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The Transit Connect Van has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Savana Cargo offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.
The Transit Connect Van offers optional Reverse Sensing System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
To help make backing safer, the Transit Connect Van’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Transit Connect Van’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 Cargo doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Transit Connect Van 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 Cargo uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.
Both the Transit Connect Van and the Savana Cargo 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 lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.
The Transit Connect Van’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Savana Cargo’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
There are over 79 percent more Ford dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Transit Connect Van’s warranty.
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Transit Connect Van have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Savana Cargo.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Transit Connect Van has larger alternators than the Savana Cargo:
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Transit Connect Van has a 800-amp battery. The Savana Cargo only offers a standard 600-amp battery.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 12th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 6 places higher in reliability than GMC.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Transit Connect Van 2.0’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The Transit Connect Van 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 Cargo doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Transit Connect Van has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.
The Transit Connect Van’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Savana Cargo’s standard 75 series tires.
For superior ride and handling, the Ford Transit Connect Van has fully independent front and semi-independent rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The GMC Savana Cargo has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.
The Transit Connect Van has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Savana Cargo’s suspension doesn’t offer rear gas-charged shocks.
The Transit Connect Van has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Transit Connect Van flat and controlled during cornering. The Savana Cargo’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The front and rear suspension of the Transit Connect Van uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Savana Cargo, which uses leaf springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.
For much better steering response and tighter handling the Transit Connect Van has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Savana Cargo.
The Transit Connect Van’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For better maneuverability, the LWB Transit Connect Van’s turning circle is 9.2 feet tighter than the Savana Cargo 2500 135” WB’s (40 feet vs. 49.2 feet).
The Ford Transit Connect Van may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1700 to 2200 pounds less than the GMC Savana Cargo.
The LWB Transit Connect Van is 2 feet, 10.1 inches shorter than the Savana Cargo 2500 135” WB, making the Transit Connect Van easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Transit Connect Van is 7 inches narrower than the Savana Cargo, making the Transit Connect Van easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.
The Transit Connect Van is 12.1 inches shorter in height than the Savana Cargo, making the Transit Connect Van much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
Unibody construction makes the Transit Connect Van’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 Cargo doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.
The front grille of the Transit Connect Van offers available electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Transit Connect Van has 7.1 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more front legroom than the Savana Cargo.
A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the SWB Transit Connect Van easier. The SWB Transit Connect Van’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 23 inches, while the Savana Cargo’s liftover is 27.8 inches. The LWB Transit Connect Van’s liftover is only 22.9 inches.
The Transit Connect Van’s available liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Savana Cargo’s two swing out doors impair rear visibility, need a lot of clearance, and can block loading in tight quarters.
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Transit Connect Van 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 Cargo doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
The Transit Connect Van’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower both of them with the lock engaged. GMC does not offer a locking feature on the Savana Cargo’s standard power windows.
The Transit Connect Van’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Savana Cargo’s power mirror and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Transit Connect Van’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Savana Cargo’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Transit Connect Van to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Transit Connect Van offers an optional rear wiper. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Transit Connect Van detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Transit Connect Van XLT offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Transit Connect Van’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.
The Transit Connect Van XLT’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
The Transit Connect Van XLT’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Transit Connect Van XLT offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Transit Connect Van, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Savana Cargo.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Ford Transit Connect Van offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) on the dashboard. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Transit Connect Van will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Transit Connect Van will retain 43.64% to 44.84% of its original price after five years, while the Savana Cargo only retains 35.17% to 37.11%.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Transit Connect Van will be $12191 to $12379 less than for the GMC Savana Cargo.
The Ford Transit Connect outsold the GMC Savana by 72% during 2019.
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