GMC G3500

The GMC G3500, more commonly referred to as the GMC 3500 (also part of the Savana series), is a one-ton, full-size van that has been in production since 1996. The Savana series also includes a half-ton G1500 model and a three-quarter-ton G2500 model, with the G3500 being the largest of this lineup. The G3500 replaced the GMC Vandura and is in its second generation today. All models have had the same general, box-type frame with either three doors or four doors, depending on whether the passenger side gets one sliding door or two doors that swing open. They are built on a front-engine rear-wheel or four-wheel drive layout. As the larger van in the lineup, the GMC G3500 is usually fitted with a larger engine and a six-speed automatic transmission as opposed to the four-speed available with the G1500.

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About the GMC G3500

Historically, the G3500 has been used as a commercial work van, either to transport passengers or cargo. However, the van can also be outfitted with features geared more toward consumer or family use. The large body is popular among contractors and small businesses as a fleet vehicle or heavy duty cargo van. This van also serves well as a large shuttle for airports, hotels, and car-rental companies.

Most notably, GMC’s lineup of one-ton vans is known for its power compared to the competition, its interior space, and its dependability.

GMC G3500 Features

The 2012 GMC G3500 offers two wheelbases. The standard wheelbase model is 135 inches. The 3500 also offers an extended wheelbase measuring 155 inches. It is available in 12 different trims, which are all rear-wheel drive. Various trims are either fitted with a 260-hp, 6.6-liter, V-8 diesel engine; a 279-hp six-liter, V-8 natural gas engine; a 280-hp, 4.8-liter, V-8 flex fuel engine; or a 324-hp, six-liter, V-8 regular gas engine. All trim levels also provide a six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Certainly not known for being fuel efficient, the G3500 gets 15/20 mpg city/highway and 17 mpg combined. Some models include extended cargo and extended passenger versions. Cargo models are outfitted with a diesel engine. Passenger model trims include the LS, LT, 2LS, and 2LT. MSRP ranges from $29,915 up to $46,940.

The GMC G3500 gets high reviews for its interior space, engine performance and power, a high towing and cargo haul capacity, and the addition of standard side curtain airbags on all passenger models. Criticisms include poor fuel economy, and poor stability and handling. Maneuverability in heavy traffic and parking can be difficult due to the dimensions and visibility issues.

GMC G3500 Evolution

The General Motors Corporation was born in the early 1900s when R.E. Olds took over his father’s naval and industrial plant and decided to convert it to a car manufacturing facility. General Motors Corporation, or GMC, as it is known today, has enjoyed a great deal of success since the early days. Over the years, GMC has become the parent company to many of the industry’s well-known auto brands, such as Buick, Cadillac, Saab, Chevrolet, and Saturn. Of course, General Motors still produces several lines of cars, trucks, and vans under its original name and logo. The popular Savana series, which includes the GMC G3500, is one example of GMC keeping up with the trends and demands of the public over the years.

The GMC G3500 is currently in its second generation and still in production. The exterior style has not changed much over the years, nor have there been major changes to the layout. The first generation models, in production from 1996 through 2002, ranged in power from a 4.3-liter, Vortec V-6 up to an 8.1-liter, Vortec V-8 or a 6.5-liter turbo-diesel. The second generation models, built from 2003 to the present, have the same basic starting engine; while the top-end model offers a six-liter, V-8 Vortec flex regular fuel model or a 6.6-liter, turbo diesel V-8.

The G3500 line is a popular choice when purchasing a used vehicle. The cargo versions are easily adaptable to meet any kind of industry service needs and they provide plenty of space for tools, equipment, products, and supplies. However, with some modifications for transporting people instead of supplies, The G3500 is also a favorite among large families, churches, day care centers, and other organizations.

Select a GMC G3500 Year

1998 GMC G3500


The 1998 GMC G3500 classifies as a full-size van manufactured by General Motors under the GMC marque.

1997 GMC G3500


The 1997 GMC G3500 is a passenger/cargo van manufactured by General Motors as part of the G-Series line.

1996 GMC G3500


The GMC G3500 is a van manufactured by General Motors under the GMC division as part of the G-Series line, which also includes the G1500 and the G2500.

1995 GMC G3500


The 1995 GMC G3500 serves as a full-size van with cargo and passenger options.