2011 GMC Savana

Interior


$10,188 - $17,378

2011 GMC Savana Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 GMC Savana was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.3

The GMC Savana has a basic interior, but in this class, that's normal. While the standard features list is short, the list of available upgrades is long and can cause the price to skyrocket. The price tag of a fully-loaded, extended-wheelbase Savana 3500 with a diesel engine and seating for 15 can sit north of $50,000. The Savana’s cargo capacity is identical to its corporate twin, the Chevy Express, and similar to its main competitor, the Ford E-Series.

  • "With versatile interiors, they can accommodate a slew of passengers, a tremendous amount of cargo, or a combination of each.” -- Kelley Blue Book

Seating

The Savana Passenger van is all about hauling people, while the Cargo van is all about hauling stuff. As a result, regular-length Passenger vans can seat up to 12 people. Opt for the extended-length Passenger van and that capacity increases to 15. Cargo vans come standard with two seats and Passenger vans come with seating for eight. Each of the rear seats has three sets of connecters for child safety seats. The only other passenger vans with 15 seatbelts are the Ford E-Series and the Chevrolet Express, the GMC Savana’s corporate sibling. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and can hold up to 12. Savana Cargo vans only seat two people, but that leaves a lot more room for work gear.

While passenger vans are built to move people, most reviewers say you shouldn't expect the seating to be luxurious or plush, and the seats in the Savana are comfortable, but basic. A few complain that the front seats need more space, because the Savana's short, stubby hood means that the engine is pushed closer to the passenger cabin.

  • "Commercial or passenger model, wide-bottom front-door openings aid entry and exit, though step-in is a bit lofty. Front footwells are long but not that wide, though there's plenty of legroom. Passenger models offer generous room in all positions and firm, supportive seats." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Because of the forward placement of the front seats, the front wheel humps intrude on the footwells, reducing space and comfort. Rear passengers fare better, with the optional 60/40-split driver-side doors making access to the rear seats much easier.” -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Interior features on the Savana are basic, as this van is built for work, not play. Standard features on LS trims include front air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo. Remote start is available and may be a helpful feature for buyers in cold areas, but you have to add remote keyless entry to get it. LT models add conveniences like power windows and door locks as well as heating and cooling for the back rows of seats. You can also opt for a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot in your Savana, as long as you’re willing to shell out some extra dough. The price for the Autonet Mobile Wi-Fi Internet varies, depending on the price you negotiate with your dealer. The 2011 model also sees upgrades to the Savana’s OnStar navigation and telematics system.

While some buyers may not mind the Savana's down-to-business features list, you should know that the Ford Transit Connect and the Ford E-Series offer Ford’s Work Solutions system, which includes a number of innovative tools for business. An in-car computer can track and print invoices, track tools and other vehicles in a fleet. The system can also record idle time and fuel use, which can help save small businesses money. Since the Transit Connect starts at a lower price than the Savana, adding those features shouldn't break the bank. However, the Transit Connect has less cargo space and isn't as powerful as the Savana. The Ford E-Series, however, is in line with the Savana in terms of price and capabilities, and has more work-friendly tech tools.

  • “Inspired by models like the Sierra pickup, the 2011 GMC Savana's dash and instrument panel has a simple yet contemporary appearance and an intuitive, user-friendly layout.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Controls are well placed and easily operated, but they'll never win an award for style.” -- Edmunds
  • The GMC Savana has "clever accessories for tradesmen.” -- Car and Driver

Cargo

The Savana's cargo space is similar to the space offered by competitors like the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express, and is more than what's offered in the Ford Transit Connect. However, the Savana’s interior space is dwarfed by the maximum capacity of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Standard Roof, regular-wheelbase Sprinters can carry 318 cubic feet of cargo space, while High Roof, extended-wheelbase models can carry up to 547 cubic feet. In comparison, the most an extended-wheelbase Savana can hold is 313.9 cubic feet. You'll pay for that extra space, however. The base Sprinter costs almost $10,000 more than the base GMC.

Standard-length Savanas provide 270.4 cubic feet of cargo space. Extended-length vans have 313.9 cubic feet of space. Cargo and passenger vans have the same amount of space, but the rear seats need to be removed in the passenger van to reach maximum cargo capacity.

  • "The wide-opening rear cargo doors ease loading. The 60/40 split driver-side doors are a helpful addition, as is the new driver-side access panel on cargo models." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Less interior space than the Sprinter van, no tall-roof option." -- Edmunds
  • "That's about the same cargo capacity as the E-Series, but pales in comparison with the Sprinter's 318 cubic feet of interior volume." -- Cars.com

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