Vehicle Overview

The Savana is available in quarter-ton, half-ton and one-ton weight classes, in regular- and long-wheelbase form with five engine choices. Competitors include the Mercedes Sprinter, Nissan NV and Ford E-Series. The Savana is related to the Chevrolet Express.

New for 2012
Compressed-natural-gas models can have a three-tank fuel tank setup, but there are no other significant changes for 2012.

Exterior
The Savana's front end has a trapezoidal grille with a large GMC badge and upscale reflector headlights. Regular-length passenger and cargo vans can be fitted with a 60/40-split left-side entry and loading door. Side access panels, which offer access to either side of the van, feature remote releases and are available on work-oriented models. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 17-inch steel wheels on 1500, with 16-inch steel wheels on the 2500 and 3500
  • Optional 17-inch aluminum wheels on 1500
  • Swing-out rear doors
  • Available sliding passenger-side door
  • Available Chrome Appearance Package

Interior
Depending on the configuration, Savana passenger vans can carry eight, 12 or 15 occupants. Cargo vans seat a maximum of two people. Interior features include:

  • Available remote start
  • Available dealer-installed Wi-Fi internet
  • Available Bluetooth cellphone connectivity
  • Standard air conditioning
  • Available power seats
  • Vinyl or cloth seats
  • Available bulkhead dividers (cargo vans)

Under the Hood
Light-duty G1500 vans have rack-and-pinion steering, while G2500 and G3500 vans have integral power steering. The rear suspensions use a semifloating axle with leaf springs and gas shocks. The Savana can be equipped with one of five engines. Rear- and all-wheel-drive models are available. Mechanical features include:

  • 195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 with 260 pounds-feet of torque (cargo vans)
  • Flex-fuel 280-hp, 4.8-liter V-8 with 296 pounds-feet of torque
  • Flex-fuel 310-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with 334 pounds-feet of torque
  • Flex-fuel 323-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with 373 pounds-feet of torque
  • 280-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with 320 pounds-feet of torque (compressed-natural -as model)
  • 260-hp, turbo-diesel 6.6-liter V-8 with 525 pounds-feet of torque
  • Fast idle option on 6.0-liter V-8 allows heavy-duty accessory usage at idle
  • Four- or six-speed automatic transmission
  • Available heavy-duty locking rear differential

Safety
Twelve- and 15-person models have three-layer glass that helps reduce the risk of ejection during an accident. Standard safety features include:

  • All-disc antilock brakes
  • Three-row side curtain airbags (passenger vans)
  • Electronic stability system