Greene Ford Compares 2016 Ford Transit Wagon VS 2016 GMC Savana Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2016 Ford Transit Wagon

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2016 GMC Savana

Safety Comparison

The Transit Wagon’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Savana doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Transit Wagon’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Savana doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Transit Wagon uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Savana uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Transit Wagon and the Savana have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available daytime running lights and rear parking sensors.

Warranty Comparison

The Transit Wagon’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Savana’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 74 percent more Ford dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Transit Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Transit Wagon have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Savana.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Transit Wagon has larger alternators than the Savana:

Transit Wagon


Standard Alternator

150 amps

105 amps

Optional Alternator

210 amps

145 amps

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Transit Wagon’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 373) than the Savana’s optional 6.0 V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Transit Wagon turbo V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Savana with its standard V8 (14 city/19 hwy vs. 11 city/17 hwy).

The Transit Wagon has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Savana doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Transit Wagon’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Savana’s standard 75 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Transit Wagon has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Savana.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Transit 350 LWB’s wheelbase is 12.6 inches longer than on the Savana 2500 135” WB (147.6 inches vs. 135 inches).

For better maneuverability, the ’s turning circle is 6.7 feet tighter than the Savana 2500 135” WB’s (47.8 feet vs. 54.5 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Transit Wagon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the GMC Savana.

Unibody construction makes the Transit Wagon’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The Savana doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Transit Wagon has standard flush composite headlights. The Savana has sealed beam headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Transit 350 LWB has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 2.7 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.1 inches more third row headroom, 3.9 inches more third row hip room and 1.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Savana 2500 135” WB.

The Transit 350HD LWB-E has 16.7 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 26.7 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 26.7 inches more third row headroom, 3.9 inches more third row hip room and 1.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Savana 3500 155” WB.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Transit 150 MWB’s cargo area provides more volume than the Savana 2500 135” WB.

Transit Wagon


Behind Third Seat

94.2 cubic feet

92.1 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

224.4 cubic feet

216.2 cubic feet

The Transit 350 LWB’s cargo area provides more volume than the Savana.

Transit Wagon


Behind Third Seat

124.5 cubic feet

92.1 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

256.4 cubic feet

216.2 cubic feet

The Transit 350HD LWB-E’s cargo area provides more volume than the Savana 3500 155” WB.

Transit Wagon


Max Cargo Volume

461.9 cubic feet

252.8 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Transit Wagon easier. The Transit 350HD LWB-E’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28 inches, while the Savana 3500 155” WB’s liftover is 30.1 inches.

The Transit Wagon’s cargo area is larger than the Savana’s in almost every dimension:

Transit 150


Transit 350HD


Savana 2500

 135” WB

Savana 3500

155” WB

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)





Min Width










Ergonomics Comparison

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Transit Wagon has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Savana doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Transit Wagon’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Savana doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar ® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Transit Wagon has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Savana doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Transit Wagon’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Savana’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Transit Wagon has standard power remote mirrors. The Savana only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Transit Wagon will be $3059 to $4356 less than for the GMC Savana.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Transit outsold the GMC Savana by over five to one during the 2015 model year.

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