2001 GMC Safari SLE 6 cylinder Vortec from North America


This was a $28,000 headache


Rear brakes squealing. They were found to be glazed at 3000 miles. They were cleaned.

Vibration at speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour. Rear drums were out of round and resurfaced at 11590 miles.

Safari AWD emblem faded twice on one side only. Replaced twice.

All four tires were not balanced from the factory. They were balanced.

Muffler heat shield rattled. It was replaced.

Catalytic converter baffles rattled. It was replaced

Driver's side trim fell off twice. It was replaced.

Excessive sidewall radial run-out on tires. Tires were replaced.

Differential growling after highway driving. Oil was changed in differential at the owner's expense 11240 miles. $128.88.

Weatherstripping not installed properly around doors and water was running inside the vehicle. They re-installed it.

Seat mounting bolts rusted because of the water leaks. They removed the plug so the water would not accumulate in the reservoir.

Seat belt receptacle broke. Belt wouldn't latch. They replaced the short seat belt.

Paint peeled off the bumper in huge spots. They would not take responsibility, although they acknowledged the paint separated from the bumper due to adherence problems.

Side and rear doors would not open consistently. Recoded and realigned cylinders.

Grease on carpet in back seat from the factory. They steam cleaned the carpet.

General Comments:

Most of the problems previously described were the direct result of factory defects. Some of the problems were fixed and others were not even after several visits. I also never received a loaner car while these repairs were being made, and the car was out of service for several days at a time. Most of these problems should have been caught during the quality assurance inspections.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th February, 2004

24th Jun 2004, 18:09

I agree with your summary. It sounds like you were the last stop in the factory before the van was released to the world. Using the customer to test the product...hmmm...sounds like a certain software mega-corporation.

16th Sep 2004, 17:40

I have had Safari 2WD drive vans as a company vehicle every 2 years since 1987 and have left the dealership never to return for any service other than normal wear items. I have purchased nearly every one of these from my company and have also passed them on to relatives. The oldest one I can still track is a 1990 with 278000 miles. It has started to rust in the last 2 years, but runs strong and quiet. One break in the chain was when the company tried a Windstar and a Caravan in 1994-1997 Those 2 had more service than all the Safaris combined and I just don't understand how Consumers Reports makes their conclusions.

2001 GMC Safari SLE AWD 4.3 from North America


A lemon


Within the first week, the starter had failed due to moisture seeping in, and it had to be towed to the dealer.

At around 50,000 km, I would notice when turning a tight circle, the inside back wheel would spin and hop, the vehicle would shudder. I was told by the dealer this was normal, initially. Actually, the problem was in the all wheel drive transfer case.

It was supposedly repaired, the "hopping" and shuddering was gone, but after winter arrived, it was apparent that it was only operating in 2 wheel drive. The back wheels would sit and spin. It took 2 more visits to get the All wheel drive working properly.

That work lasted for almost 1 year, then the "service all wheel drive" light came on. It was again only working in 2 wd. This time, the AWD encoder motor had failed.

The service engine light comes on frequently, and the code indicates a problem with too rich fuel mixture, yet the dealer says the setting for fuel injection are normal, my mileage is fine so I am told to ignore the indicator.

I had a 1996 Astrovan before this and it was much more reliable, except the transmission went at 102,000 kms. But no all wheel drive problems. Repairs were $1200.

General Comments:

Unless GM gets their act together, I would not recommend buying anything with all wheel drive made by them.

Also the dealer's first line of defence seems to be to tell you nothing is actually wrong. It is up to you to prove otherwise. Very annoying.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th November, 2003

18th Feb 2004, 13:05

I have a 1994 GMC Safari van and have over the past 2 years spent over Can$285.00 per month just on repairs. Now it needs another 950.00 to fix the rear transfer case. We had a Dodge van before and no such problems with the same mileage on it, around 200'000. On the Safari, two years ago we had to rebuild the motor for 4500.00. Now the power steering pump leaks, the heater fan quit and the cruise control at the wheel is broken. We will now just fix the transfer case and have it for sale. All in all I do not recommend this car. I believe that components such as the motor and transmission should not fail at this point of age. I am fed up and now bought a smaller, but more reliable car. Also pay less fuel costs. Anyone wants to buy a Safari for Can$ 3500.00 is welcome to contact me

W. Gysi, Enderby, BC, Canada, wgysi@hotmail.com.

22nd Feb 2005, 22:39

I own a 2001 GMC Safari. Within 3 months of having it I need to have the rear sliding door actuators replaced. Leaving the dealership after having that replaced my steering column started grinding. I had to turn around and have that checked. I was told nothing was wrong with the car. My husband had to get indignant with the service manager to get in the car and hear for himself.

Steering column repaired the same day. 2 Years later I had to have the whole turning switch replaced which also affected my brake lights. this cost me 600.00 (including the brake light ticket I received that alerted me to the problem!) 1 year after that I need to have major suspension work done 800.00. 2 months after that my whole instrument panel, radio and cd player went out due to a major shortage in the cassette player (never used) more money!!! I wish I had done my homework on this van. I let the sturdy appearance fool me!!! Also, their customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

14th Aug 2011, 21:22

I own a 2002 GMC Safari cargo van with 400,450 thousand miles on it. It still runs great with no problems, and YES I plan to rebuild the engine one day.

Yes, that's correct, almost half a million miles and still going strong. The only mistake was discontinuing this great cargo van. The Astro and Safari will always be the best of the best, half a million miles above the rest. GMC is truly the leader in vans, trucks and SUVs.