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2006 Chevrolet Express

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2006 Chevrolet Express Review

Safer, more modern, roomier, and more powerful than ever before.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2006 Chevrolet Express is a full-size van manufactured by General Motors that was first introduced in 1965. It has continuously been kept-up-to-date and improved, decade after decade, despite having only one complete redesign in 1995. With that full redesign, it was legitimately modernized with an updated exterior appearance, extended body styles, new engines, and improved ergonomics. It is now much more modern than its aging rival, the Ford Econoline. Further updates to the front-end styling in 2003 gave the Express more of a resemblance to other GM trucks. Also included with the 2003 improvements were optional all-wheel drive, an optional left-side door, a wider selection of V-8 engines, a more durable frame, and upgraded brakes.

The Range

Body styles: van
Engines: 4.3 liter V-6, 4.8-liter V-8, 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Express LT 1500, Chevrolet Express LT G1500, Chevrolet Express LT 3500, Chevrolet Express LT G3500, Chevrolet Express LT, Chevrolet Express LS 1500, Chevrolet Express LS 2500, Chevrolet Express LS 3500

What's New

The 2006 Chevrolet Express goes through some name changes; last year’s base model is now the LS, and the former LS is now the LT. Furthermore, OnStar is no longer a part of the options offerings.


The light-duty 2006 Chevrolet Express comes with rack-and-pinion steering. The front and rear suspension structure is a modification of what is used on full-size pickups manufactured by GM. Solid axle rear suspensions are used with semi-elliptic variable-rate, two-stage multi-leaf springs, and gas shocks. It is available on a regular 135-inch wheelbase. The 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty series have an extended 155-inch wheelbase available. Each van has a height of 81.6-inches with a width measuring 79.4-inches. The regular-length wheelbase is 224-inches long, while the extended-wheelbase is 244-inches long. The 1500 series can carry cargo and passengers up 6200 to 7200 pounds, the 2500 series has a gross vehicle weight of 7300 to 8600 pounds, and the full-bodied 3500 series vans can carry up to 9600 pounds.


The 2006 Chevrolet Express is made more for functionality than aesthetics. The interior is comprised of some cheaper plastic that may turn some buyers off. All controls are within reach and simple to use, which should encourage new drivers. Unfortunately, the footwells are rather cramped. This is one problem area that hasn’t been improved despite frequent updates. A full-size model can carry anywhere from eight to 15 occupants depending on the model. The Cargo Vans can only accommodate two people in the front. Regular-sized passenger vans and Cargo Vans can come with a left-sided 60/40-split entry/load door for easier access to passenger-side rear seats. The highly-developed Class II electrical system provides countless driver alerts, battery-life protection, accessory power retention, and lockout avoidance.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Chevrolet Express has a ride and handling advantage over competitors. While the Chevy Express is not particularly nimble, this is a much better van for day-to-day use than any competing full-size van line. Maneuvers to merge into or pass around traffic are simple, even while transporting heavy loads. It is available with four engines. The G-series vans, which are lighter-duty vans and come with a 195 horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 engine. There are three V-8 engines offered: a 285 horsepower, 4.8-liter engine, a 5.3-liter or 6.0-liter, Vortec 6000, V-8 engine generating 300 horsepower and 360-lb-ft of torque. Cargo Vans can also now be equipped with a 250 horsepower, 6.6-liter diesel, V-8 engine. All engines work with four-speed automatic transmission and have oil-life and air-filter monitors.


The 2006 Chevrolet Express come standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes. The light-duty models have a feature where front-passenger airbags are deactivated if the sensory system detects a smaller adult or child in the front seat. One-ton regular-wheelbase vans come standard with a stability control system. In response to rollover concerns, GM has added an electronic stability system standard to the 12-passenger and 15-passenger models.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Express: 13/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Strong powertrains
  • Smooth drivetrain
  • Accommodating seat positions for tall drivers
  • Multiple passenger and wheelbase configurations
  • Optional all-wheel drive

You Won't Like

  • Low-grade interior plastics
  • Fuel economy
  • Awkward handling

Sum Up

Safer, more modern, roomier, and more powerful than ever before.

If You Like This Vehicle

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

See the New 2015 Express.

Front & Driver Side View