Just right capability; 1,300 additional pounds of GVWR over the light-duty 1500
Not the most contemporary or efficient van; dated compared to GMC's pickup, SUV and crossover lineup
The Savana 2500 is unchanged for the 2014 model year
We'd equip the 8-passenger Savana 2500 with the optional 6.0-liter V8 and 6-speed Hydra-matic. We'd then add just enough comfort and convenience accessories (navigation, the convenience package with power windows and locks, the heavy-duty trailering package, parking sensors and backup camera) to make it livable for a 3-week grand tour and beyond. With room for everything a family of four or five could carry, the Savana would make an excellent base camp or a great tow vehicle for that Boston Whaler. And you'd be out the door for well under $40,000.
Like its Chevrolet Express mechanical twin, the 2014 GMC Savana 2500 is offered in two distinct models: a Cargo van with no rear seats, and a Passenger van with seats. Cargo models come in only one trim, while the Savana Passenger is separated into LS and upscale LT models.
Choose the Savana 2500 Cargo ($30,000) and you should only expect the basics. That means vinyl seating, manual air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo and little else. That's right: no CD player, no OnStar system and no power accessories. That said, drivers who want those items can order them from the options list.
Step up to a Savana LS ($32,800) and you add a few more items. Most notably, that includes seats, but the Savana LS also adds power door locks and cruise control to the Cargo model's basic equipment list.
Topping the Savana range is the LT ($34,700), which adds cloth upholstery, a compass, remote keyless entry, rear air conditioning and exterior chrome accents.
In addition to the vans' standard equipment, GMC offers a long list of options. They range from simple items such as power mirrors and windows to upscale features such as a reversing camera, a navigation system and rear park assist. While the Savana 1500 is offered with all-wheel drive, all 2500 models are rear-wheel drive only.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Rust-Through||6 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/24,000 Miles|
GMC Yukon XL -- If you're looking for a large vehicle with a lot of seats, the most obvious competitor to the full-size Savana is in the same showroom. A Yukon XL will seat up to eight, and while it doesn't deliver the Savana's sheer volume, it tops the van in comfort and over-the-road demeanor.
Ford E-350 -- Like the Savana, the E-350 is outdated, but Ford's next-generation full-size van arrives soon. Given the positive reception to its smaller sibling, the Transit Connect, Ford could have a winner on its hands, which would add pressure for GM to modernize the Savana.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- The Sprinter offers impressive capability and efficiency in a much more modern package than the Savana 2500. But it's also more expensive.
RAM ProMaster -- While it hasn't reached dealers yet, RAM's latest take on the full-size van is sure to offer huge capability, whether you're hauling people or large items. With diesel engines and European design, fuel economy is also expected to be strong.