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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

The 2017 GMC Savana represents the last of a decades’-old van design, one with a proven history of reliability and versatility, but whose time has probably come. The problem isn’t that the Savana cargo and passenger vans can’t haul loads of cargo and people, rather that newer van designs like the Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster and Mercedes-Benz Metris and Sprinter can do it better for about the same price. The Savana’s V8 diesel engine is replaced this year by a smaller, less powerful 4-cylinder version, leaving very little to argue why one would choose this van over its newer, safer and more technologically savvy competitors. Being a known commodity to upfitters might be a good reason, as is the Savana’s 10,000-pound tow rating.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a reliable work van with a long history of hauling people and cargo, the 2017 GMC Savana van deserves a good look. A choice of two body lengths, seating for up to 15 passengers and a 10,000-pound tow rating are all positives.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a modern van with the latest safety technology, all-wheel drive or a cargo roof high enough to allow one to stand upright without stooping, then a newer competitor like the Ford Transit makes a better choice.

What's New for 2017

For 2017, GMC’s Savana cargo and passenger vans drop the V8 diesel and CNG engine options. New options include a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine, a spray-in cargo liner, and some new colors.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Although it retains that groovy 1970s’ van shape on the outside, the underpinnings on GMC’s 2017 Savana van are more closely related to GMC’s current pickup trucks. The design has its pluses and minuses. On the upside, the Savana is a powerful cargo van that can tow up to 10,000 pounds. In passenger form, it can seat up to 15 people, although the rear bench seats do not have tall seatback and head restraints found in most of the competition. The tall seating position and broad side glass make it easy to drive and maneuver the Savana, although it does have a rather wide turning radius. Cargo vans include rear parking sensors and rearview camera, as well as large side mirrors that aid when parking. The Savana’s gasoline V8 engine choices offer lots of torque for pulling and towing, but fuel economy is the strong suit of the 2.8-liter diesel.

Favorite Features

No matter what your intended use for the 2017 Savana van, GMC offers numerous ways to making entry and exit a snap. Be it a traditional sliding side door, or swing-out hinged doors on the side and back, the Savana is all about choice.

Despite its age, the 2017 GMC Savana can still tow up to 10,000 pounds, consume 284 cubic feet of goods or seat up to 15 people. With a starting price just under $32,000, it offers a lot of power and capability at a very reasonable price.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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