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2020 GMC Savana Passenger Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?

Why Buy a 2020 GMC Savana Passenger?

Should You Buy a 2020 GMC Savana Passenger? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Passenger vans are workhorses. They are more than the simple minivan that normally sits seven people. These large vehicles can fit more than a dozen passengers. In addition, they're normally used for repetitive journeys in both the city and on the highway. As a result, they endure a lot of wear and tear.

Since companies have limited budgets, they look for vehicles that can handle the pressure of daily operations. Sometimes, they turn to the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger van because of its history of being both strong and reliable. Question is, does the current version maintain this capacity?

What's New for 2020?

To improve performance and fuel efficiency, designers replaced the six-speed automatic transmission on 2020 GMC Savana Passenger models with the 2.8-liter diesel powertrain. Those models now have an eight-speed transmission as standard.


Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 GMC Savana Passenger – The Pros

1. Ladder-Type Frame for Durability

The 2020 GMC Savana Passenger is one of the few commercial vehicles out there that use a ladder-type frame. Based on the company's full-size pickup trucks like the Sierra, this frame has two long pieces of steel supported by smaller horizontal pieces. The result is a chassis that is more durable.

2. Heightened Towing Capacity

Thanks to the ladder-type frame, the amount of weight the GMC Savana Passenger can tow is heightened. Its maximum capacity is 10,000 pounds. Even with a payload of 4,000 pounds, the Savana can still pull a large amount of weight without reducing its fuel efficiency or maneuverability.

3. Different Powertrains

The main role of the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger is to handle a large number of occupants. To do this, the powertrain needs to be sufficient enough to handle constant starts and stops.

To accomplish this, there are a few engine options offered for both the 2500 and 3500 series of this vehicle. Across every trim, the standard powertrain is a V6 model with a maximum of 276 hp and 298 lb. ft. of torque. Consumers can upgrade to a more powerful V8 engine with 341 horsepower and a pound-feet total of 373. Both come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Another option is the 2.8-liter, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel. While this powertrain only produces 181 horsepower, it provides 369 lb. ft. of torque. Furthermore, it is packaged with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

4. Large Fuel Tank

With a 31-gallon tank, the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger has the ability to make several trips without a fill-up. In turn, drivers can withstand the struggles of city driving and the congestion of highways without concerns of running out of gas. Furthermore, the tank’s capacity helps reduce the sting of the van’s lower fuel efficiency.

5. Extended Wheelbase

The standard size of the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger gives businesses the ability to transport a dozen passengers without feeling cramped. To expand on this, there is an option to expand the wheelbase for both the 2500 and 3500 series. In this model, the number of passengers that can be transported increases to 15.

6. Nice Upgrades for a Passenger Van

Passenger vans are not known for their luxuriousness. However, the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger is somewhat different as long as consumers look into the higher-end trims. For instance, the LS trim adds cruise control, power windows, and front/rear air conditioning to the standard options. The higher-end LT trim includes all those features plus keyless entry.

7. Infotainment for Passenger Vans

The non-cargo version of the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger gives the driver and those traveling with them an opportunity to experience some advanced technology. In addition to a touchscreen display in the center console, both the 2500 and 3500 series have a built-in 4G LTE hotspot. Thus, passengers can link up and stream their favorite music or podcasts.

Bluetooth is also offered for both series, as is the myGMC app for smart devices. The application provides an extra layer of security, for the driver can lock/unlock vehicle doors from outside the van.

8. Dynamic Safety Features

Of course, safety is a must when transporting passengers. All occupants needs to be protected, no matter how short or long the trip is. The 2020 GMC Savana Passenger has these options across both series and all of its trims.

Standard are airbags for the front-row seats and the passenger areas. StabliTrak maintains control on the road when quick maneuvers are required or when the surface is slick. Forward collision and lane departure warnings are standard for the 3500 series and an available option for the 2500 trims.

9. Enhance Exterior Upgrades

With other passenger vans, it's a "What you see is what you get" type of setup for an exterior design. Unlike non-commercial autos, there are very few upgrades to enhance their look. This is not the case with the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger.

The 3500 series comes standard with several features to make the van feel inviting when it picks up passengers. The chrome appearance package contains front and rear bumpers and a grill coated with this shiny material. Chrome center caps for the tires also come as standard for the 3500 series. Those who decide to purchase the 2500 series can order these features as a paid upgrade.

10. Nice Price Point for a Commercial Vehicle

Business owners will appreciate the decent starting MSRP for either series of the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger. The basic 2500 with the regular roof and wheelbase starts at around $36,000. Meanwhile, the 3500 LT with an extended wheelbase is only $4,000 more. For consumers, the LT would be a better investment as it contains the extra design and security features.


Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 GMC Savana Passenger – The Cons

1. Old Exterior Design

Though the 2020 GMC Savana Passenger has always been a reliable commercial vehicle, it doesn't have the most exciting design. In fact, some might call it outdated. If a buyer placed this passenger van up against its corporate cousin, the Chevrolet Express Cargo, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The reason is much of the GMC's style has been taken from Chevrolet's frames.

2. High Roof Option Not Available

A passenger van should have the option of a high roof. It allows taller individuals to walk through the cabin without banging their head or crouching uncomfortably. However, the Savana Passenger doesn't offer this option, not even in the 3500 LT trim. As a result, consumers may want to look elsewhere

3. All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) not Available

Other commercial vehicles come standard or offer the option for AWD. It gives the van more strength to handle rougher surfaces. While the Savana does have StabliTrak to handle some of this, it doesn't have the capability to continually distribute engine torque to all wheels. This is a disadvantage in area above average wintry weather.

4. Driver Aids Are Optional in 2500 Series

Unfortunately, driver aids are not standard for the 2500 series of the Savana. While they are available as an optional package, it means an extra cost to the base price. In this situation, consumers interested in this passenger van need to bypass 2500 and go with the 3500 series.

5. Warranty not as Powerful as Other Manufacturers

The warranty that comes with the GMC Savana is not as powerful as others on the market. Truth is, it's 3/36 bumper-to-bumper and 5/60 powertrain warranties are pretty standard. Other companies offer a 5-year/100,000-mile warranty on the engine. Something that is critical when driving passengers.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

The 2020 GMC Savana Passenger is a sturdy and well-performing commercial vehicle that properly handles short- and long-term transportation. Despite its long-standing and maximum capacity, it still must compete with other vehicles.

Both the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter feature a better exterior designs that make it look more like a large personal van than a utility vehicle. In addition, both have a high roof option. Where the Savana succeeds is in its base MSRP.

The Chevrolet Express Cargo is nearly a match when it comes to design and performance of the Savana, because both models are made by General Motors. Furthermore, the Express Cargo has a lower starting MSRP for both its standard and extended versions.


The 2020 GMC Savana Passenger remains a prime selection for companies across the U.S. They choose it for its reliability, powerful engine options, and the way it handles passenger payloads. In addition, on the higher LS and LT models, consumers can obtain standard features that are normally found in personal vehicles.

While dependability is critical, some buyers look elsewhere due to styling. The Savana is nothing grand to look at. It has a basic design that could be seen in both 1996 and today. The lack of a high roof option also stops some consumers from going further than a simple look. What also generates second thoughts is the lack of standard driver safety aids on the 2500 series.

Overall, reviewing the information listed here is only the first step in deciding if the GMC Savana Passenger is right for the buyer. A personal look and test drive may solidify a decision on if the passenger van is the right one for their organization.
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