Chevrolet Express Origins
The Express shares a body style and mechanical structure with the GMC Savana, which also debuted in 1996. As of 2012, the Express and Savana together make up more than 44 percent of the full-size van segment in the U.S., eclipsed only by sales of Ford’s E-Series vans. Like Chevrolet trucks, Chevy vans are divided into 1500, 2500, and 3500 versions, which represent half-ton, three-quarter-ton, and one-ton models, respectively. In addition to weight class, Express vans are available in Passenger and Cargo versions.About theChevrolet Express
The Chevrolet Express is known for its powerful engine and spacious interior, which make the vehicle ideal for accomplishing a wide range of tasks; whether you’re hauling equipment for deliveries, transporting tools to a work site, or shuttling passengers to a destination.
Regular Express models offer 239.7 cubic feet of storage space, while extended models feature 284.4 cubic feet of space and a gross weight vehicle rating of 9900 pounds. In the U.S., the Express is popular among plumbers, electricians, and other service providers. Express passenger vans seat between eight and 15 people and are frequently used as shuttle buses, ambulances, wheelchair-accessible vans, towing vehicles, and base models for some recreational vehicles.Outside of North America, Chevrolet Express Cargo vans are often used as ambulances and police vehicles, in places like the Netherlands.
The Express van is not known for its fuel economy, though its 31-gallon fuel tank holds a convenient amount of gas. Base Express models achieve an estimated 13/18 mpg city/highway, which compares similarly to other vans in its class.Chevrolet Express Features
Standard features on the 2012 Chevrolet Express include an AM/FM stereo, front heating and air-conditioning, a StabiliTrak stability control system, and a subscription to OnStar. The 2012 Express is available in a wide range of trim choices, beginning with the most basic 135-inch wheel base 1500 version. Models at the 1500 level offer seating for up to eight people and a 4.3-liter V-6 or Vortec 5.3-liter, 310 horsepower V-8 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission. Express models come with two-wheel drive but can be fitted with all-wheel drive. Other standard features include the Chevrolet 100,000-mile or five-year powertrain limited warranty and a driver information center.
The Express 2500 and 3500 models seat up to 12 and 15 people, respectively, and are available with either a 4.8-liter, 280 horsepower or six-liter, 324 horsepower V-8 FlexFuel engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can also choose to upgrade to a 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V-8.
LT models add power locks and windows, remote control keyless entry, rear heating and air-conditioning, and a chrome appearance package. Available high-tech features include Chevy WiFi, Bluetooth, USB ports, turn-by-turn navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio. The Express Access Package adds a remote start system and remote-release side panels that allow exterior access to gear bins.
Vans with six-speed, heavy-duty transmissions come equipped with auto-grade braking, which prompts the transmission to automatically downshift when brakes are used on long, steep grades. Other safety features include the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, trailer sway control, and (in 1500 Cargo vans and all Passenger vans) side curtain airbags. Side curtain airbags are available as an option on the 2500 and 3500 Cargo models.Chevrolet ExpressEvolution
The Chevrolet Express began production in 1996, when Chevrolet restyled its previous commercial van, the Chevrolet Sportvan, with a more comfortable cabin, modern body, and higher-mounted taillights. Trims include the G1500, G2500, G2500 Extended, G3500, and G3500 Extended. Regular models contain 267 cubic feet of cargo space, and extended models offer 317 cubic feet.
Prior to 2002, the Chevrolet Express 2500 and 3500 models came standard with a 5.7-liter, 250-horsepower V-8 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission, while the 1500 models offered a 4.3-liter, 200 horsepower V-6 and a four-speed automatic. Buyers could upgrade to a 6.5-liter diesel V-8 with 180 horsepower. A 7.4-liter upgrade was added in 2000 and an 8.1-liter in 2001.
The Express van’s higher-end trim option, the LT, debuted in 2001. It featured a similar 5.7-liter V-8, leather seats, a Bose sound system, and an entertainment system complete with VCR player and game console.
In 2003, the Express van received a whole new lineup of beefier engines, starting with the powerful Vortec 4300 200-horsepower V-6 in the base model and ending with the 6.0-liter, 300-horsepower V-8. All-wheel drive models became available in 2003, as did improved seats, increased storage, and dual-stage airbags in lighter models.
Chevrolet again tweaked the Express’s engine selection in 2007, vamping up the V-8s to 301 horsepower and 323 horsepower. Side curtain airbags and stability control were added in 2008. In 2010, the base engine was increased to provide 310 horsepower, and the 6.0-liter V-8 received a six-speed automatic transmission in place of the previous four-speed. The 2011 model year saw the arrival of 4.8-liter V-8 and 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V-8 engines.