2015 GMC Savana Review

Savana

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2015 GMC Savana Overview

Got lots of undemanding folks to tote from here to there? Take a look at the full-size 2015 GMC Savana passenger van lineup. A cornucopia of seating configurations offers a place for up to 15 passengers along with a goodly amount of acreage left over for luggage or grocery bags. But beware that it seems this hefty people-hauler is no longer available in the half-ton 1500 trim, which had been the only trim offering a useful all-wheel-drive (AWD) option. Thus the Savana stable appears destined to return in only the three-quarter-ton 2500 and the one-ton 3500 iterations, with each available only in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configuration. Of course, a cargo version of this capable carry-all returns for the upcoming model year, as well, but that’s covered separately as the GMC Savana Cargo.

Anyhow, the 2015 Savana passenger van remains available in essentially 2 trim levels, the Spartan LS and the up-featured LT. Standard seating for 12 returns in both the 2500 and 3500 editions, but both can be reconfigured to seat 8 with a lot more elbow and cargo room to spare. The 3500, furthermore, can be delivered in a stretched "Ext" variation that adds 20 inches of overall length along with the room to seat 15 passengers in relative spaciousness. Oh, and should you want to go through the effort of removing all the rear seats, this big-box behemoth can tote some 216.2 cubic feet of cargo in the standard-length versions and up to 252.8 cubic feet of stuff in the 3500 Ext variation.

Although nothing’s been etched in stone, the deletion of the Savana 1500 passenger van trim is but one of a number of confirmed and potential changes for 2015. Further tweaks include turn-by-turn directions added to the standard OnStar services, standard side-cut keys, and digital AM/FM stereo with a USB port. Also, a standard 110-volt power point and a new Emerald Green exterior paint color are slated to be added to the features lists for this upcoming year as well.

Although one advantage this big Jimmy traditionally brings to the table is a plethora of engine offerings, the deletion of the 1500 edition means the loss of the 5.8-liter V8 powerplant that had been this once-base trim’s staple. However, the other 3 engines indisputably remain available and include the now-standard 4.8-liter V8 with its 285 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, as well as the optional 342-hp 6.0-liter Flex Fuel (FFV) V8 and the also-optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 that puts out 260 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque.

All these various power sources return managed by the ubiquitous 6-speed automatic transmission, with mileage figures running 11 mpg city/17 highway for the 4.8-liter V8 and 10/15 for the 6.0-liter Flex Fuel V8. The turbodiesel, though not rated by the EPA, is again alleged by the folks at Jimmy to get better than 20 mpg on average. Towing capability, meantime, ranges from 6,000 to 9,000 pounds, depending on engine size and with the available towing package installed. Oh, and an available heavy-duty locking rear differential can also be added to each of the Savana variants for a little more cash, while the 6.0-liter FFV V8 can be modified into a version that runs on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Standard features in the value-oriented 2015 Savana LS trim level include 16-inch steel wheels, vinyl upholstery, front manual air conditioning, upgraded-for-2015 OnStar technology, passenger-side swing-out doors, full power accessories and the upgraded 2-speaker digital AM/FM radio, now with the included USB port.

Moving up to the LT level, look for such standard upgrades as cloth upholstery, cruise control, full-length carpeting, tilt-wheel steering, rear air conditioning and heating, a trip computer and keyless entry.

Options available to both the Savana LS and LT iterations and in 2500, 3500 or 3500 Ext garb include 17-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, power-adjustable front seats, remote engine start, Bluetooth hands-free calling, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. Additionally, a hard-drive-based navigation system also returns as an option for the 2015 Savana trim lineup, as does an upgraded audio system with a single-CD player and satellite radio.

Finally, each of these super-sized Jimmy vans sports such standard safety features as 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control (GM’s StabiliTrak), 3-row head airbags, OnStar emergency communications with airbag deployment notification, daytime running lights and a post-collision safety system.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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