2011 Chevy Express Cargo Review

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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Robust engines
  • driver-side access-door option
  • multiple wheelbase and passenger configurations
  • available all-wheel drive
  • hefty towing capacity.
  • Low-grade cabin plastics
  • less interior space than the Sprinter van
  • no tall-roof option.

The 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo is a willing workhorse for buyers who require the functionality of a full-size van.

Vehicle overview

This year, the current-generation Chevrolet Express Cargo turns 16. Obviously, full-size cargo (and passenger) vans don't go through the vanity of a full redesign every five years as do most cars. As a result, the 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo sees only minor changes this year that nonetheless add a bit more functionality and comfort to this reliable workhorse.

Most notable is a new and more powerful 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8. It's rated at 260 horsepower and 525 pound-feet of torque, noticeable upgrades compared to last year's 250 hp and 460 lb-ft. Chevy says the new engine also provides better fuel economy and reduced tailpipe emissions. An available compressed-natural-gas engine offers green-minded business owners another powerful engine option.

The Express Cargo competes in a segment with but a handful of entries. The other full-size work vans include the Chevy's GMC Savana twin, the Ford Econoline and the 2011 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The latter is the most modern, offering superior maneuverability, fuel economy, cargo space and quality. But it is also the most costly and has a lower-output diesel V6 as its sole engine choice.

The Econoline is similar in size to its American rival and offers a useful collection of "Work Solutions" features. But neither of the Ford's two engine choices comes close to offering the Chevy's muscle. For something smaller, the 2011 Ford Transit Connect might be worth a look. But thanks to its strong engine lineup and multiple configurations, we think most contractors or business owners will be quite pleased if they choose a 2011 Express for their full-size cargo van needs.

2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo models

The 2011 Chevy Express Cargo full-size van's standard-wheelbase (135-inch) model comes in a base 1500 version as well as heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 variants. The extended-wheelbase version (155 inches) is available on the 2500 and 3500 series vans only.

Standard equipment on the Express Cargo includes 16-inch steel wheels, swing-out right-side doors, air-conditioning, front bucket seats, vinyl upholstery and a trip computer.

Options include alloy wheels, power windows and locks, towing features, heated power mirrors, swing-out driver-side passenger doors, a sliding right-side door, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, driver-only front seat, a variety of rear door and window configurations, keyless entry, remote engine start, Bluetooth connectivity, OnStar (with Directions and Connections), a simple two-speaker AM/FM stereo and an upgraded stereo with a CD player and USB port.

2011 Highlights

For 2011, the Chevrolet Express Cargo van receives a number of functional upgrades that add to the workhorse's comfort and safety, including available Bluetooth, a USB port and standard stability control. There is also a revised and more powerful turbodiesel V8 engine.

Performance & mpg

The rear-drive Chevrolet Express 1500 cargo van comes with a 4.3-liter V6 that produces 195 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Standard on all-wheel-drive 1500s and optional on rear-drive 1500s is a 5.3-liter V8 good for 310 hp and 334 lb-ft of torque. These engines are coupled to a four-speed automatic.

The rear-drive-only 2500 and 3500 come standard with a 4.8-liter V8 that produces 280 hp and 296 lb-ft of torque. Optional engines include a gasoline-fueled 6.0-liter V8 capable of 323 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque, a CNG 6.0-liter V8 and a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 good for 260 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque. These engines are coupled to a six-speed automatic.

Maximum payload capacity for a 3500-series van is 4,490 pounds, while maximum towing capacity for the same is an impressive 9,700 pounds.


All 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo vans have antilock brakes and stability control as standard equipment. Side curtain airbags are standard on the 1500 and optional on the others.

The Chevrolet Express has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. However, its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to the new tests) in frontal-impact crash tests were a perfect five stars for driver and front-passenger protection.


A robust frame, rack-and-pinion steering (half-ton models only) and standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes give the 2011 Chevy Express Cargo respectable ride, handling and braking characteristics. With its various powerhouse engines to choose from, merging and passing maneuvers are easily accomplished, even when you're hauling a heavy load of cargo. As full-size vans go, the Express is pleasant to pilot -- just don't expect it to match the more nimble Sprinter for maneuverability.


The Chevy's interior is built for functionality, not fashion. All controls are simple to use and well within reach of the driver, but they're far from stylish. The front footwells remain as cramped as ever. Unlike the Sprinter, the Express Cargo lacks a tall-roof option that allows a normal-sized person to walk upright in the cargo area. Express Cargo buyers can opt for 60/40-split driver-side doors or a passenger-side sliding door for easy access to the rear compartment (60/40-split passenger-side doors are standard). Standard-length vans have a maximum cargo capacity of 204 cubic feet, while extended-length vans check in with a voluminous 237 cubic feet of space.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

1 out of 5 stars
3500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A)
I later learned some of these vehicles have a fuel leakage problem and when exposed to atmosphere can ignite with any fuel source!!!. So low and behold I bought one back in January from a private owner and in less than 90 days one night I woke up to a fire in my drive way-it was my van. I immediately notified General Motors and they scheduled the van to be investigated which was about a 60 day process from fire to inspection which they flew a guy out from Atlanta to Minnesota where I live. He could not determine what caused fire and when I told them about the fuel leakage they dismissed it saying the vehicles vin number did not match suspected matches-well wouldn't you think there's more out there?!!! Which is why I wrote this review to STAY CLEAR from 2011Chevy 1500 Express.

More about the 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo

Used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo Overview

The Used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo is offered in the following submodels: Express Cargo Van, Express Cargo Diesel. Available styles include 2500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A), 1500 3dr Van (4.3L 6cyl 4A), 3500 3dr Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A), 3500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A), 2500 3dr Ext Van (4.8L 8cyl 6A), 2500 3dr Van (6.6L 8cyl Turbodiesel 6A), 1500 3dr Van AWD (5.3L 8cyl 4A), 3500 3dr Van (6.6L 8cyl Turbodiesel 6A), 3500 3dr Ext Van (6.6L 8cyl Turbodiesel 6A), and 2500 3dr Ext Van (6.6L 8cyl Turbodiesel 6A). Pre-owned Chevrolet Express Cargo models are available with a 4.8 L-liter flex-fuel (FFV) engine or a 4.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 280 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic. The Used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo 2500 is priced between $16,995 and$20,950 with odometer readings between 126474 and127955 miles.

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 2011 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) 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2011 Express Cargos listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,995 and mileage as low as 126474 miles. 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 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargo.

Can't find a used 2011 Chevrolet Express Cargos you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Express Cargo for sale - 6 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $24,588.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 7 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,002.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Express Cargo for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $10,867.

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 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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