Although the full-size commercial van market has changed significantly over the past five years, Chevrolet’s Express represents a refuge for buyers who do not desire cab-forward Euro-style vans, such as the Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit, and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – the vehicle that arguably kicked off the segment’s reboot.
Visually unchanged since 2008, the Express rides on a platform that dates back to the 1990s – a long time, even in the world of commercial vehicles. Yet, its age has its merits. You won't find any complicated engine or transmission technology here, and maintenance is simple and affordable. It's an easy choice for those that also value familiarity.
Offered exclusively in 2500 and 3500 forms, the Express is available in cargo van and wagon forms. There is also a cutaway body style available, which comes straight from the factory with the back of the cab and chassis rail exposed; it’s primarily used for conversions like school buses or ambulances and comes exclusively in 3500 and 4500 forms. Compared to its rivals, the Express is the only van unavailable in light-duty half-ton (1500) form, or with dual rear wheels.
The 2500 Express Wagon is available in regular length only; the 3500 is available in regular and long-wheelbase forms. Seating for 12 or 15 is available, depending on wheelbase. As for cargo vans, both 2500 and 3500 can be purchase in regular or long-wheelbase configurations. Standard seating is for two, but a second bench increases capacity to five.
Unlike rivals, all Express vans come standard with V8 power. The base engine is a 4.8-litre that produces 285 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque. Those requiring extra muscle can opt for the segment’s most powerful diesel, a 6.6-litre Duramax V8 that delivers 260 hp and a whopping 525 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, the Express can tow up to 4,536 lbs (10,000 lbs) – which is as much as many half-ton trucks can muster. Regardless of engine, the Express uses a heavy-duty six-speed automatic, and can be had with a locking rear differential for when the going gets tough.
For 2016, Chevrolet has given the Express a solid infusion of technology. The van is now available with the latest OnStar system, which provides 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. There’s also a new 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. These features make the Express the most connected commercial vehicle on the road.
Also new are six standard airbags, plus the availability of single-pane side mirrors, a 220-amp generator, and an isolated secondary battery.
Pricing for the 2016 Express starts at $37,775 for the most basic 2500 cargo van, while the most basic passenger van starts at $43,265. The cutaway model starts at $34,590.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed
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