2020 Ford Transit Wagon vs. 2020 GMC Savana

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/28

The Transit Wagon 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 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 Wagon has standard Post-Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Savana doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Transit Wagon offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Savana doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Transit Wagon offers optional Parking Sensing System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Savana doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

To help make backing safer, the Transit Wagon’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 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Transit Wagon’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 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Transit Wagon 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 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Transit Wagon and the Savana 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 daytime running lights and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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The Transit Wagon’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Savana’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 75 percent more Ford dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Transit Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Transit Wagon have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Savana.

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.

Engine

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The Transit Wagon’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 373) than the Savana’s optional 6.0 V8.

The Transit Wagon’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 29 more horsepower (210 vs. 181) than the Savana’s 2.8 turbo diesel.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Transit Wagon 3.5 EcoBoost/Diesel’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 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Transit Wagon 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 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A ten-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Transit Wagon, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Savana.

Tires and Wheels

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The Transit Wagon’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Savana’s standard 75 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Transit Wagon has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Savana’s suspension doesn’t offer rear gas-charged shocks.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Transit Wagon has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Savana.

The Transit Wagon’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 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Transit 350 LWB Low Roof’s wheelbase is 12.6 inches longer than on the Savana 2500 135” WB (147.6 inches vs. 135 inches).

For better maneuverability, the ’s turning circle is 6.7 feet tighter than the Savana 2500 135” WB’s (47.8 feet vs. 54.5 feet).

Chassis

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The Ford Transit Wagon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 450 pounds less than the GMC Savana.

Unibody construction makes the Transit Wagon’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 doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

Passenger Space

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The Transit 350 LWB has 1 inch more front headroom, 2.7 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear hip room, 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.1 inches more third row headroom, 4 inches more third row hip room and 1.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Savana 2500 135” WB.

The Transit 350HD LWB-E has 16.8 inches more front headroom, 26.8 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear hip room, 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 26.7 inches more third row headroom, 4 inches more third row hip room and 1.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Savana 3500 155” WB.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Transit Wagon XLT’s middle row seats recline. The Savana’s middle row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Transit 150 MWB’s cargo area provides more volume than the Savana 2500 135” WB.

Transit Wagon

Savana

Behind Third Seat

94.2 cubic feet

92.1 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

224.5 cubic feet

216.2 cubic feet

The Transit 350 LWB’s cargo area provides more volume than the Savana.

Transit Wagon

Savana

Behind Third Seat

124.5 cubic feet

92.1 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

245.1 cubic feet

216.2 cubic feet

The Transit 350HD LWB-E’s cargo area provides more volume than the Savana 3500 155” WB.

Transit Wagon

Savana

Behind Third Seat

230 cubic feet

127.2 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

414.1 cubic feet

n/

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Transit Wagon easier. The Transit 350HD LWB-E’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28 inches, while the Savana 3500 155” WB’s liftover is 30.1 inches.

The Transit Wagon’s cargo area is larger than the Savana’s in almost every dimension:

Transit 150 MWB

Transit 350HD LWB-E

Savana 2500

135” WB

Savana 3500

155” WB

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

124”

170.2”

57.2”/89.1”/126.2”

77.5”/109.4”/146”

Min Width

53.7”

53.7”

50.4”

50.4”

Height

52.8”

77”

51.8”

51.8”

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Transit Wagon. The Savana doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Payload

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The Transit Wagon has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Savana (2980 vs. 2550 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Transit Wagon 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 doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Transit Wagon’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Savana doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Transit Wagon’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Savana doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Transit Wagon’s power window, power lock and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Savana’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Transit Wagon has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Savana doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Transit Wagon’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Savana’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Transit Wagon detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Savana doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Transit Wagon has standard power remote mirrors. The Savana only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Transit Wagon offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Savana.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Transit Wagon 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 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Transit Wagon’s optional Enhanced Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Savana doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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The Transit Wagon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Transit Wagon will retain 43.82% to 47.68% of its original price after five years, while the Savana only retains 33.83% to 35.69%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/28

The Ford Transit outsold the GMC Savana by over six to one during the 2019 model year.

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