The GMC Savana undergoes only one change for 2006: a Duramax 6.6-litre V8 turbodiesel is now available on the G2500 and G3500 cargo and cutaway vans.

The Savana, which also appears as the Chevrolet Express, is generally sold as a commercial vehicle, but with its full-frame, rear-wheel or optional all-wheel-drive and considerable interior room, it’s also a popular choice for those who use it as a private vehicle for hauling boats or trailers.

Savana passenger vans are offered in SL or SLE trim, in regular or extended wheelbase, in 1500, 2500 or 3500 designation, and with a choice, depending on the model, of a 4.3-litre V6, 4.8-litre V8, 5.3-litre V8 or for the big jobs, a 6.0-litre V8. All use a regular or heavy-duty Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is available on the 1500 regular-wheelbase model. Depending on the model, seating is for eight, twelve or fifteen passengers.

The SL includes a 60/40 swing-out side door (it can be optioned to a sliding door at no extra charge), 16-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, air conditioning, black vinyl flooring, auxiliary rear heater, vinyl seats, and AM/FM stereo with four speakers.

The SLE adds chrome bumpers and grille, dual composite halogen headlights, cruise control, power locks, colour-keyed carpeting with rubber floor mats, tilt wheel, power windows, and cloth seats. There are several stand-alone and option packages available, including rear defogger, deep-tinted glass, aluminum wheels, leather-wrapped wheel, power seats and six-CD stereo, to minimize the feeling that you’re driving the airport shuttle bus.

Other contenders in the field include the Ford E-Series van and the Dodge Sprinter.

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