Like its corporate twin-the GMC Savana—the veteran Chevy Express is a full-size van built for work, well suited for everything from hauling equipment to carrying up to 15 passengers at once. It’s powered by conventional, robust gasoline engines, including a 4.3-liter V-6 and a 6.6-liter V8, backed by an eight-speed automatic and a heavy-duty six-speed automatic, respectively . While the Express was available with all-wheel drive when a 1500 model was offered, the current 2500 and 3500 models are rear-wheel drive only – a change that seems like a downgrade, as we highly praised the AWD system when we tested got it in 2003. That’s right; this truck has been around for a long, long time. The cargo and passenger body configurations first hit the market in the 1996 model year. It may be old, but it is still capable of meeting the demands of buyers who may compare the Express to its modern rivals, namely the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinterand Ram ProMaster.
What’s new for 2023?
Chevy has dropped the 2.8-liter Duramax inline-four diesel engine for the 2023 model year. It also means the removal of the exhaust brake function and radiator grille cover that accompanied the oil-burning engine. Also gone is the additional heat generator added to diesel wagons equipped with the Cold Climate Package. Everything else remains the same.
Prices and which one to buy
There are nicer, more modern vans and SUVs on the market for transporting passengers, so we recommend the Express to buyers looking for a strong-as-bull utility vehicle for hauling tools, equipment or cargo. The base model 2500 Cargo Van is a good place to start. The standard wheelbase is 135 inches; the extended wheelbase extends to 155 inches. The Express 2500 rides on 16-inch steel wheels, and it comes standard with a 4.3-liter V-6; a beefier 6.6-liter V8 is optional. Inside the cabin, there is an AM/FM stereo with MP3 compatibility and two front door speakers as well as a backup camera.
Engine, transmission and performance
Chevy’s Express gives buyers a choice of powertrains. There’s a 4.3-liter V-6 that’s good for 276 horsepower and 298 pound-feet of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. For those looking for a little more muscle under the hood, there’s a 6.6-liter V-8. It produces 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Express handles like the big vehicle it is. Still, its engine lineup is capable, generating the power needed to tackle the task of towing a trailer or carrying a full load of passengers.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Full-size pickup trucks like the Express are exempt from federal fuel economy standards. As a result, this van has not been tested by the EPA, and Chevy has not made its fuel economy figures available.
Interior, comfort and cargo
The Express passenger coach seats up to 15 passengers. Most full-size vans go for long intervals between redesigns. This Chevy takes it to a new longevity record: it’s into its first generation after hitting the market in 1996. Its age is evident in its dated, downmarket cabin design. For example, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was redesigned in 2019 and offers a cabin that looks much more premium and contemporary. Unfortunately, a high-roof cargo option isn’t available with the Express, so be prepared to sag and stoop when placing goods in the back of the van.
Infotainment and connectivity
The base model Express comes with an AM/FM stereo, and all models are Wi-Fi capable. On the options list, there’s a communications package that adds Bluetooth connectivity. This bundle also includes SiriusXM satellite radio and a CD player. The list of available features also includes a 6.5-inch color touchscreen and a navigation system. Compared to the interface offered by other Chevy vehicles, the available touchscreen looks and feels prehistoric.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
The 2023 Chevy Express comes with a fairly updated lineup of optionals driver assistance features designed to help keep you safe on the road. For more information on the Express’ crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available blind spot monitoring
- Lane departure warning available
- Available Forward Collision Warning
Warranty and Maintenance Cover
The Express van’s warranty coverage is solid, but competitors like the Ram ProMaster and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offer longer coverage.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
More features and specifications