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2013 Kia Rio, Clear White, 12 mi., $19,315
Review of the 2012 GMC Savana
IntroductionThe 2012 GMC Savana is a full-size van available as Passenger and Cargo Vans. The Savana retains its renowned status for powerful engine options, multiple wheelbases, and a variety of trims and passenger configurations. The GMC Savana Cargo Van is a full-size van meant primarily for commercial purposes, but the Passenger Van is the vehicle of choice for large families and fleet operators. The 2011 Savana Passenger Van is a full-size passenger van available in half-ton (1500) and 1-ton (3500) configurations, while the extended-wheelbase version (155-inch) is available only on the 3500. There are two trim levels: LS and LT. And two drive-wheel configurations: AWD and RWD.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesAn exclusive 3500 passenger van model with the new Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel is new for 2011. The 4.8L V-8 is the standard engine on 2500 passenger vans with the 135-inch wheelbase, bringing a more affordable entry-level model with greater fuel economy. StabiliTrak stability control is standard on all cargo and passenger van models now. The "G80" locking rear axle is available on all cargo and passenger models. The OnStar Generation 9.0 (with six-month Directions & Connections plan) is standard on passenger vans and available on cargo and some cutaway models. XM Satellite Radio and Bluetooth with the available digital radio, USB port is included with digital radio, OnStar/XM radio antenna relocation kit available for cargo and cutaway models and the available (dealer-installed) Autonet Mobile WiFi Internet are new.
EngineThe Savana comes in LS and LT trim levels and with a varied choice of engines. For Passenger Vans, the Savana 1500 models are powered by a standard 5.3-liter, V8 engine good for 310-horsepower, while a 323-horsepower, 6.0-liter, V8 engine supplies power to the Savana 3500 models. The 5.3-liter, V8 engine with E85 FlexFuel capability is also available and delivers 301-hp. The1500 models get a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and tow/haul mode. The Savana 2500 and 3500 models get a four-speed heavy duty automatic transmission with overdrive, tow/haul mode, and internal transmission oil cooler. Cargo Vans offer a choice of six engines. In addition to the engines offered on the Passenger Vans, Cargo Vans also have the option of a 4.3L V6 195-hp; a 4.8L V8 285-hp; and a Duramax 6.6L V8 turbodiesel 250-hp. A 5.3-liter V8 making 310 horsepower and 344 pound-feet of torque is the standard engine on the Savana 1500 models. A 6.0-liter V8 good for 323 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque is standard on 3500s. All 1500 models use a four-speed automatic that sends power to the rear wheels, while 2500s and 3500s get a heavy-duty six-speed transmission. An all-wheel-drive configuration is also available for the 1500. The maximum towing capacity on 1500 models is 6,300 pounds, while the heavy-duty 3500 can pull up to 7,600 pounds when properly equipped. The EPA estimates for Savana 1500 is 13/17 mpg city/highway for 1500. With the E85, it drops by 3 mpg on all models.
SafetyThe 2012 Savana vans come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control and side curtain airbags. StabiliTrak and tire pressure monitoring system are standard on all Savana passenger and cargo models now. Flat and convex exterior mirrors that provide a wider field of vision are also standard on all models. All passenger models have lap and shoulder belts for the center seats. The other standard features include dynamic rear proportioning and daytime Running Lamps.