Full 2007 GMC Savana Cargo Review
What's New for 2007
A flex-fuel, E85-capable version of the 5.3-liter V8 debuts for the 2007 GMC Savana Cargo van.
Having been around for more than four decades, GMC's full-size van lived through the '70s, '80s and half of the '90s via sheet metal changes and updates to the running gear. Still, it rode on the same basic platform that it had had since the swinging '60s until a complete frame-up redesign took place in 1996. To celebrate the rebirth, the van's name was changed to "Savana." A new exterior look, new engines, extended body styles and improved ergonomics soon made the Savana hard to overlook when compared with Ford's dated Econoline. A number of important under-the-skin changes took place for 2003, including a wider selection of V8 engines, the first-time availability of all-wheel drive, upgraded brakes, a stronger frame and various interior improvements -- all of which went a long way toward making the Savana safer and more capable than ever before.
As the variant meant almost exclusively for contractors and businesses, the 2007 GMC Savana Cargo provides immense cargo and payload capacities -- about 253 cubic feet and nearly 3,600 pounds, respectively, in the 3500 model. It also comes with less standard equipment than the already spartan passenger-van version of the Savana. This means that it's pretty inexpensive in stock condition but customers will likely want to consider some of the available optional features and job-specific packages to tailor the van for their needs. Given the Savana's superior driving dynamics and newer design, we usually recommend it over the aged Econoline. Those seeking an alternative to the traditional domestic vans might want to check out the Mercedes-Benz-designed Dodge Sprinter.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 GMC Savana Cargo (GMC also refers to it as the "Work Van") is a full-size van meant primarily for commercial users. The standard wheelbase (135-inch) Savana comes in half-ton (1500), 3/4-ton (2500) and 1-ton (3500) configurations, while the extended-wheelbase version (155-inch) is available on the 2500 and 3500 series vans only. Standard equipment on the Savana Cargo includes air-conditioning and a theft-deterrent system but not much else. Option choices include swing-out passenger-side access doors, a sliding passenger-side door, a rear air-conditioner and heater, power windows and door locks, cloth upholstery, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, keyless entry and a CD stereo. GMC is also able to outfit the Savana for job-specific cargo configurations.
Powertrains and Performance
The standard engine on rear-wheel-drive 1500 models is a 4.3-liter V6 rated at 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A flexible-fuel 5.3-liter V8, with 295 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque, is standard on AWD 1500 and optional on two-wheel-drive 1500 series vans. Heavy-duty 2500 models come standard with a 4.8-liter V8 rated at 285 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A 6.0-liter V8 rated at 300 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque is standard on the 3500 and optional on the 2500. Also available on 2500 and 3500 series vans is a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 with 250 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. All 1500s use a four-speed automatic transmission, while 2500 and 3500 series vans get a heavy-duty version. Trailer towing capacities range from 5,900 to a stout 10,000 pounds, depending on the model.
Antilock disc brakes are standard on all models. Light-duty models (GVWR less than 8,600 pounds) feature a front-passenger-sensing system that will deactivate the front airbag if it senses a small adult or child sitting up front. Heavy-duty models use a manual airbag-deactivation switch for the front passenger.
Interior Design and Special Features
The interior is built for functionality and not much else. The controls are simple to use and well within reach of the driver. A number of job-specific interior configurations can be ordered to tailor the van's cargo area to one's business.
A stout frame and rack-and-pinion steering (half-ton models only) give the 2007 GMC Savana Cargo a leg up on the Ford Econoline when it comes to ride and handling. Although the Savana is still far from nimble, its modern running gear makes day-to-day driving a much more enjoyable experience. The brakes require less effort than those of the Econoline, and the powerful engines really make a difference when it comes to merging and passing when the van is loaded up.