Chevrolet G3500

The Chevrolet G3500, also known as the Chevrolet Express 3500, is a full-size, one-ton van that can be used to haul passengers or cargo. Full-size vans have been around for decades, and Chevrolet has produced them for almost 40 years. In that time span, not much has changed. The Chevrolet vans have only been redesigned a handful of times.

More on the Chevrolet G3500
Chevrolet G3500 Origins

The Chevrolet G3500 has been transporting people and cargo since 1996. Known for its reliability and spacious interior, the G3500 has remained a top-seller in its class.

The redesign occurred in the 1996 model year. As a successor to Chevrolet's Sportvan, the G3500 offers a modified exterior and improvements to functionality. Changes include modifications to the rear doors, taillight placement, lengthened wheelbases, and location of the spare tire (moved out of the cargo space).

About the Chevrolet G3500

The G3500 Cargo van includes only basic amenities. Standard equipment on the cargo van includes bucket seats, power steering, power brakes, daytime running lights, 16-inch wheels, four-wheel ABS, driver and passenger front airbags, vinyl seating, and an AM/FM audio system.

Optional equipment includes a Camper/Towing package, chrome bumpers, power heated mirrors, locking differential, power windows and door locks, a power antenna, air conditioning for the front and rear, a power driver's seat, a rear heater, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, and an AM/FM/Cassette audio system.

Third-party vendors can supply customers with add-ons and items to customize the cargo area to meet specific hauling needs.

The Chevrolet G3500 Diesel and G3500 Cargo Diesel allow buyers to opt for a 6.6-liter V-8 diesel engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Chevrolet G3500 passenger van seats eight, 12, or 15 passengers and is ideal for school group outings, sports teams, churches, and large families. It's also available on an extended wheelbase, which enables it to carry 15 passengers.

The G3500 offers two engine sizes to allow buyers to get the power and torque they need.

Chevrolet G3500 Features

The LS 3500 comes equipped with a 4.8-liter, 280 hp V-8 engine with FlexFuel capability and a six-speed automatic transmission. A Vortec 6.0-liter V-8 engine with FlexFuel capability is optional.

Standard equipment includes 16-inch wheels, partial wheel covers, variable intermittent wipers, swing out rear quarter windows, a rear barn door, heated power mirrors with turn signal indicators, trailer wiring, chrome bumpers, heavy-duty trailering equipment, a passenger-side sliding door, cruise control, a front console with storage, power steering, a tilt/adjustable steering wheel with cruise function buttons, air-conditioning, a cargo light, a tachometer, a trip computer, a mast antenna, OnStar, and an AM/FM audio system with two speakers.

Safety has not been neglected on the G3500 LS. Standard safety equipment includes a four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS); front, rear, and third row head airbags; child seat anchors; front and rear ventilated disc brakes; rear door child safety locks; daytime running lights; an engine immobilizer; auto delay off headlights; dusk-sensing headlights; two front headrests; a passenger airbag deactivation switch; stability control; traction control; electronic brakeforce distribution; front integrated headrests;and a post-collision safety system.

The interior of the G3500 offers ample space and headroom (though an average-sized adult cannot stand up straight), and legroom is adequate. The passenger area featuring vinyl seats and bucket front seats.

Customers can purchase several options to customize the van for their needs. Options include a remote vehicle starter system, heavy-duty locking rear differential, a heavy-duty battery,and several packages to further customize the performance and appearance of the G3500.

Chevrolet G3500 Evolution

Chevrolet introduced the G3500 to the U.S. market in 1996. With the 1997 model, the company improved variable steering for low speeds and parking, and it introduced dual airbags. Changes to the automatic transmission resulted in smoother shifting.

The airbags in the 1998 model required greater force to deploy. Chevrolet also offers a theft-deterrent system standard on this model. The 1999 G3500 contained an improved transmission, but dual front airbags are depowered.

In 2001, Chevrolet introduced the LT trim level. It offered leather upholstery and an on-board entertainment system that connects to a VCR and game system. The radio and alternator also boasted upgrades.

The following year, the van achieved low-emission vehicle compliance with the 8100 V-8 or 6.5-liter diesel engine. The 2002 model also has an improved starter.

In 2003, Vortec engines (V-6 and V-8) and all-wheel drive were offered on the vans. ABS came standard beginning with this model. A stronger frame and larger stabilizer bars add to the design.

The 2005 model offered stability control standard. In 2006, Chevrolet renamed the trim levels, changing the base to LS and the former LS to the LT.

In the 2008 model, side curtain airbags came standard. The interior showed upgrades with a new instrument cluster and steering wheel.

In 2010, the 5.3-liter V-8 engine increased horsepower to 310. Remote engine start also became an option. A six-speed transmission enhanced fuel economy and low-rpm torque on these models.

Finally, in 2011, Chevrolet introduced a heavy-duty locking rear differential. In addition to upgrades made to OnStar, Satellite radio, Bluetooth capability, and a USB interface are optional on these models.

Select a Chevrolet G3500 Year

1998 Chevrolet G3500


The 1998 Chevrolet G3500 serves as a passenger and cargo van manufactured by General Motors under the Chevrolet division.

1997 Chevrolet G3500


The 1997 G3500 is the most powerful van offered by Chevrolet.

1996 Chevrolet G3500


The 1996 Chevrolet G3500 can handle the heaviest loads out of the new Chevrolet Express van lineup.