2019 GMC Savana vs. 2019 Nissan NV Passenger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Savana are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Nissan NV Passenger doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

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

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 NV Passenger doesn't offer a collision warning system.

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

The Savana 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 Passenger 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 and the NV Passenger 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’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the NV Passenger’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 Passenger.

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’s warranty.


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 NV Passenger doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the van’s engine.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Savana has a standard 150-amp alternator (220-amp - Savana optional). The NV Passenger’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.


The Savana’s standard 4.3 V6 produces 15 more horsepower (276 vs. 261) and 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (298 vs. 281) than the NV Passenger’s standard 4.0 DOHC V6.

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

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Suspension and Handling

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


The GMC Savana may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 750 pounds less than the Nissan NV Passenger.

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

Passenger Space

The Savana 3500 155” WB offers optional seating for 15 passengers; the NV Passenger can only carry 12.

The Savana 2500 135” WB has 4.9 inches more front hip room, 3.1 inches more front shoulder room and 2.4 inches more rear legroom than the NV Passenger.

Cargo Capacity

The Savana 3500 155” WB’s cargo area provides more volume than the NV Passenger.



NV Passenger

Max Cargo Volume

252.8 cubic feet

218.9 cubic feet

The Savana’s cargo area is larger than the NV Passenger’s in almost every dimension:


Savana 2500 135” WB

Savana 3500 155” WB

NV Passenger

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








Payload and Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Nissan NV Passenger is limited to 8700 pounds. The Savana 2500 135” WB offers up to a 9400 lbs. towing capacity.

The Savana 3500 155” WB has a much higher standard payload capacity than the NV Passenger (3164 vs. 2800 lbs.).

The Savana 3500 135” WB has a much higher optional payload capacity than the NV Passenger (3566 vs. 2800 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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

The Savana has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The NV Passenger 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 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 Passenger doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Savana 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 Passenger’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’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows cost extra on the NV Passenger.

The Savana’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks cost extra on the NV Passenger.

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 NV Passenger doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Savana’s optional power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The NV Passenger’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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