"We own a 2001 Savanna 1500 SLT that was purchased with 95,000 in July of 2009. We bought the van just two weeks before we drove from Rochester, NY to the Grand Canyon and back. I am very happy with this used car purchase. The reason for the purchase was that we were looking for a full size van to replace our 2005 E350 Ford Diesel Château, which had a load of problems related to the diesel engine. The Ford was very spartan, other than the cheap leather interior and rear ac and heat . It was built for towing (up to 9500 lbs!) but rest of it was too truck like. It road hard, was terrible in the snow and the worst part was that sounded like a diesel school bus inside and out. However, the straw that broke the camel's back was the reliability.
The Savanna is a very different animal. It rides more like a car than a truck. The SLT package has quad captain chairs and a rear bench with a fold down center console. We have 4 teen agers, and three of them are very tall boys. The seats in the SLT are spread out over the length of the van giving you unbelievable leg room (I am six feet tall and can stretch me legs out fully) The downside is that there is a smaller space behind the third row bench seat, than a conventional full size van. However, the leg room is used day to day and you can always throw a carrier on top for the extra storage space when traveling.
The entertainment system uses two fold down LCD screens and a verity of settings allow the different rows behind the driver to choose between AM, FM, Video, and a gaming system that the passengers can hook up. The sound is Bose and is great. Like most vans it has rear AC and heat with controls that can be adjusted by the rear passengers.
The interior was built by Leer Seating, and is much better quality than the Ford (but no as good as a Toyota). The leather material is okay, but again not as good as a higher end brand. But the front seats have power adjustments and lumbar in both the drivers and passenger chairs. The AC kept us cool running through the 103 degree desert in Utah, and the temp gauge never went higher than 210 running at Utah.
The van has the tried and true 5.7 V8, with the 4 speed automatic. It gets an average of 15 mpg, with as high as 19 mpg on the highway running 65 mph.
Our van now has 103,000 miles on it. This summer we have decided to do another trip out west using the factory towing package, (it has the ability to pull up to 6700 lbs).
We bought a 25FT trailer for the trip and pulled it from Chicago to Rochester. While towing it got around 10 mpg highway. It pulled it with absolutely no problems.
This is a great van for the money!"
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