2012 GMC Savana

The 2012 GMC Savana is a functional van that offers several passenger seats and loads of drivetrain configurations. The engineering design of this van is created in a way that 15 people can comfortably ride in it.

It is also capable of transporting enormous amounts of cargo, which includes building materials. Basically, the Savana is a work-horse.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Passenger Van Base Price: $28,940.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 31 gallons (117l) MPG: 13 city / 17 hwy
Length: 224.1 in. (569.2 cm) Wheel Base: 135 in. (342.9 cm)
Height: 83.7 in. (212.5 cm) Width: 79.2 in. (201.1 cm)
Curb Weight: 5526 lbs (2506 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.4 in. (18.7 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 92.1 cu ft Maximum Seating: 8 people
Engine: V8 OHV Displacement: 5.3 Liter
Horsepower: 310 HP Max RPM: 5200 RPM
Torque: 334 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 6200 lbs (2812 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:1LT Passenger RWD MSRP: $30,790; MPG: 13 city / 17 hwy
Option:1LS Passenger AWD MSRP: $32,495; MPG: 13 city / 17 hwy
Option:1LT Passenger AWD MSRP: $34,345; MPG: 13 city / 17 hwy
Option:Savana Cargo 4.3L V6 MSRP: $25,090; MPG: xx city / xx hwy
Option:Savana Cargo 5.3L V8 AWD MSRP: $32,495; MPG: 13 city / 17 hwy

Engine & Performance

There are three Vortec V8 engine options for the Savana. These engines are a 4.8 liter V8 VVT, Vortec 5.3 V8 VVT, and Vortec 6.0 V8 VVT. The 1500 series are fitted with the 5.3L engines and backed by a 4-speed automatic transmission.

The 2500 series on the other hand are available with a 4.8L engine, 280hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. The 3500 series comes with 6.0L engine that is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Other engine options are: Vortec 4.3 V6, Duramax 6.6 liter V8 Turbo diesel and 6.0 liter V8 compressed natural gas.

The performance of this van is improved by the inclusion of tow or haul mode feature, which offers a dual mode shift program which enables you to hold gears longer; providing more torque and even transition between gears on hilly roads. This feature also enables you to activate automatic grade braking and reduces excess shifting.


The look of the 2012 Savana is appealing, which is a result of its focused engineering. First of all, the 3-layer glass and the sliding doors enhance the safety of the passengers. The LT models come with a standard chrome rear and front bumpers and grille; and halogen composite headlamps.

The Savana Cargo vans are fitted with exterior lift panels that provide an all-round access to the storage bins. These panels can be operated from a distance using a remote control. The base models are available in 16 or 17 inch steel wheels, while the LT models are available in 17-inch alloy wheels.


The interior design of the Savana is basic, with clear and easy to operate controls and gauges. The 1500 series passenger van comes with a standard 15-seat capacity configuration, while the 3500 and 2500 series come with a standard 12 seat capacity.

The 3500 long-wheelbase series can be fitted with an additional row of seats that extend the seating capacity to 15. All the rear seats have three sets of connectors for child safety seats. Some of the standard interior features on Ls trims are: AM/FM stereo and air conditioning.

LT models have addition interior features like heating and cooling for the rear row seats, power windows and door locks. other optional interior features include: remote ignition, Bluetooth, towing package, USB/iPod interface and heated mirrors.

Safety & Reliability

The GMC Savana vans are fitted with standard antilock brakes and stability control, to improve on the safety of the driver and passengers. Other safety features in the passenger vans include OnStar emergency communication, traction control, driver and passenger airbags, daytime running lights, integrated turn signal mirrors and side curtain airbags.

As for reliability, the GMC Savana is backed by a 3 year or 36,000 miles basic limited warranty, in addition to the 5-year or 100,000 miles engine warranty. The power train warranty does better than some of its competitors.


  • Wide range of engine lineup
  • High available seating capacity.
  • All-wheel drive option.


  • Cheap cabin plastics.
  • Poor fuel economy.
  • Not easy to maneuver.

In conclusion, the 2012 GMC Savana can be very effective to business people especially those in hotel industry while transporting their guests. Big families can also benefit from the high seating capacity; while the cargo vans will not disappoint when transporting your building materials or other types of luggage.

Only the Ford E Series Wagon (MSRP $28,760; 13 city / 16 hwy) comes close to the Savana Passenger Van in terms of price, size, and functionality.

Overall Rating
57 out of 100

What others say:

“Like all big vans, these are clumsy to drive, with a wide turning radius, copious cornering lean, and modest grip. Steering is less-overboosted than on previous test vehicles, but still feels numb. All of GM’s big vans respond with reasonable confidence in quick maneuvers.”Consumer Guide

“The Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana are full-sized vans designed primarily for commercial purposes. They offer a tall cargo bay with rear hinged doors that can be opened 180 degrees. Stability control and curtain air bags are standard. AWD is available.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Like GMC’s other body-on-frame vehicles like the Sierra pickup and Yukon SUV, the 2012 Savana’s ride and handling characteristics may come as a welcome surprise.”KBB

“The full-size 2012 GMC Savana van is one of the most versatile and functional passenger vehicles on the road.”Edmunds