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1999 GMC Savana

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1999 GMC Savana Review

Keeps up with competitors in every way.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1999 GMC Savana is a full-sized van manufactured by General Motors. Along with the Chevrolet Express, It's part of GM’s lineup of cargo and passenger vans. It was replaced the GMC Vandura in 1996, and it currently holds a major portion of the full-sized van market in the United Series. The sales of both vehicles are second only to the Ford E-Series.

The Range

Body Styles: van
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 5.7-liter V-8, 4.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: GMC Savana G1500, GMC Savana G1500 SLE, GMC Savana G2500, GMC Savana G2500 SLE, GMC Savana 3500, GMC Savana G3500 SLE

What's New

The 1999 GMC Savana is available in two new exterior colors and one new interior color scheme. The automatic transmission of the van is revised for better efficiency. Other than these changes, the Savana remains the same as its previous model year.


The regular models of the 1999 GMC Savana have a wheelbase of 135 inches and an overall length of 219 inches. The extended models of the van are longer by 20 inches in wheelbase as well as length. It's fitted with standard swing-out rear doors with a swinging angle of 180 degrees. Swing-out side doors are also available in the passenger vans, but a sliding door is also available as an option.


The short-wheelbase Savana offers around 267 cubic feet of cargo space, while the extended-wheelbase version offers around 317 cubic feet of space. This, of course, is only for cargo vans with just the front seats installed. Passenger vans can hold up to 15 passengers with as many as five bench seats. All positions offer adequate space for the passengers, and the seats themselves are quire firm and supportive. Moreover, the benches are easy to detach from their position. The only problem is that they are quite heavy, making them difficult to remove from the van.

The 1999 GMC Savana uses hidden door hinges, and flush glass and door handles inside as standard features. Rear heat ducts are also standard, but an optional rear heating and air-conditioning unit is available for better climate control everywhere inside the van. The central console for the Savana has two retractable cup holders, a storage bin, and an auxiliary power outlet. The gauges and simple rotary-knob climate controls are easily accessible and operable by the driver. However, the power seat controls for the driver’s seat are located in front of the cushion, making them hard to reach. The front seats for the cargo and passenger versions of the Savana are comfortable. Entry and exit is easy because of the wide-bottom front doors, even though the step-in is a little tricky. The front footwells are long but lack width, but this a minor problem considering the Savana offers the most front legroom.

Performance & Handling

The 1999 GMC Savana's base engine is a 4.3-liter V-6 that delivers 200 horsepower, and optional engines include the General Motors family of V-8 engines. This includes the five-liter V-8 to the huge 7.4-liter V-8. The horsepower rating, of course, varies with the engine being chosen. The refinements in the automatic transmission for this year have resulted in lower noise and vibration in the van from previous model years. These refinements include software that compares engine and vehicle-operating parameters, sets the precise transmission line pressure. Out of the GM V-8 family, the 5.7-liter is the most popular engine choice installed in the van. It provides an adequate push in midrange speeds with a light load inside. Moreover, the engine provides enough power for going up long grades, but a full load would require the driver to exercise caution while driving on freeway on-ramps and passing on two-lane roads.


The 1999 GMC Savana comes with standard safety features like anti-lock brakes and dual airbags. Unfortunately, there is no crash test data available for the van at present.

EPA Fuel Economy

GMC Savana: 15/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Spacious interior
  • Lots of powerful engine options
  • Modern exterior design

You Won't Like

  • Cheap interior quality
  • Numb steering and brake pedal

Sum Up

Keeps up with competitors in every way.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Express
  • Dodge Ram Van
  • Ford E-Series

See the New 2015 Savana.


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