Used 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo 1500 Van Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo 1500 Van Review

2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van

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Reviews from owners of the 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo 1500 Van

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Just what i needed

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo 2500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 4A)

I finally found a great deal on a cargo van. I was looking to get back into construction, but needed something for tools and equipment. I have been driving it only for a short while, but it even handles well in the snow. I like the space it provides. I have ordered a set of shelves to put into the back.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

2008 express awd experiences

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo 1500 3dr Van AWD (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

As of 11/28/11, my van has 90,000 miles. I average about 17 mpg on a trip. Sadly, Chevy quality is STILL POOR after decades. Fuel injection pump: failed; cost $525. Air conditioner compressor: noisy. Chintzy plastic door handles: one broke; parts cost $300. Tire pressure monitoring valves leak: cost $50 each; I replaced with standard valve and can't shut off the dash warning thus can't read odometer. Sliding cargo door handle mechanism is failing. Performance is only so-so pulling a lightweight Aliner camper: shifts often on hills. Seats aren't really comfortable.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo 1500 Van

  • As a traditional American full-size van, the 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo (and its GMC Savana twin) is a capable companion for working men and women across the country.

  • Pros

    Strong engines, dual side access doors, multiple wheelbase configurations, optional all-wheel drive

  • Cons

    No tall roof option, cheap interior plastics

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo has been upgraded. There's a new steering wheel, switchgear, instrument cluster and materials.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo has been upgraded. There's a new steering wheel, switchgear, instrument cluster and materials.


Full-size vans like the 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo are redesigned so infrequently, a redo date of 1996 is practically brand-spanking-new. Having been around for more than four decades, Chevy's previous full-size van lived through the 1970s, '80s and half of the '90s via sheet metal changes and updates to the running gear. Only the Rolling Stones can beat that sort of longevity. Chevy's van assumed today's shape 12 years ago and to celebrate the rebirth, the van's name was changed from Sportvan to Express.

A number of important under-the-skin changes took place for 2003, including a wider selection of V8 engines, the first-time availability of all-wheel drive, upgraded brakes, a stronger frame and various interior improvements -- all of which went a long way toward making the Express safer and more capable than ever before. For 2008, the interior has been updated again with improved interior materials and switchgear.

The 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo still outpaces the even older Ford Econoline and certainly warrants consideration for those in need of a cargo van. Naturally, these attributes are most often needed by small businesses and fleet operators. The European-designed and dramatically more modern Dodge Sprinter is pricier than the Express, but its taller interior and better road manners make it a much better work vehicle overall.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Chevy Express Cargo van is a full-size van meant primarily for commercial customers. The standard wheelbase (135-inch) Express comes in half-ton (1500), 3/4-ton (2500) and 1-ton (3500) configurations, while the extended-wheelbase version (155-inch) is available on the 2500 and 3500 series vans only. Standard equipment on the Express Cargo includes air-conditioning, two seats, a theft-deterrent system and not much else. Optional choices include swing-out passenger-side access doors (versus the standard sliding door), a passenger-side sliding door, a rear air-conditioner and heater, power windows and locks, cloth upholstery, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, keyless entry and a CD stereo. Chevy is also able to outfit the Express for job-specific cargo configurations.

Powertrains and Performance

The light-duty Chevrolet Express 1500 cargo van comes standard with a 4.3-liter V6 that produces 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Standard on all-wheel-drive 1500s and optional on rear-wheel models is a 5.3-liter V8 that makes 301 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Heavy-duty 2500 models come standard with a 4.8-liter V8 that makes 279 hp (258 in models with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of more than 10,000 pounds) and 294 lb-ft of torque. Standard on the 3500 and optional on the 2500 is a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 323 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque. Available on both heavy-duty models is a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 that produces 250 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. All Express vans come with a four-speed automatic transmission. Trailer towing capacities range from 6,100 to a stout 10,000 pounds, depending on the model.


All models have antilock disc brakes as standard equipment. In frontal-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Chevy Express scored five stars (the highest possible).

Interior Design and Special Features

The Express' interior is built for pure functionality, and while it may not be pretty or high in quality, it gets the job done. All controls are simple to use and well within reach of the driver, but the footwells remain as cramped as ever. Unlike the Dodge Sprinter, there is no tall roof option that allows a normal-sized person to walk upright in the cargo area. Express buyers can opt for 60/40-split driver-side doors or dual sliding doors for easy access to the rear compartment.

Driving Impressions

A robust frame, rack-and-pinion steering (half-ton models only) and standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes give the 2008 Chevrolet Express Cargo respectable driving characteristics. Although Chevy's van is still far from nimble, it fares reasonably well in day-to-day driving. And with a pair of V8 engines to choose from, merging and passing maneuvers come easily, even when you're hauling a heavy load.

Talk About The 2008 Express Cargo

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Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
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