2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong powertrains, dual side access doors, multiple wheelbase configurations, optional all-wheel drive.
  • Plasticky interior, handling still awkward despite improvements.
List Price Estimate
$3,927 - $5,866

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Powerful engines and some unique features make the Express (and its twin, the GMC Savana) pretty much the only game in town if you're looking for a full-size van that doesn't look and drive like it was designed two decades ago.

Vehicle overview

Introduced in 1965, Chevrolet's full-size cargo van has since undergone only one complete redesign. Constant improvements throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s kept it somewhat up to date, but not until a full redesign in 1995 did the Express become a legitimately modern vehicle. A new exterior look, new engines, extended-length body styles and improved ergonomics made the Express hard to overlook when compared with the aging Econoline from Ford. The latest version incorporates features like four-wheel antilock disc brakes and powerful V8 engines that make the Express safer and more capable than ever before.

2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo models

The standard wheelbase (135-inch) Express comes in half-ton (1500), three-quarter-ton (2500) and one-ton (3500) configurations, while the extended-wheelbase version (155-inch) requires either three-quarter-ton or one-ton running gear. The one and only trim level comes standard with air conditioning and a theft-deterrent system. The option choices include typical items like a rear air conditioner and heater, power windows and door locks, cloth upholstery, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, keyless entry and a CD stereo. Also included on the options list is a host of job-specific cargo configurations, as well as swing-out access doors.

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2006 Highlights

The Chevrolet Express cargo van heads into 2006 with a new 6.6-liter diesel V8 engine option. Otherwise, the van is unchanged save for the AM/FM sound system now being optional instead of standard.

Performance & mpg

The standard engine on two-wheel-drive 1500 models is a 4.3-liter V6 rated at 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 5.3-liter V8, with 295 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque, is standard on AWD 1500 and optional on two-wheel-drive 1500-series vans. Heavy-duty 2500 models come standard with a 4.8-liter V8 rated at 285 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A 6.0-liter V8 rated at 300 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque is standard on the 3500 and optional on the 2500. Also available on 2500 and 3500 series vans for 2006 is a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 with 250 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. All 1500s use a four-speed automatic transmission, while 2500 and 3500 series vans get a heavy-duty automatic. Trailer capacities range from 5,900 to a stout 10,000 pounds, depending on the model.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard on all models. Light-duty models (GVWR less than 8,600 pounds) feature a front-passenger sensing system that will deactivate the front airbag if it senses a small adult or child sitting up front. Heavy-duty models use a manual airbag deactivation switch for the front passenger.

Driving

A reinforced frame, larger stabilizer bars, rack and pinion steering (half-ton models only) and an upgraded brake system give the Express a leg up on the Ford Econoline when it comes to ride and handling. Although the Express is still far from nimble, its modern running gear makes day-to-day driving a much more enjoyable experience. The brakes require less effort than those of the Econoline, and the powerful engines really make a difference when it comes to merging and passing.

Interior

The interior is built for functionality and not much else. The controls are simple to use and well within reach of the driver. Available 60/40-split driver-side access doors make it easier for the whole crew to get in and out of the van.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Good New Van
wurk_truk,01/17/2006
2500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
Bought diesel 2500 extended work van. Have 4k now. Build quality is great. Seating is good. Controls well placed. Dash ugly. Have '04 Ford van and Chevy drives way better. Ford constantly wanders Chevy drives straight. 62k on Ford with no repairs, hope Chevy does as well. Disappointed with Diesel MPG. Get 16MPG combined, but it is new and it is winter. Ford gets 12MPG with gas. Diesel VERY smooth and quiet. Big improvements in Diesels lately. Do not notice towing 14'box trailer with diesel. Has right porportions for extended, unlike Ford. So far so good.
New 2006 Express
Parcel,11/24/2006
2500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
An excellent work truck. Rides rough when empty. Mileage is higher than expected with careful driving.
Great work van
Rip,08/25/2009
2500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
Diesel gets 20 mpg or 16 mpg with 8-10,000 trailer and when in a hurry I've done 80 with a full load and pulls like it's not even there. It still drives like a cargo van. High center of gravity effects cornering. Can ride rough without a load.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo

Used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo Overview

The Used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo is offered in the following submodels: Express Cargo Van. Available styles include 2500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 1500 3dr Van (4.3L 6cyl 4A), 2500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 3500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 3500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 4A), and 1500 3dr Van AWD (5.3L 8cyl 4A). Pre-owned Chevrolet Express Cargo models are available with a 4.8 L-liter gas engine or a 4.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 285 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargos are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo.

Can't find a used 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargos you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Express Cargo for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $15,356.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $9,214.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Express Cargo for sale - 6 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $17,262.

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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Chevrolet Express Cargo?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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