NEW FOR 2009:

– Standard 17-inch wheels on 1500 model
– GVWR increases to 3,311 kg (7,300 lbs) on 1500 models
– 125-amp alternator on 1500 models with 5.3-litre V8
– Engine oil cooler standard on 4.3-litre V6 cargo van models
– Fast idle option available on 6.0-litre V8 cargo van models

For 2009, the GMC Savana adds 17-inch wheels on its 1500 model, along with a larger alternator on the 5.3-litre V8 model.

Sold primarily as a commercial vehicle, the Savana is also available as a passenger van. Like its sibling Chevrolet Express, it uses a 5.3-litre V8 engine in the 1500 model, and a 6.0-litre V8 in the 2500 and 3500 models. Both engines use a four-speed automatic transmission. Cargo and conversion vans also offer a 4.3-litre V6, 4.8-litre V8, and 6.6-litre Duramax V8 turbodiesel engine, all with four-speed transmissions.

The regular-wheelbase 1500 model can be optioned with all-wheel drive. The 1500 passenger van has standard eight-passenger seating; 2500 and 3500 models are 12-passenger, while the extended-wheelbase 3500 can be optioned to 15-passenger.

Standard features on the SL passenger van models include 17-inch steel wheels (16-inch on 2500 and 3500 models), front air conditioning, single halogen seal-beam headlights, swing-out right-hand cargo doors, full-opening rear load doors, privacy glass, black plastic grille, flat and convex side mirrors, swing-out rear window, intermittent wipers, full-length black vinyl floor covering, auxiliary rear heater, front and rear dome lights, interior composite trim panels, vinyl high-back driver and passenger bucket seats, CD stereo, block heater, and curtain airbags for the first three rows. The 3500 long-wheelbase model adds front and rear air conditioning, while all 3500 models add tilt wheel and cruise control.

The SLE passenger van models add 17-inch chrome-styled wheels (1500 model only), chrome bumpers, chrome appearance grille, dual composite halogen headlights, front and rear air conditioning, cruise control, power locks, colour-keyed carpeting with rubber floor mats, reading lamps, underhood lamp, tilt wheel, instrument panel swing-out stowage compartment, power windows with driver’s express-down, and cloth driver and passenger seats.

Depending on the model, available options include electric rear window defogger, sliding side door, chrome appearance package, heated power mirrors, power front seats, six-CD stereo, trailer tow package, and keyless entry.

While its popularity is naturally higher with fleets, the Savana’s rear-wheel drive configuration and numerous seats make it handy for those who need to tow items and also carry more people than a conventional pickup truck. Pricing is the same as for the Chevrolet Express. Competitors include the Ford E-Series and Dodge Sprinter.

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