2019 GMC Savana vs. 2019 Ford Transit Wagon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Savana 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 Wagon doesn't offer a collision warning system.

Both the Savana and the Transit Wagon 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’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Transit Wagon’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 Wagon.


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

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

Fuel Economy and Range

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


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

Brakes and Stopping

The Savana’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 Wagon are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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

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

Suspension and Handling

The Savana 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 Wagon doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Savana 3500 155” WB’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Transit 350HD LWB-E (155 inches vs. 147.6 inches).


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



Transit Wagon

Standard Van

224.1 inches

235.5 inches

Extended Van

244.1 inches

263.9 inches

Passenger Space

The Savana 2500 135” WB has 4.8 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and 1 inch more third row legroom than the Transit 350 LWB.

The Savana 3500 155” WB has 4.8 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and 1 inch more third row legroom than the Transit 350HD LWB-E.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Savana easier. The Savana 2500 135” WB’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.8 inches, while the Transit 350 LWB’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

Payload and Towing

The Savana’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Transit Wagon’s (6100 vs. 4700 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Transit Wagon is only 5100 pounds. The Savana 2500 135” WB offers up to a 9400 lbs. towing capacity.

The Savana 3500 155” WB has a higher standard payload capacity than the Transit 350HD (3164 vs. 2980 lbs.).

The Savana 3500 135” WB has a higher optional payload capacity than the Transit 350HD (3566 vs. 3520 lbs.).


The Savana’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 Wagon does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Savana 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 Wagon 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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