2017 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van Review

The 2017 Chevrolet Express Cargo van is older and offers less cargo room than others in the class.
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor
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.

what's new

The optional diesel V8 has been replaced by a four-cylinder diesel. The compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel conversion option is no longer available. Otherwise, the Express Cargo carries forward unchanged.

we recommend

Since the 2017 Chevrolet Express is only available in one equipment trim, which load, engine and wheelbase configuration you should buy depends on your cargo needs. If it were up to us, we'd start with the long-wheelbase van to make up for the Express' comparatively small cargo area. We'd also go with the four-cylinder diesel engine for its fuel economy and the 2500 load rating to keep costs down.

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.

trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of this vehicle. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.


The interior looks exceptionally dated in comparison with the rest of the class. The old-school vibe continues with the engine covering that protrudes into the driver and passenger footwell. Getting into the cargo area is hampered by a low roof and the lack of a door behind the driver.


Cargo volume behind the front seats measures 239.7 cubic feet in the short-wheelbase (SWB) Express, increasing to 284.4 cubes in the long-wheelbase (LWB) model. Cargo capacity in the SWB model is in line with similar vans, but the LWB's volume is lacking. Rivals offer taller roofs and longer bodies.


The standard radio comes only with AM/FM radio reception and an auxiliary jack. You'll have to pay more for a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port and an ancient touchscreen interface that is several generations removed from what's used in other Chevrolets.

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.