1999 GMC Safari Review

Used Safari for sale
List Price Estimate:$916 - $1,588
See All Cars For Sale
cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

1999 GMC Safari appraisal values can range from $298 - $1,234.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Room enough for eight, torquey V6, standard ABS.
  • Poor fuel economy, boxy design, big engine cover makes for small footwells.

Vehicle overview

Choosing between a Chevrolet Astro and a GMC Safari is more a matter of image than necessity. Do you want to see Chevrolet's badge every time you approach? Or would it be viscerally satisfying to face those bold "GMC" block letters, with their implication as brand managers hope of upscale luxury?

In reality, tangible differences between the two are modest a fact that's true of most Chevrolet and GMC cousins. Once you've decided that a rear-drive (or all-wheel-drive) General Motors midsize van is the rational choice, you'll likely be satisfied with either one.

Because of their traditional-type full-frame construction and standard rear-drive layout, Safaris are most adept at heavy hauling and burly trailer towing. This is one minivan that provides up to 5,500 pounds of trailering capacity and room for eight people. Not everyone will relish the trucklike ride over harsh surfaces, but it's not bad when the highway smoothes out. Don't expect top-notch fuel mileage, though.

Dual airbags are housed in an artfully styled dashboard, and antilock brakes are standard. For added safety and visibility, daytime running lights blaze the trail. Integrated child-safety seats are available for the center bench seat, and the sliding door has a child-safety lock. Rear-seat heat ducts direct warm air to rear passengers. Safari features GM's PassLock theft deterrent system and, for 1999, the OnStar mobile communications system is available.

One slick feature sure to be appreciated by the parents of teenagers is the middle seat radio option. The driver and front passenger can listen to Casey Kasem up front, or nothing at all, while Junior blasts the local alternative music station into his ears through headphones (a set of headphone jacks plugs into a separate radio unit in the center row). This option alone may be worth the savings in family therapy.

GM's 4300 Vortec V6 is standard, sending 190 horsepower to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. Long-life engine coolant and 100,000-mile spark plugs help keep maintenance costs to a minimum. This year brings the new AutoTrac transfer case on all-wheel-drive models, which automatically transfers power to the front axle when rear-wheel slippage is detected.

Safaris come in three trim levels, SL, SLE and SLT, with eight-passenger seating standard on all three. There's an FE2 touring suspension option that has stiffer shocks, a rear stabilizer bar and grabby Goodyear rubber for a firmer, more controlled ride. Instead of the typical minivan lift-up rear door, right- and left-hand rear load doors are standard on Safari, with "dutch'' doors (a liftglass with split tailgate) optional.

Whether your choice is simple rear-drive or full-time all-wheel drive, Safaris can handle the muscular tasks that pose problems for most front-drive minivans and yet can transport up to eight people in comfort.

1999 Highlights

There are two new exterior paint and body-cladding colors, restyled wheels and outside mirrors, an overhead console and new optional integrated running boards. Additionally, all-wheel-drive Safari models get the new AutoTrac transfer case, and GM's OnStar communications system is now available.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1999 GMC Safari.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.75 out of 5 stars
My 4th Astro/Safari Van
SLT 3dr Minivan
Excellent overall Van - I have owned 4 of them, and probably 5 full sized fords before that. Bought one new, put 200,000 miles on it without a problem. Bought 3 used with 100,000 miles at about $5,000.00 each and ran them to just over 200,000 miles each, and sold or traded them for about $2,500.00 each In all four combined, I replaced 2 window motors ($26.00) a couple blower fan relays ($6.00), a couple fuel pumps ($200.00), one drive chain ($300.00), and one CV joint ($60.00). Do the math - $12,500.00 vehicle cost: got 500,000 miles, about $600.00 in repairs. No brainer - this is a great little truck (and it IS a truck), hauls a trailer well, fits lotsa people, extremely comfortable,
3 out of 5 stars
Expensive to own/maintain
SLT 3dr Minivan AWD
Purch 1/99; 4/99 transfer case prob; 7/99 8k mi trans replace solenoid-2 visits; 3/00 17k mi transfer case; 5/00 21k mi overhaul trans asmbly; 7/00 24k recondit'd valve body/trans; expensive brake, trans + transfer case maint for life; 1/02 53k idler arms $600; 1/03 74k intake gskt $500; 5/03 76k AC comprsr, door lock actuators $1,300; 7/03 82k NEW ENGINE $7k (spun bearing, threw rod)on family trip from NC to NY; 8/03 83k AC control head $350; 11/03 85k ignition coil/rotor $400. Expensive to own; has been a $10,000 year.Sadly, this Safari has never "wanted" for anything + the maintenance schedule has been followed +/or exceeded.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Safari van
SLE 3dr Minivan
I have owned Safaris since 1986, have been reliable vehicles. Good gas mileage for the 1999 unit, no problems except for A/C repair at 65,000 mi and brakes and front idler arms every 35,000 mi.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Give and take
SLE 3dr Minivan
Major Safety concern - no door ajar light/ alarm for doors other than driver side door and even then, door has to be completely open. We have driven with door ajar several times. Have had many water leakage problems with all doors. Not much room for taller drivers. Rattle at slow speed but service department can not fix.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1999 GMC Safari

Used 1999 GMC Safari Overview

The Used 1999 GMC Safari is offered in the following submodels: Safari Minivan. Available styles include SL 3dr Minivan, SLE 3dr Minivan AWD, SLT 3dr Minivan AWD, SLE 3dr Minivan, SL 3dr Minivan AWD, and SLT 3dr Minivan. Pre-owned GMC Safari models are available with a 4.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 190 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1999 GMC Safari comes with rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 GMC Safari?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1999 GMC Safaris are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1999 GMC Safari for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1999 GMC Safari.

Can't find a used 1999 GMC Safaris you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Safari for sale - 10 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $14,005.

Find a used GMC for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $8,516.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Safari for sale - 2 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $22,220.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,736.

Should I lease or buy a 1999 GMC Safari?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out GMC lease specials
Check out GMC Safari lease specials