2009 GMC Savana 1500 Reviews
The GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express twins received a refreshed interior in 2008. Driver controls were redesigned, including new gauges and ventilation system controls, as well as a new steering wheel, stereo system and cloth seats. The Savana is available in quarter-ton, half-ton and one-ton weight classes, in regular- and long-wheelbase form, with five engine choices, including one that can be fueled by E85. These variations come in four different van models: cargo, 15-seat passenger, conversion and cutaway. Competitors include the Dodge Sprinter and Ford E-Series.
New for 2009
There are no significant changes for the Savana.
The Savana's front end has a trapezoidal grille with a large GMC badge and upscale reflector headlights. Passenger vans come in regular and extended lengths. Regular-length passenger and cargo vans can be fitted with a 60/40-split left-side entry and loading door. Side access panels, which give interior access to either side of the van, feature remote releases and are available on work-oriented models.
The regular-length Savana G1500 measures 224 inches long overall, while the G3500 extended-length van rides on a stretched, 244-inch body. This puts the regular-length Savana at some 10 inches longer than the E-Series and about 10 inches shorter than the Sprinter. All Savanas are 79.4 inches wide, which is the same as the E-Series and Sprinter.
Depending on the configuration, Savana passenger vans can carry eight, 12 or 15 occupants. Cargo vans seat a maximum of two people.
The Savana's maximum interior volume (on the cargo model) is 225 cubic feet for regular-length models and 261.6 cubic feet in extended-length vans. That's about the same cargo capacity as the E-Series, but pales in comparison to the Sprinter's 318 cubic feet of interior volume.
Under the Hood
Light-duty vans have rack-and-pinion steering. The rear suspensions use a solid axle with multileaf springs and gas shocks. The Savana can be equipped with one of five engines. Each engine teams with a four-speed automatic transmission that incorporates a tow/haul mode. Rear- and all-wheel-drive models are available.
The Savana received a host of safety upgrades in 2008, including side curtain airbags on passenger models. Also, 12- and 15-passenger models have three-layer glass that helps reduce the risk of ejection during an accident. Additional standard safety features include: