which permits the selection of stations by program type and even the possibility of traffic and weather reports.

Special features on the new SLT luxury van include two 6.8-inch flip-down video screens for family entertainment, independent audio controls in each row, Bose 12-speaker premium sound and two wireless headphones. The exterior of this upscale model gets specific body-color components.



Under the Hood
General Motors offers a selection of five engines to accommodate a variety of cargo- and passenger-hauling requirements. Choices begin with a 200-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 for the G1500 van. Depending on the model, a 220-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 or a 255-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 are the standard powerplants for G2500/3500 vans. Options for heavy-duty models include a new 340-hp, 8.1-liter Vortec 8100 V-8, replacing the 7400 engine. GMC claims that the new 8100 engine is more economical than its predecessor. A 195-hp, 6.5-liter diesel V-8 also is available.

All models have a four-speed-automatic transmission. When properly equipped, a G1500 van can tow as much as 7,300 pounds, while the G3500 diesel can pull as much as 10,000 pounds. This year’s engines have a new powertrain control module and a more efficient alternator, and automatic transmissions for heavier-duty models have received some internal enhancements.

Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard, and side-impact airbags are not available.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2001 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.0
1 review — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.0)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(5.0)
Reliability
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)
(4.0)

Best value for the money!

by Joan from Rochester, NY on January 17, 2013

We love our SLT; we have 4 teenagers, all are approaching 6 feet tall. The rare SLT model has the second and third row seats moved further back than the regular passenger van that allows them to ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2001 GMC Savana 1500 currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2001 GMC Savana 1500 has not been tested.

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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 Savana 1500 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