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2011 GMC Savana

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2011 GMC Savana Review

Suits large families, church groups, and sports teams

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2011 GMC Savana is a full-size van available in one-half ton, three-quarter ton, and one ton models. Designed to transport passengers and cargo, it is a reliable vehicle for commercial businesses and large families that need more passenger room than a minivan.

The Range

Body style: Van
Models: LS 1500, LS 2500, LS 3500
Engines: a 5.3-liter V-8 flex fuel, 4.8-liter V-8, 6.6-liter V-8 diesel

What's New

The 2011 Savana upgrades to a 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 turbodiesel engine. The 2500 model offers the option of a 4.8-liter V-8. Interior upgrades include improvements to OnStar, Bluetooth, a USB port, and optional satellite radio.


Standard equipment on the LS 1500 includes a 115-inch wheelbase, power steering, four-wheel ABS (Antilock Braking System), variable intermittent wipers, swing out rear quarter windows, a rear barn door, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, dusk-sensing headlights, stability control, traction control, and electronic brakeforce distribution. The 2011 GMC Savana LS 1500 offers the following optional equipment: 17-inch premium aluminum wheels, a Camper/Towing package, trailer wiring, chrome bumpers, and a sliding passenger-side door.

Standard equipment on the cargo vans includes 17-inch steel wheels on the LS 1500, and 16-inch steel wheels on the LS 2500 and LS 3500 models. Seating two in the cabin, other optional features include remote vehicle start, side access panels, and dealer-installed Wi-Fi. The optional 60/40 split left-side entry and loading door comes as an option on regular-length models.


The interior of the 2011 GMC LS 3500 is roomy. It offers ample headroom (though an average-sized adult cannot stand up straight), and legroom is adequate. The passenger area features vinyl seats and bucket front seats. The 2011 GMC Savana LS 1500 offers the following optional equipment: a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with cruise control functions, manual-folding power mirrors with turn signal indicators, a heavy-duty battery, locking rear differential, outside temperature display, vinyl sunshades, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, a six-way power front passenger seat, vinyl seating, rear ventilation ducts, a front console with storage and cup holders, a cargo area light, a tachometer, a trip computer, OnStar, head curtain side-impact airbags for the first three rows of seating, custom cloth seats, air conditioning for front and rear, a power driver’s seat, a rear heater, and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with two speakers.

The LT trim level comes as an option on all 2011 GMC Savana vans; it offers more style and comfort, including chrome interior trim, rear heat and A/C, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel, cloth upholstery, full-length carpeting, auxiliary lighting, and cruise control in a single package.

Performance & Handling

The Base half-ton 1500 comes equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 flex fuel engine and an all-wheel drive, four-speed automatic transmission.

The rear drive GMC Savana LS 2500 contains a 4.8-liter V-8 engine that pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission and rolls on 16-inch wheels. It offers a maximum towing capacity of 9,600 pounds, so it is ideal for church groups, sports teams, and other organizations or busy families who tow an RV or a utility trailer (with the installation of appropriate towing/trailer equipment).

The GMC Savana LS 3500 Diesel allows buyers to purchase a van equipped with a 6.6-liter V-8 diesel engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and 16-inch wheels. The LS 3500 passenger van seats up to 15 passengers thanks to its extended cab, and proves ideal for school group outings, sports teams, churches, and large families.


The GMC Savana includes head curtain side-impact airbags for passengers in the first three rows. It also offers four-wheel ABS, stability control, traction control, and electronic brakeforce distribution.

The 2011 GMC Savana comes with the standard GM 100,000-mile, five-year Powertrain Limited Warranty plus Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation.

EPA Fuel Economy

1500: 13/17 mpg city/highway
2500 and 3500: 10/16 mpg city/highway.

You'll Like

  • Warranty
  • Wide range of after-market parts
  • Towing capacity

You Won't Like

  • Low roof makes standing in the cargo area difficult
  • Low quality plastic in the cabin

Sum Up

Suits large families, church groups, and sports teams

If You Like This Vehicle

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See the New 2015 Savana.

Front & Driver Side View