Like its corporate twin — the GMC Savana— the veteran Chevy Express is a full-size van built for work, well suited for everything from hauling equipment to carrying up to 15 passengers at a time. It’s powered by the usual reliable gasoline engines, including a 4.3-liter V-6 and a 6.6-liter V8, backed by an eight-speed automatic and heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmissions, respectively. While the Express was available with all-wheel drive when the 1500 was offered, the current 2500 and 3500 models are rear-wheel drive only, a change that seems like a downgrade given that we praised the AWD system back when we tested it in 2003. That’s right; this truck has been around for a long, long time. Cargo-passenger body configurations first appeared on the market in the 1996 model year. It may be ancient, but it still manages to satisfy the demands of buyers who may be comparing the Express to its modern rivals, namely the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinterand Ram ProMaster.
What’s new in 2023?
Chevy has dropped the 2.8-liter Duramax inline-four diesel engine for the 2023 model year. It also means the removal of the exhaust brake function and the grille cover that accompanied the oil-powered engine. Also gone is the auxiliary heat generator that was added to diesel vans equipped with the Cold Climate Package. Everything else remains the same.
Pricing and which one to buy
There are better, more modern passenger vans and SUVs on the market, so we recommend the Express to buyers looking for a bull-like work vehicle to haul tools, equipment or cargo. The base model 2500 Cargo Van is a good place to start. The standard wheelbase is 135 inches; the extended wheelbase stretches to 155 inches. The Express 2500 rides on 16-inch steel wheels and comes standard with a 4.3-liter V-6; the stronger 6.6-liter V8 is optional. Inside, there’s an AM/FM stereo with MP3 compatibility and two speakers in the front doors, along with a backup camera.
Engine, transmission and performance
Chevy’s Express gives buyers a choice of powertrains. There’s a 4.3-liter V-6 that makes 276 horsepower and 298 pound-feet of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. For those looking for more muscle under the hood, there’s a 6.6-liter V-8. It produces 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque, and it’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Express is driven like a large vehicle. Still, its engine is competent, generating the power needed to handle the task of towing a trailer or hauling a full load of passengers.
Fuel economy and real mpg
Full-size vans like the Express are not subject to federal fuel economy standards. As a result, this van was not inspected EPAand Chevy hasn’t released its fuel economy figures.
Interior, comfort and cargo
The “Express” passenger minibus accommodates up to 15 passengers. Most full-size vans take long intervals between redesigns. This Chevy has set a new record for longevity, being in its first generation since hitting the market way back in 1996. Its age is evident in the outdated interior design underneath. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, for example, was redesigned for 2019 and offers an interior that looks much more premium and modern. Unfortunately, the high-roof cargo option isn’t available on the Express, so be prepared to duck and bend when you load goods into the back of the van.
Infotainment system and communication
The base Express model comes with an AM/FM stereo, and all models support Wi-Fi. On the options list is a communications package that adds Bluetooth connectivity. SiriusXM satellite radio and CD player are also included. The list of available features also includes a 6.5-inch color touchscreen and a navigation system. Compared to the interface offered by other Chevy vehicles, the available touchscreen looks and feels prehistoric.
Safety features and driver assistance
The 2023 Chevy Express comes with a fairly modern assortment of optional equipment driver assistance functions designed to help you stay safe on the road. For more information on Express crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Road Safety (IIHS) websites. Key security features include:
- Blind spot monitoring available
- Lane departure warning is available
- Forward collision warning is available
Warranty and maintenance
The Express van warranty is solid, but competitors like the Ram ProMaster and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offer longer protection.
- The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- The transmission is warranted for five years or 60,000 miles
- Free service is paid for the first visit