GMC Savana Cargo is a versatile van designed to make work easier and more accommodating. It is available in regular (135-inch / 3,429-mm) and extended (155-inch / 3,937-mm) wheelbase lengths, in heavy-duty 2500 Series and 3500 Series models.
The 2500 Series includes models rated at 8,600 pounds (3,901 kg) GVWR, with the 3500 Series includes full-bodied models rated at 9,600 pounds (4,354 kg) GVWR with a standard 6.0L gas V-8 and 9,900 pounds (4,490 kg) with the available Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel.
A wide range of features and configurations offers many competitive advantages, with standard and available features including:
- Standard 4.8L and available 6.0L gas engines
- Available dedicated compressed natural gas package
- Available 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel engine with B20 biodiesel capability
- Fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmissions
- Available locking rear differential
- Trailer rating of up to 10,000 pounds (4,535 kg)
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard on all models
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio is available.
Savana design and exterior features:
- Chrome appearance package is available and includes chrome front and rear bumpers and chrome grille with dual composite headlamps. Black-painted bumpers are standard
- Swing-out 60/40-split passenger-side doors are standard.
- Sliding passenger-side door is available
- Heated power-adjustable outside folding mirrors are available on all models.
- Sixteen-inch steel wheels are standard
- Ambulance prep package and hotel shuttle package are available
- Exterior colors: Quicksilver Metallic, Cyber Gray Metallic, Dark Blue Metallic, Black, Dark Green Metallic, Summit White, Victory Red, Wheatland Yellow, Emerald Green and Bronze Alloy Metallic.
- Power locks are standard
- Air conditioning (single-zone) is standard
- Rear air conditioning is available
- A range of audio systems, including CD/MP3 capability and USB port, and navigation is available on all models. An audio system provision package is standard
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio is available
- Driver information center is standard on all models. A compass and outside temperature features are available
- A rear auxiliary heater is available
- An enhanced interior lighting package three light-emitting diode roof-mounted lights in the cargo area is standard
- Two auxiliary 12-volt power outlets are standard and located on the dashboard
- 110-volt outlet located on dash is standard
- Remote keyless entry is available
- Remote vehicle starter system is available
- Six-way power-adjustable driver and passenger seats are available
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel audio controls are available
- Custom vinyl or cloth upholstery is offered in Neutral or Medium Pewter colors.
Savana powertrains – 6.6L Duramax diesel
The available Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 delivers best-in-class torque and horsepower. Known by its “LGH” engine code, it is rated at 260 horsepower (194 kW) and 525 lb-ft of torque (711 Nm).
The LGH Duramax was designed with a robust EGR cooling system, along with revised turbocharger tuning that helps enhance EGR performance. It also has a large-capacity selective catalytic reduction system. In fact, the engine features the latest in emission control technology, making it the cleanest Duramax engine ever produced. NOx emissions are controlled via a Selective Catalyst Reduction aftertreatment system that uses urea-based Diesel (Emission) Exhaust Fluid (DEF). The DEF is housed in a 5.83-gallon (20 L) tank and needs to be replenished about every 5,000 miles (8,000 km). Electrically heated lines feed the DEF to the emission system to ensure adequate delivery in cold weather.
The Duramax also includes GM’s second-generation diesel particulate filter system. Unlike most competitors’ systems, the Duramax regenerates its diesel particulate filter using a downstream injection of diesel fuel directly into the exhaust stream and can travel up to 700 miles (1,125 km) between regenerations – a 300-mile (482 km) increase over the previous Duramax engine. The use of downstream injection also helps improve engine life by eliminating concerns surrounding the possibility of diesel fuel contaminating engine oil, which can happen when fuel used for regeneration is introduced directly into the cylinder.
The Duramax also provides outstanding cold-weather performance, with microprocessor-controlled glow plugs capable of gas engine-like start performance in less than three seconds in temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-29 C), without a block heater. The engine has been developed to operate for at least 200,000 miles (322,000 km) on a rough-duty cycle without the need for a major overhaul; and it is backed with a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
A fuel-operated heater (FOH) also is available for vans equipped with the Duramax 6.6L to quickly provide heat to the vehicle interior in cold weather. The seamlessly integrated system is designed into the Savana chassis, saving customers the time and labor of upfitting an aftermarket system. The electronically controlled, fuel-operated heater operates automatically, turning on and off within parameters that include outside air temperature, fuel level, coolant temperature and whether the engine is running. It features a self-contained, pressurized auxiliary coolant heater (with a surge tank) that uses diesel fuel to generate up to 17,200 Btu/h (5 kW) of heating energy.
The Duramax engine is backed by GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L90 heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission.
Savana powertrains – gas engines
GMC Savana offers a choice of two gas engines: a standard 4.8L V-8 rated at 285 horsepower (213 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm) and an available 6.0L V-8 rated at 342 horsepower (255 kW) and 373 lb-ft of torque (506 Nm). Each is part of GM’s legendary small-block engine family and designed for quiet operation, including:
- Special friction-reducing polymer coating on piston skirts
- Full-floating piston pins
- Damping patch on the oil pan (externally mounted)
- Timing chain tensioner
- Quieter alternator.
Some of the stringent durability testing included cycling engines between the peak torque and peak horsepower rpm points – the equivalent of towing a heavy trailer up a steep grade – for 600 straight hours.
The engines are mated to the Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic and a fast-idle option makes it easier to run accessories at a work site.
The 6.0L is also offered in a special version with hardened valve seats for the available dedicated compressed natural gas models – the industry’s only CNG vehicles that are fully integrated at the factory, crash tested and backed by GM’s 100,000 mile/five-year transferable powertrain limited warranty. Two systems are offered:
- A three-tank system (RPO code UFM) provides a range of up to 200 miles and allows complete use of the cargo area
- A four-tank system (RPO code UFP) provides a range of up to 300 miles, with the additional tank in the driver’s side of the cargo area, just inboard of the wheel well.
Savana chassis and suspension
The Savana is built on a strong, ladder-type full frame architecture. The frame features fully boxed sections for greater strength and rigidity, while extended and tapered front frame rails are used for improved crashworthiness. Also, additional tubular frame cross members are used to increase torsional stiffness.
All models feature an independent short-long arm (SLA) front suspension, with a 35mm front stabilizer bar. Two-stage, semi-elliptic multi-leaf springs are used in the rear suspension and help locate a semi-floating axle.
Additional chassis and suspension features include:
- Hydroboost four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and dynamic rear proportioning
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard on all models
- A locking rear differential is available
- 31-gallon (117.3 L) fuel tank is standard on all models (except for dedicated compressed natural gas package)
- 8,600-pound GVWR on 2500 models
- 9,600-pound / 9,900-pound GVWR on 3500 models.
Savana is equipped with a host of safety features, including available head curtain side air bags, which provide a higher level of protection in the event of a side impact or a vehicle rollover. Additional safety features include:
- StabiliTrak is standard
- Tire pressure monitoring system is standard
- Flat and convex exterior mirrors for a wider field of vision are standard
- Four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system with Hydroboost is standard
- Driver and front passenger air bags are standard
- Daytime Running Lamps are standard.