2013 GMC Savana Review

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2013 GMC Savana Overview

Still in its second generation, the 2013 GMC Savana (which is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Express passenger van) remains unchanged from 2012. In fact, the GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express, which combined make up nearly 50 percent of sales, dominate the U.S. full-size van market and have remained virtually unchanged for nearly a decade. With sales like that, it’s not hard to imagine why.

The 2013 GMC Savana passenger van can be configured into 14 different trims: The LS G1500 and LT G1500 trims are available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) and can be fueled with regular gas or Flex Fuel; the LS G2500, LT G2500, LS G3500 and LT G3500 trims are RWD only and run on regular gas or Flex Fuel; and the RWD LS G3500 and LT G3500 trims can be built on a regular or Extended wheelbase with a regular gas/Flex Fuel engine or a diesel. The LS G1500 and LT G1500 are powered by a Vortec 5.3-liter V8 SFI engine that makes 310 hp and 334 lb-ft of torque. The LS G2500, LT G2500, LS G3500, LT G3500, LS G3500 Ext and LT G3500 Ext can be configured with a Vortec 4.8-liter V8 SFI engine that achieves 280 hp and 296 lb-ft of torque or a Vortec 6.0-liter V8 SFI engine that makes 324 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque. The LS G3500, LT G3500, LS G3500 Ext and LT G3500 Ext can also be equipped with a Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 engine that achieves 260 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque.

The LS G1500 and LT G1500 come factory-equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission, while all remaining trims are paired with a Hydra-Matic 6-speed heavy-duty automatic transmission. The trims equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 engines are estimated to achieve 11 mpg city/17 highway, while those with 6.0-liter V8 engines are estimated to get 10/15. As of publication date, the diesel engines have not been rated by the EPA.

Standard features found on all 2013 GMC Savana passenger vans, which can seat between 8 and 15 passengers, depending on trim, include single-zone manual air conditioning, power steering, vinyl front bucket seats, a swing-out passenger-side door, audio system with AM/FM radio, 6-month trial of OnStar Directions & Connections plan, rear defogger, halogen headlights and 16- or 17-inch steel wheels with all-season tires. Available upgrades, depending on trim or option packages, include rear air conditioning, cruise control, cloth seating surfaces, power locks, power windows, tilt steering wheel, heated power-adjustable exterior mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, audio system with CD/MP3 player and remote keyless entry.

The 2013 Savana passenger vans have safety and security covered as well. Standard features found on all trims include frontal driver and passenger airbags, head/side curtain airbags, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control system, daytime running lights, tire pressure-monitoring system and theft deterrent system.

As defined by the huge chunk of the full-size passenger van market that is served by the GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express—although the Express outsells the Savana by nearly 3 to 1—the 2013 GMC Savana remains a solid choice for buyers looking for a dependable passenger van.

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