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2011 GMC Savana 2500 Passenger

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2011 GMC Savana 2500 Passenger Review

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Full-size vans like the 2011 GMC Savana are about more than shuttling travelers to the airport or allowing plumbers to work from anywhere, though they fulfill those needs incredibly well. With versatile interiors, they can accommodate a slew of passengers, a tremendous amount of cargo, or a combination of each. Of course, other vehicles can lay claim to the same attributes, yet models like the GMC Savana are special in their ability to keep everything secure and under one long roof. The picture grows even more impressive when considering options like all-wheel drive and specifications including a 10,000-pound towing capacity and engines delivering up to 525 pound-feet of torque. There's a reason these workhorses haven't changed significantly over the years: They don't need to.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want more passenger capacity than any other mainstream vehicle, brute muscle on par with a hard-working pickup truck, and the ability to carry all of your tools of the trade in a secure space away from the elements, the 2011 GMC Savana is ready to serve.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Top-notch comfort and efficiency are not the GMC Savana's strong points, so if either of those points are high on your list of priorities, this full-size van probably shouldn't be your first choice.

What's New for 2011

GMC has updated is 2011 Savana with standard stability control on all models, the most up-to-date version of OnStar, a more powerful and efficient diesel engine option, and available features such as XM Satellite Radio and a locking rear differential.

Driving the Savana 2500 Passenger
Driving Impressions

Like GMC's other body-on-frame vehicles like the Sierra pickup and Yukon SUV, the 2011 Savana's ride and handling characteristics may come as a welcome surprise. Though you won't...

... confuse this full-size van with a sports car, the steering and braking systems are fairly responsive, allowing drivers to feel secure when traveling with heavy loads. In those situations, it's best to have one of the Savana's available V8 engines under the hood, as the base V6 is not suitable for anything beyond light-duty work.

Side Access Doors
Tradespeople are sure to appreciate the Savana's side doors that allow for quick and easy access to their equipment.

Capability
Few vehicles can offer the versatility of 15-passenger seating, a maximum tow rating of 10,000 pounds, and a cargo area measuring 284.4 cubic feet.

2011 GMC Savana 2500 Passenger Details
Interior

Inspired by models like the Sierra pickup, the 2011 GMC Savana's dash and instrument panel has a simple yet contemporary appearance and an intuitive, user-friendly layout. Without options such as rear shelving units, the Cargo Van's interior is unquestionably bare, while the Passenger version appears more complete with standard seating for eight, cloth upholstery and carpet on the floor.

Exterior

Interior space is what full-size vans are all about, so making any styling changes must be made with that in mind. As a result, the GMC Savana's general shape closely resembles that of models from as far back as the 70s, though the front end is more pronounced and the box isn't quite so, well, boxy. The shape has been streamlined and made as aerodynamic as possibly without sacrificing the all-important interior volume.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Every 2011 GMC Savana Cargo Van is fitted with standard features including a V6 engine, air conditioning, manual exterior mirrors, and vinyl upholstery and flooring. The Passenger Van goes a few steps further with a 5.3-liter V8 and cloth seat fabric. Thankfully, the list of safety equipment is a bit more robust, and includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and dual front airbags.

Optional Equipment

Since standard features are scarce on the GMC Savana, buyers who want creature comforts will need to focus on the options list. That's where they'll find a selection of V8 engines, an all-wheel-drive system, a towing package, and items that many of us take for granted, such as power windows and a radio. The safety front is covered by available side-curtain airbags and the OnStar system with emergency assistance.

Under the Hood

With one V6 and four V8s on its roster, the 2011 GMC Savana offers buyers an engine for most any need. On the low end of the range is a 195-horsepower six-cylinder mated to a four-speed automatic transmission, which is suitable for light-duty applications but not heavy-duty hauling. For those situations, an optional 6.6-liter turbocharged diesel is hard to beat. That's especially true this year, as GMC has beefed up its oil-burning V8, now cranking out 525 pound-feet of torque and capable of operating on B20 biodiesel fuel. All of the Savana's eight-cylinder engines are paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

4.3-liter V6
195 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20

4.8-liter V8
280 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
296 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17

5.3-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
334 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17

6.0-liter V8
323 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
373 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/16

6.6-liter Turbodiesel V8
260 horsepower @ 3100 rpm
525 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

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2011 GMC Savana Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 45 Ratings for the 2003 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.0/10

AWD is great in the snow.

By on Friday, May 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Mine is AWD"

Cons: "Drive line problems, battery goes dead in a few da"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Yes my GMC 2500 Savana is AWD. The transfer case rear drive shaft has ruined bearings twice. build is tinny compared to Ford, but much lighter in weight. Have achieved 18mpg"

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

lousey white paint, GMC won't do anything about it

By on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "good engine, decent transmission."

Cons: "Cargo door hinges are lousey, not replacable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Overall I wished that I kept my Ford Cargo Van. While the GMC runs well, it's ergonomic set up is sub par. First annoying issue is the doors do not open as far as the Ford, the footing area for the driver is cramped. The ride is good as is the power. Huge gas tank, and milage is around 17mpg, loaded, with a trailer drops milage to 12mpg. Visability is good. White paint started coming off the van in different spots, the hood is devoid of most paint. side door hinges are stiff, feels like they are going to snap off at some point. After owning both Ford and GMC, I'd go with a Ford hands down."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Good quality van.

By on Sunday, October 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable"

Cons: "Hood paint."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchase the van in 2006. It is dependable, and reliable. Regular maintenance and clean as with all vans. Front hood does have a paint issue. But other then that is has been a workhorse."

31 people out of 69 found this review helpful

i hate this van

By on Thursday, October 1, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 195,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "it starts"

Cons: "Transmission issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Always some weird issue rear doors open too wide in the wind Designed to hit quarter panels The only reason it got a 1 is 0 is not allowed"

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

ORDERED AND BOUGHT NEW/TIME TO RETIRE

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "COMPLETE PACKAGE WITH ALL AVAIL OPTIONS"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"ordered new for work with any all available options except towing pkg. also added rear view camera in the third brake light"

20 people out of 35 found this review helpful

great van! love it.awsome work truck!

By on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "smooth ride very comfortable, dependable."

Cons: "no cruise control."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought new, used it for about 2years. Changed trades, now its hardly used. Exellent like new codition in&out.new tires.GoodYear silent armour pro grade.Shelves&racks walk thru cab cage w/locking door. Alpine cd am/fm stereo. This truck rocks! I just dont need it anymore."

153 people out of 280 found this review helpful

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