With the addition of the Vortec engines and some unique new features, the Savanna (and its twin, the Chevrolet Express) is pretty much the only game in town if you're looking for a full-size van that doesn't look and drive like it was designed two decades ago.
by Alexstaar on Jun 5, 2010 Vehicle: 2003 GMC Savana 1500 Rwd 3dr Van (4.3L 6cyl 4A)
We purchased our van at the beginning of 2004. Our van has pretty much seen it all. The first trip we took it on it was hit by Hurricane Charley. It now gets 14 mpg city and 16 mpg hwy. The 5.3 liter engine 0-60 is about 8 sec. though it's only RWD, it does excellent in rain, snow, and ice. It is very fun to drive. I will definitely consider buying another one of these vans!
by blue 250 on Jan 12, 2005 Vehicle: 2003 GMC Savana 1500 Rwd 3dr Van (4.3L 6cyl 4A)
We have enjoyed this vehicle for the last 14000 miles. It was a conversion by Cobra, nothing fancy, just the best seats available, no TV or mood lights. Fuel economy has ranged from 12.5 mpg in sub-zero city driving to 20.2 mpg on 55 mph rural roads. The only failure to date is the windsheild weather stripping, which came loose while on the interstate. The dealer made the repair, eventually. GM treats the option list like all Savanna's will be plumbing trucks. No MP3 cd player, no XM sattelite controller, no trip computer. All of these item are available on the Yukon/Suburban, which this van is based on. 5.3 V8. It was the same price as the Toyota Sienna, but the space won out.
by Northern Driver on Aug 24, 2003 Vehicle: 2003 GMC Savana 1500 AWD 3dr Van (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
My Savanna is a conversion that looks
and performs up to expectations and
turns heads. I would not have
purchased one of these vans based on
standard features/factory trim. The
dashboard and interiors are too flat
and plasticky and the bumpers/mirrors
are black plastic. Both of these
detractions were remedied by the
conversion - wood dash trim and
painted bumpers/mirrors. The ride is
very stable and makes the van much
more akin to daily driving. My old
Astro AWD had a best of 20 mpg, while
the Savanna gets 18-19 mpg top end.
The braking is very good and the
engine performance is excellent.
The Savanna gains numerous improvements for the '03 model year. Under the hood, GMC's cargo hauler now features GM's lineup of powerful Vortec engines, from the base 200-horsepower V6 all the way up to the hard-charging 300-hp 6.0-liter V8. All-wheel-drive models are also available for the first time, and all Savannas get four-wheel disc brakes with ABS. Driver-side 60/40 access doors and swing-up access panels have also been added as an option along with revised front-end styling, larger stabilizer bars and a stronger frame. Inside, the Savanna gets redesigned seats, improved lighting and ventilation systems and dual-stage airbags on all light-duty versions.