Vehicle Overview

GMC has redesigned its full-size rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vans for the first time in seven years. The 2003 Savanas get upgraded powertrains, fresh features and an updated appearance. Three industry firsts are available: all-wheel drive (AWD), an optional left-side door and unique side access panels for use on commercial vans. The Savana’s front-end styling has been revised to give a greater family resemblance to other General Motors trucks.

The Chevrolet Express is closely related to the Savana, and it also received a redesign and offers comparable features. Sales of the Savana declined in 2001, dropping to 36,674 units, according to Automotive News.

New H-Series vans with full-time AWD join the existing two-wheel-drive G-Series lineup. Equipped with a viscous-coupled transfer case, the AWD vans can travel on both wet and dry pavement, with no driver attention or intervention needed. Regular-length passenger and cargo vans can be fitted with a 60/40-split left-side entry/load door. The new side access doors feature remote releases and are limited to work-oriented Savana Pro models. They permit easier accessibility for tools and parts from either side of the van.

GM’s new line of Gen III V-8 engines is available: a 270-horsepower Vortec 4800, a 285-hp Vortec 5300 and a Vortec 6000 that generates approximately 300 hp and leads its segment, according to GM. Each engine promises greater performance and economy than the previous small-block V-8s. The base engine in light-duty G-Series vans is a 4.3-liter V-6. The Savana’s four-speed-automatic transmission gains a Tow/Haul mode. The new front and rear suspensions are modified from those used on GM’s full-size pickup trucks, and the new box frame offers greater torsional rigidity than its predecessor.

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    Memory Seats
    Memory Seats On vehicles with the memory feature, the controls on the driver door are used to program and recall memory settings for the driver seat, outside mirrors, and the adjustable throttle an ...

    Shifting Out of Neutral
    To shift the transfer case out of N (Neutral) do the following: 1. Set the parking brake and apply the regular brake pedal. 2. Turn the ignition to ON/RUN with the engine off, and shift the transmis ...

    Malfunction Indicator Lamp
    A computer system called OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics-Second Generation) monitors the operation of the vehicle to ensure emissions are at acceptable levels, to produce a cleaner environment. This ...