2019 GMC Savana Cargo vs. 2019 Nissan NV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Savana Cargo has standard child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The NV doesn’t offer child safety locks.

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 NV doesn't offer a collision warning system.

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

The Savana Cargo has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The NV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Savana Cargo and the NV 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.


The Savana Cargo’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the NV’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. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the NV.

There are over 57 percent more GMC dealers than there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Savana Cargo’s warranty.


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 NV 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 15 more horsepower (276 vs. 261) and 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (298 vs. 281) than the NV’s standard 4.0 DOHC V6.

The Savana Cargo’s 2.8 turbo diesel produces 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 281) than the NV’s standard 4.0 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Savana Cargo has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the NV (31 vs. 28 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 seven-speed automatic is available for the NV.

Suspension and Handling

The Savana Cargo has standard front gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The NV’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.


The GMC Savana Cargo may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 600 pounds less than the Nissan NV.

The Savana Cargo 2500 135” WB is 1 foot, 4.5 inches shorter than the NV, making the Savana Cargo easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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

Payload and Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Nissan NV is limited to 9400 pounds. The Savana Cargo 2500 135” WB offers up to a 10,000 lbs. towing capacity.

The Savana Cargo has a higher standard payload capacity than the NV:


Savana Cargo


2500 Van

3353 lbs.

3280 lbs.

3500 Van

4096 lbs.

3860 lbs.

The Savana Cargo 3500 135” WB has a much higher optional payload capacity than the NV3500 (4311 vs. 3860 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

The Savana Cargo offers an optional under hood light to help in making nighttime maintenance checks, adding fluids, etc. The NV doesn’t offer an under hood light.

The Savana Cargo has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The NV doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.


The Savana Cargo offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The NV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Savana Cargo automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The NV’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 NV doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Savana Cargo’s optional power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The NV’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.


The GMC Savana outsold the Nissan NV by 16% during 2018.

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

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