Used 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van Review

The 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo is a willing workhorse for buyers who require the functionality of a full-size van, but more modern competitors could be a better fit for your business.




what's new

The light-duty 1500 series version of the Chevy Express is dropped for 2015, leaving the remaining Express lineup available only in 2500 and 3500 rear-wheel-drive configurations. The base V6 and 5.3-liter V8 engines also are gone, as is the availability of a second rear door on the driver side, as Chevrolet streamlines the Express model range. A couple of new digital radio choices are available, and a 120-volt power outlet is now standard.

vehicle overview

Chevrolet has sold millions of Express Cargo vans over the last two decades, making this full-size van a proven choice for those who require a no-nonsense work vehicle. Thanks to its strong lineup of gasoline and diesel V8s, the 2015 Chevy Express excels at towing and hauling heavy loads, as its engines churn out the kind of raw power that no rival can really match.

If the utmost in towing or payload capacity isn't the primary requirement for your next cargo van, however, you may find that newer vans with space-optimizing designs and improved fuel efficiency are a better choice for day-to-day use and give you more flexibility for upfits. These newer rivals generally come with a choice of a high-roof body style to maximize interior space and make it much easier to move around inside, and in some cases, even stand upright to work.

Chief among them are the 2015 Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster cargo vans. Like the Express, they offer a choice of gasoline or diesel engines (albeit four-cylinders and V6s instead of V8s) and multiple roof height configurations, and they generally return better fuel economy. You'll find excellent maneuverability and road manners with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, as well as a smooth diesel V6, but it tends to be at the top of the price scale. Another viable modern van to consider is the Nissan NV, which, like the others offers two roof heights but lacks a diesel engine option.

For buyers less concerned about the interior details, though, the 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo van remains a solid option, especially if you want the market's mightiest diesel. It won't be as fuel-efficient as newer vans, but it's likely to cost you less up front, potentially making it a bargain.




trim levels & features

The 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo is a two-seat, full-size van that comes in two load ratings, the 2500 series and 3500 series. Each comes in two wheelbases: a standard wheelbase of 135 inches and an extended 155-inch wheelbase.

Standard equipment on the Express Cargo includes 16-inch steel wheels, 60/40-split swing-out right-side doors, air-conditioning, power locks, four interior dome lights, a 120-volt accessory outlet, vinyl upholstery and a trip computer.

Major options include 17-inch steel wheels, power windows, heated power mirrors, a variety of rear door and window configurations, a towing package, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, front passenger seat delete, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, remote ignition, rear auxiliary heater, Bluetooth phone connectivity, GM's OnStar telematics service, a simple two-speaker AM/FM/MP3 sound system and a choice of several upgraded sound systems that incorporate a USB port and satellite radio with a three-month trial subscription. A navigation system and a rearview camera are also available.



performance & mpg

The 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo van is sold with a choice of two gasoline V8 engines and a diesel V8.

Starting the engine lineup is a 4.8-liter V8 that develops 285 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Next up is a 6.0-liter gasoline V8 that churns out 329 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque; a compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled version of the 6.0-liter V8 puts out 282 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. Both engines send power to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

The top of the 2015 Express food chain presents a turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 rated at 260 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque; it also is backed by the six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy estimates are not available for these heavy-duty vans, because the EPA doesn't rate vehicles with gross combined weight of more than 6,000 pounds.

When properly equipped, both the Express 2500 and Express 3500 vans have a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. Payload capacities range from almost 3,000 pounds to 4,145 pounds for the standard-wheelbase Express Cargo 3500.

safety

All 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo vans have antilock brakes and stability control as standard equipment. Side curtain airbags, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and OnStar emergency communications are available as options.

driving

The 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo van handles much like a truck, as you'd expect, given its traditional body-on-frame architecture. It is not in any way nimble, but its strong engines get it moving without fuss and the automatic transmission is smooth with gearchanges. Newer rival vans are likely to deliver better fuel economy, but if sheer hauling power is needed, the Chevy's 6.0-liter V8 and the even stronger 6.6-liter diesel V8 are about the best you'll encounter. The diesel engine generates the most torque in the van segment by a comfortable margin.

If torque for towing and hauling is not your overriding concern and you'll be using your van more for local deliveries in urban areas, you'll want to look at competitors like the Transit or Sprinter, which are noticeably more maneuverable in tight spaces.

interior

If you've seen the high-roof versions of vans that compete with the 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo, it's immediately apparent that if you would like to work in the van, there simply are better choices available than this Chevy and its traditional standard roof height. Apart from that, the Express' interior is simple and straightforward, with little in the way of trim or other garnish, and finishes are geared toward durability.

You'll find so surprises with the traditional gauges and controls. The wide engine cowling severely restricts legroom for the driver and passenger seats, which is a common annoyance in traditional American vans. Basic amenities such as power mirrors and remote keyless entry are optional, and we'd consider the convenience package, which provides a tilt steering wheel and cruise control, a necessity if the Express will be used for long-distance travel.

The standard-wheelbase Express has a maximum of 239.7 cubic feet of cargo space; the long-wheelbase model bumps total capacity to 284.4 cubic feet. A hinged second side door on the passenger side of the Express is standard, with a sliding door as an option. There is no available second door on the driver's side, which might limit utility for some businesses.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.