1997 GMC Safari from North America
Check Consumer Reports before buying anything
Windshield wiper control card (warranty).
Fuel pump at 60,000 Km.
Drive shaft U-joint at 60,000 Km.
Rear window strut.
Air conditioner seized.
Driver window motor (twice).
Passenger window motor.
Trans sometimes bangs into second.
Distributor caps now will not last one year. Dies without warning. Will not restart. Has been towed to 2 garages for this.
Steering idler arms 200,000 Km (acceptable).
Engine is still peppy, smooth, quiet and doesn't use oil. I've kept up with fluid changes.
I guess I've been lucky compared to some of the horror stories I've read.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 24th November, 2009
18th Aug 2010, 17:44
Just bought my second used Safari after searching for a replacement for our 1996.
That van has been donated to teen challenge farms after 5 years, because I do not want to pay to have the power steering pump replaced. Turns out that the fan shroud, pulley etc has to be removed to get to the pump and cost to replace is $500. The A/C has stopped working as well on the 96 and the brakes are due (300,000K).
I have looked at trucks, SUVs, jeeps and cars and found the perfect vehicle, a 97 Safari in great shape with 230,000K. I cannot find a better vehicle for versatility and rugged performance. I feel safe with my teenagers driving because it is a rugged and roomy performer with great visibility. It will carry 7 people (we have 4 teenagers and a dog), sheets of plywood and tow my boat. My son is 6'4" and has size 15 feet. The Toyo 4runner we looked at did not have room for him behind the wheel and was manual transmission. His feet could not operate only 1 pedal at a time.
It's a shame they stopped making these vans in 04. Of course, it is also a shame that the engineers at GM couldn't make a van/truck that wasn't notorious for failing electrical motors in the windows and locks, terrible ignition problems with coils and wires. Conceptually incredibly versatile while electrically pathetic.
My reassurance lies in my history in having done it all before. My devotion is to the versatility of having a minivan on a truck frame. If older Toyota Land Cruisers were more affordable and available I may have gone there, but I don't think they would have handled the plywood.
Don't buy one if you don't own a toolbox, but a great 'do it all' design.