GMC Safari Van

Welcome to the source everything about the late model GMC Safari Van.  This mid-sized van was produced for 20 years from 1985 – 2005 and shared almost identical specs with the Chevrolet Astro.  Since both GMC and Chevrolet were General Motors (GM) marques they pushed the almost identical vans among the different brand lines with little variation.  Despite the similarities though, this site focuses on only the GMC Safari.



GMC Safari Van For Sale:

This website has been developed as not only a resource for everything about the GMC Safari but also to include a comprehensive classifieds section.  You can dive directly into our Classifieds section by using the sidebar to the far right of every page.  Before you do that though we recommend that you review our For Sale page for how we create and manage listings along with how to navigate our listings.  We also cover important topics such as contacting sellers there.

GMC Safari Van

GMC Safari Van Types:

The GMC Safari had and continues to have numerous personal and commercial uses.  Various uses have lead to various types of vans with the four main being the following:

  1. Passenger
  2. Cargo
  3. Conversion
  4. Camper

You will find these segmented out in our classifieds section for easy sorting.  You can also check out our Van Types page for a detailed description of what exact features or specifications make a particular van fall into one of these categories.


GMC Safari Van Parts

Rather it be for replacement, restoration, conversion or as an accessories; check out our Parts page for the various places both offline and online to find GMC Safari Van parts.  This includes used OEM and refurbished parts along with brand new aftermarket accessories.

1987 Safari Ad

A Brief GMC Safari Van History

The GMC Safari Van was produced along side the Chevy Astro for two model generations spanning exactly 20 years.  General Motors key competitors were the Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager and Toyota Van.   And although marketed as a minivan, due to its size competed in the same space as many SUVs such as the Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot.


1st Generation Safari Van (1985-1994)

1985 Safari VanThe first generation Safari van began production for model year 1985 and featured a 3-door body style with front engine and rear wheel drive layout.   In 1990 an All Wheel Drive (AWD) version was also made available although with lower fuel economy.  Engines included a 2.5L four cylinder producing 98 horsepower and also two different 4.3L V6 motors making 165 and 200 hp.  Both a 4 speed automatic and 4 or 5 speed manual transmissions were available until 1993 rounding out the drivetrain options.

The Safari wheelbase was consistent at 111 inches while other dimensional specs varied among different trims and van types.  The overall length was as low as the 175.8 in standard and as long as the 187.9 extended cargo version built only from 1992 through the end of production on gen one.  The width was around 77 inches with the height varying between 73 and 77 on standard passenger and cargo models.  These dimensions though change drastically with conversion and camper models.


2nd Generation Safari Van (1995-2005)

1997 GMC Safari VanThe second gen Safari was remodeled in 1995 with an extended front end and redesigned dash.  Shorter vans were dropped for the second generations and the rest of the body stayed pretty much the same until the end of production in 2005.  The only other major change was in 2003 when beefier suspension components were added including larger brakes and six lug wheels.

The only engine available was the 4.3L 190 HP V6 matted with a four speed automatic.  Dimensional specs where as follows.

  • Wheelbase: 110 in (95-96) / 111.2 in (97-05)
  • Length: 189.8 in
  • Width: 77.5 in
  • Height: 74 – 77 in (depending on trim)

Despite receiving poor safety ratings from the IIHS in 1996 for front impact, the GMC Safari was known as one of the safer vehicles during the time period it was produced.  In the early 2000s the Safari Van had the least number of killed drivers of all passenger vehicles in the United States.

1987 Safari Van

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