The GMC Savana is a full-size van offered by General Motors. It was introduced in 1996, and its second generation was introduced in 2003 with a revised exterior design. The van has gone through very few changes since then, mostly because there was no need for any changes.
Unlike minivans, SUVs, and even economy cars, full-size vans like the Savana almost always attract customers on the basis of function, and the 2013 GMC Savana does offer a lot in terms of functionality. Like other similar entries from the GMC division, the Savana also has a twin produced by another General Motors division- the Chevrolet Express.
New For 2013
LS and LT Savanas get the following options: navigation, rear parking sensors, and a backup camera that will display in the rearview mirror or the nav screen, if the vehicle is equipped.
The exterior of the 2013 GMC Savana has been untouched for around a decade now, but there are no complaints because even the competition does not offer much in terms of exterior design.
Up front, the Savana has a trapezoidal grille with the large GMC badge, along with upscale reflector headlights. It is available as a passenger or cargo van, and in both cases, there is an optional 60/40-split left-side entry and loading door available.
The van comes with side access panels for accessing either side of the van. These panels get remote releases and can be fitted on work-oriented models as well. The 2013 GMC Savana 1500 has 17-inch steel wheels as standard, while the 2500 and 3500 have 16-inch steel wheels. 17-inch aluminum wheels are optional for the Savana 1500.
The 2013 GMC Savana also has swing-out rear doors for easier loading and an available manual sliding door for passenger vans.
Interior & Cargo
The interior of the 2013 GMC Savana is strictly utilitarian, with nothing much to offer in terms of style or visual appeal. The gauges and controls up front are easy to use, and the hard plastics are built to last, but not look good. The front seats offer a decent amount of headroom, but legroom is limited because of the proximity of the engine to the center of the dash.
Most features that are standard with any other car, even small economy cars, come at an additional cost for the GMC Savana. These include power locks and accessories and a basic stereo system. The cargo van only comes with the two front seats and an optional bulkhead divider. The passenger van is available in three configurations for carrying eight, 12, or 15 occupants.
Standard features for the 2013 GMC Savana include basic vinyl upholstery and air conditioning. The optional swing-out cargo doors along with the standard passenger side doors are a great plus for those looking for a fleet of delivery vans, since they offer quick access to the cargo hold.
The 2013 GMC Savana regular-wheelbase cargo van offers 204 cubic feet of space, and the extended-wheelbase version offers just over 30 cubic feet more. It is a good amount of space, but around 100 cubic feet less than the space offered by the high-roof models of the Nissan NV or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
The 2013 GMC Savana has standard safety features such as anti-lock disc brakes, three-row side curtain airbags for the passenger vans, and electronic stability system. The 12-passenger and 15-passenger passenger van configurations get three-layered glass for reducing the risk of ejection in the event of an accident. An OnStar emergency communication system is available as an option.
The 2013 GMC Savana is available with different engine options depending on the model chosen. The base model 1500 has the smallest engine in the Savana’s powertrain- a 4.3-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels of the van. This engine offers a fuel economy of 15/20 mpg city/highway.
A 5.3-liter, V-8 engine that delivers 310 horsepower and 334 lb-ft of torque is standard for the all-wheel Savana 1500 and optional for the rear-wheel version. This engine offers a fuel economy of 13/18 mpg city/highway.
The 2013 GMC Savana 2500 and 2400 with a rear-wheel drive have a 4.8-liter, V-8 engine that delivers 280 horsepower and 296 lb-ft of torque. An optional 6.0-liter, V-8 engine that delivers 323 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque is also available.
A four-speed, automatic transmission is combined with the 4.3-liter V-6 and the 4.8-liter and 5.3-liter V-8 engines. The 6.0-liter V-8 gets a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2013 GMC Savana 3500 offers a maximum payload capacity of 4490 pounds and towing capacity of 9700 pounds, both of which are very notable.
The 2013 GMC Savana is designed as a no-nonsense, functions-only van, and it does just that. The sole V-6 engine that comes with the rear-wheel drive 1500 seems a little underpowered, but it is good enough to handle lightweight duties at a leisurely pace. For those looking for a more robust delivery solution, the heavy-duty 3500 and medium-duty 2500 would seem like a better choice with their V-8 engines. Even the all-wheel drive 1500 with the V-8 engine would be a good step up.
In fact, any of the V-8 engines offer a great amount of power that increases as the engine displacement gets larger. Even the smallest V-8 engine offers enough power for driving and hauling heavy loads with ease every day. However, it lacks the maneuverability and presentation of competitors like the Nissan NV and Sprinter.
Key Competitors For The 2013 GMC Savana
- Chevrolet Express
- Ford E-series
- Nissan NV3500