Full-size vans are fantastic vehicles for contractors and small-business owners for their expansive cargo areas and substantial payload and towing capabilities. The 2017 Chevrolet Express is one of these versatile equipment-haulers, with class-leading towing figures and a reasonable starting price. But its numerous drawbacks should lead you to consider one of its many rivals instead.
The primary knock against the Express is its age. For reference, the Express launched before Bill Clinton mounted his re-election campaign, and it has received only sporadic refreshes and updates since then. As such, the cabin is positively dour against the rest of the class, and the Express offers none of the latest safety and technology features of its competitors. Although offered in standard and extended wheelbases, the Express has less cargo volume than other vans due to its single, low roof height. (Others offer two to three roof configurations to allow for tall storage racks.) And though towing and payload capabilities are near or at the top of the class, its thirsty V8s will put a larger dent in the monthly fuel bill than competitors' V6 engines. Given the strength of the competition and lack of distinctive advantages, it's difficult to recommend the Chevrolet Express for any reason.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Chevrolet Express Cargo is a full-size van with two seats and an expansive cargo area (its Express Passenger sibling fills this space with additional rows of seating). Two load ratings are available: 2500 (max payload 3,234 pounds) and 3500 (max payload 4,192 pounds). Each can be ordered in a standard or extended wheelbase, which increases cargo volume from 239.7 cubic feet to 284.4 cubes. No matter which starting configuration you choose, the Express Cargo comes only in a single modestly equipped WT trim. Numerous stand-alone options are available.
By default, the rear-wheel-drive Express Cargo is powered by a 4.8-liter V8 (285 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque) paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Alternate powertrains are available if the standard V8 doesn't meet your requirements, including a 6.0-liter V8 (342 hp, 373 lb-ft) matched to a six-speed automatic and a 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine (181 hp, 369 lb-ft) with an eight-speed auto. The WT's standard features include 16-inch steel wheels, 60/40-split opening doors on the right side, a driver information display, air-conditioning, power windows and locks, vinyl upholstery and floor covering, LED cargo lighting, six D-ring cargo tie-downs, a 120-volt outlet, and a two-speaker audio system with AM/FM radio and an auxiliary jack.
Major equipment packages include the Convenience (tilt-adjustable steering wheel and cruise control), Chrome Appearance (chrome bumpers and grille), Hotel Shuttle (Chrome Appearance plus the 6.0-liter V8, a sliding rear passenger door, heated power mirrors, a second row of seating, tinted glass and rear cargo windows) and Ambulance (6.0-liter V8, a heavy-duty locking differential and a more powerful battery and alternator) packages. A separate bundle adds a 6.5-inch touchscreen, navigation, Bluetooth, a CD player and a USB port.
Some of the above features can be added as stand-alone options. Other options include all-terrain tires, remote locking and unlocking, remote engine start, rear parking sensors, a backup alarm, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a rearview camera, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, GM's OnStar emergency communications, satellite radio, a spray-in cargo liner, and rear air-conditioning and heating.
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.
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