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2000 GMC Safari

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2000 GMC Safari Review

Great for towing or storage without comfort or attractiveness.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

Like its twin the Chevrolet Astro, the 2000 GMC Safari is available in three-door cargo or four-door family versions. These vans have truck reliability and utility; unfortunately, it also has truck-like style. The external styling is very boxy. The interior is nice but difficult to get to as the front seats must be climbed up to and there is only one middle door.

The 2000 GMC Safari was the automaker’s quick response to the Chevrolet Minivans. Despite having added other minivans built from ground up rather than adapted from trucks, GMC kept the Safari.

The Range

Body Styles: cargo van, passenger van
Engines: 4.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: GMC Safari SL, GMC Safari SLE, GMC Safari SLT

What's New

The 2000 GMC Safari has a third-row bench that's now standard. Rear child seat anchors are added to improve safety. GMC has added ""flash-to-pass"" headlamps and battery-rundown protection, which allows for the continued powering of electronic accessories after the ignition is turned off. It has a new ""tow/haul"" mode that optimizes the transmission for towing, and at the same time, the maximum trailering capacity has been increased to 6000 pounds for the rear drive and 5800 for the all-wheel drive vans.

Exterior

The 2000 GMC Safari’s truck-based heritage shows in its external styling and not in a good way. It’s boxier than many of its competitors with squared-off lines from front to back. In addition, even the passenger version of the Safari is equipped with only one sliding middle door on the passenger side, which means that it is more difficult to load and unload passengers than it is on some of the car-based minivans on the market. There are two options for the rear doors. The standard option is swing-out doors, but there is also an available option offering ""Dutch doors"" where the glass upper half flips up and the bottom half swings out. The SLE model has chrome wheels and the SLT has alloy wheels.

Interior

The biggest problem with the 2000 GMC Safari’s interior is getting to it. The step up to the front seat is very high, and the opening is narrow. There is only one middle door on the passenger side, so passenger loading also is difficult. Seating for eight is standard, with middle and rear-bench seats on the passenger model. The middle row optionally can be replaced with bucket seats. Both the middle and rear seats can be removed to make room for storage. The cargo model has two bucket seats in front only. With a total cargo capacity of 170.4 cubic feet, it should be ample for most needs.

Inside the 2000 GMC Safari, there are some nice features like power windows and door locks on the SLE and SLT models. It also has cruise control. The SLE has a cassette stereo standard, and the SLT has a CD player standard. The dashboard controls are very ergonomic, and there is plenty of storage.

Performance & Handling

The 2000 GMC Safari's advantages are evident in its power. It has a 4.3-liter high-output V-6 engine that produces 190 horsepower at 4400 rpm and 250 lb-ft of torque at 2800 rpm, allowing it to pull 6000 pounds with rear drive and 5800 pounds with all-wheel drive. There also is a new tow/haul mode for the transmission to optimize power for towing.

All 2000 GMC Safari models have a four-speed automatic transmission with adequate response and solid shifting. The all-wheel drive transmission shifts power to the front wheels when the back wheels begin to slip. This is particularly useful in snowy areas. The downside of the power and grip is noise on the highway and truck-like steering and handling.

Safety

All 2000 GMC Safari models have driver and passenger side airbags. Anti-lock brakes also are standard along with daytime running lamps. New this year, GMC added child seat anchors to the middle and back seats. The SLE and SLT models have cruise control.

EPA Fuel Economy

GMC Safari cargo van, rear-wheel drive: 15/20 mpg city/highway
GMC Safari passenger van, rear-wheel drive: 15/19 mpg city/highway
GMC Safari cargo van, all-wheel drive: 14/18 mpg city/highway
GMC Safari passenger van, all-wheel drive: 13/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Ample seating in the passenger van
  • Ample storage room in either model
  • Towing capability

You Won't Like

  • Poor gas mileage
  • Boxy exterior styling
  • No driver’s side middle door

Sum Up

Great for towing or storage without comfort or attractiveness.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Astro
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Honda Odyssey
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