2019 GMC Savana Cargo vs. 2019 Ford Transit Van

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Savana Cargo offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Transit Van doesn't offer a collision warning system.

Both the Savana Cargo and the Transit Van have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.


The Savana Cargo’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Transit Van’s (6 vs. 5 years).

GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Savana. GMC will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Transit Van.


The Savana Cargo has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Transit Van doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the van’s engine.


The Savana Cargo’s standard 4.3 V6 produces 1 more horsepower (276 vs. 275) and 38 lbs.-ft. more torque (298 vs. 260) than the Transit Van’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6. The Savana Cargo’s optional 6.0 V8 produces 31 more horsepower (341 vs. 310) than the Transit Van’s optional 3.5 turbo V6.

The Savana Cargo’s 2.8 turbo diesel produces 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 350) than the Transit Van’s 3.2 turbo diesel.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Savana Cargo has 6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Transit Van (31 vs. 25 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


An eight-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Savana Cargo, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Transit Van.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Savana Cargo’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Transit Van:


Savana Cargo

Transit Van

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.1 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

13.5 inches


The Savana Cargo’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Transit Van are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Savana Cargo has larger tires than the Transit Van (245/75R16 vs. 235/65R16).

The GMC Savana Cargo’s wheels have 8 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Transit Van only has 6 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The Savana Cargo has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Transit Van doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Savana Cargo 2500 155” WB’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Transit 250 LWB-E (155 inches vs. 147.6 inches).


The Savana Cargo is shorter than the Transit Van, making the Savana Cargo easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:


Savana Cargo

Transit Van

Standard Van

224.1 inches

237.6 inches

Extended Van

244.1 inches

263.9 inches

Passenger Space

The Savana Cargo offers optional seating for 5 passengers; the Transit Van can only carry 2.

The Savana Cargo 2500 135” WB has 4.8 inches more front hip room and .9 inches more front shoulder room than the Transit 150 LWB.


The Savana Cargo’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Transit Van’s (6900 vs. 5400 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Transit Van is only 7500 pounds. The Savana Cargo 2500 135” WB offers up to a 10,000 lbs. towing capacity.


The Savana Cargo’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Transit Van does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Savana Cargo has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Transit Van only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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