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2004 Chevrolet Express

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2004 Chevrolet Express Review

A reliable van to transport people or cargo.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Newly redesigned in 2003, the 2004 Chevrolet Express classifies as a full-size, rear-drive van with an upgraded powertrain, revised features, and a renewed look that gives it a close resemblance to Chevrolet's other trucks. The van comes in passenger and cargo configurations. It can be configured to be a 15-passenger van or serve as a workhouse for almost any type of business. It offers 1500, 2500, and 3500 duty levels.

The Range

Body Styles: van
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Express 1500, Chevrolet Express 2500, Chevrolet Express 3500

What's New

The 2004 Chevrolet Express shows few changes because the Express underwent a major overhaul in 2003. The driver’s-side visor sacrifices its illuminated mirror and the front-passenger area gains an assist handle. The 15-passenger vans also gets GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system as a standard feature.


In the 2003 revamp of the Chevrolet Express, it received redesigned taillights and upscale reflector-type headlights. All Express vans use a box frame. The front suspension as well as the rear suspension is modified from the suspensions used on GM's full-size pickup trucks. A solid axle with semi-elliptic, variable-rate springs is used on the rear suspension along with gas shocks. The wheelbase of the regular-length and extended-length vans measures 135 inches and 155 inches, respectively. The overall length totals 224 inches for the regular model and 244 inches for the extended. It measures 79.4 inches wide and at least 81.6 inches tall. The 1500 Series has a gross weight rating (GVWR) of 6200 pounds in the cargo model and 7200 pounds in the passenger model. The 2500 Series gets a rating of 7300 pounds cargo and 8600 pounds passenger. The 3500 Series full-bodied vans are rated at 9600 pounds.


The 2004 Chevrolet Express cargo van seats two people while the passenger van configurations seat eight, 12, or 15 passengers. A 60/40-split, passenger-side, entry/load door can be equipped on the regular-length passenger or cargo vans while side-access doors are limited to work-oriented models. These doors, with remote releases, provide easier access to the contents from either side. Air-conditioning and a cargo light start the list of convenience features. Also a front console with storage, front cup holders, and a 12-volt power outlet in the front add to this. The Express only offers an AM/FM stereo with four speakers for entertainment.

Performance & Handling

The Express moves people in relative comfort as long as buyers don't mind a bit of road noise or expect to carry on a conversation from the driver's seat to the back of the van. Built on a truck frame, the 2004 Chevrolet Express handles like a truck. Rack-and-pinion steering comes in the light-duty vans. Although it has a hefty curb weight, the 5.3-liter, V-8 engine has enough power to accelerate nicely and perform well in traffic. However, it seems a bit awkward around town as drivers can't park just anywhere, and with the height, it takes some athletic dexterity to get in and out of the van.


Chevrolet makes a good effort to provide a family friendly vehicle with a number of safety improvements over its trucks. The 2004 Chevrolet Express comes equipped with government-mandated, dual-stage front airbags. It includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes and GM's StabiliTrak stability control system.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Express: 13/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Strong powertrain
  • Dual-passenger access doors
  • Various wheelbase and passenger configurations

You Won't Like

  • Cheap interior look
  • Awkward handling

Sum Up

A reliable van to transport people or cargo.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Dodge Sprinter Van 2500
  • Ford E-150
  • Ford E-250

See the New 2015 Express.

Front & Driver Side View