Used 1997 Chevrolet Express Van

1997 Chevrolet Express

1997 Highlights

Dual airbags and DRLs appear on the G3500 model. Variable steering reduces effort at low speeds for easier parking, and automatic transmissions shift more smoothly.


  • Fresh design, wide rear cargo doors, dual airbags, powerful optional engines


  • Intrusive engine cover, odd taillight design, still not as slick as Ford Club Wagon

Used 1997 Chevrolet Express Van for Sale

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Last year, for the first time in 25 years, Chevy dealers received a brand new, completely redesigned, full-size van to sell. Well, sort of. The supply of 1996 models was little more than a trickle as the factory suffered through teething problems. The Chevy Van (the cargo hauler) and the Express (the people hauler) were expected to arrive in dealer showrooms last spring. For 1997, the bugs have been worked out at the plant, and consumers might actually find one of these new vans on a dealer's lot. Equipped with dual airbags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes, Chevrolet is looking forward to stealing some of Ford's thunder in the full-size van market.

Rugged full-frame construction replaces the unibody setup of the previous-generation Chevy Van. Preferred by converters, full-frame construction allows for improved stability, ride and handling. Regular-length models carry 267 cubic feet of cargo, and extended-length vans can haul 317 cubic feet of stuff. Trick rear doors open 180 degrees to make loading and unloading the new van easier. Up to 15 passengers can ride in the extended-length Express, which ought to make this new van a hit with shuttle services. Other seating options include five, eight and twelve passenger arrangements. G3500's can tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped.

For convenience, the full-size spare is stored underneath the cargo floor. A 31-gallon fuel tank keeps this thirsty vehicle from frequent fill-ups, but topping off an empty tank will quickly empty your wallet. Engine choices are sourced from the Chevrolet family of Vortec gasoline motors, and, for the first time, a turbocharged diesel can be installed in Chevy's full-size van. Available are the Vortec 4300 V-6, the 5000, 5700, and 7400 V-8's, and a new 6.5-liter Turbodiesel V-8. Standard side cargo doors are a 60/40 panel arrangement, but a traditional slider is a no-cost option on 135-inch wheelbase vans.

Child safety locks are standard on the rear and side doors of the Express. Passenger assist handles help passengers into and out of the van. Front and rear air conditioning is optional. For 1997, G3500 get dual airbags. Also new are daytime running lights, smoother shifting automatic transmissions, and electronic variable orifice power steering that reduces effort at low speeds, making these vans easier to park.

Exterior styling is an interesting mix of corporate Chevrolet, Astro Van and Lumina Minivan. The high, pillar-mounted taillights are odd, but functional. They can easily be seen if the van is operated with the rear doors open. Low-mounted bumpers and moldings make the Express look taller than it is. An attractively sculpted body side gives the van's smooth, slab-sided flanks a dose of character. Three new colors arrive for 1997, in shades of brown, red, and silver.

Overall, Chevrolet's thoughtful rendition of the traditional full-size van appears to be right on target, giving Ford's Econoline/Club Wagon the first real competition it has faced in years.

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Vehicle Photo

Features & Specs

G3500 LS 3dr VanG2500 3dr VanG1500 LS 3dr VanG1500 3dr VanG3500 LS 3dr Ext VanG2500 LS 3dr VanG3500 3dr VanG2500 LS 3dr Ext VanG2500 3dr Ext VanG3500 3dr Ext Van
Transmission4-speed automatic4-speed automatic4-speed automatic4-speed automatic4-speed automatic4-speed automatic4-speed automatic4-speed automatic4-speed automatic4-speed automatic
Horsepower245 hp @ 4600 rpm245 hp @ 4600 rpm200 hp @ 4400 rpm200 hp @ 4400 rpm245 hp @ 4600 rpm245 hp @ 4600 rpm245 hp @ 4600 rpm245 hp @ 4600 rpm245 hp @ 4600 rpm245 hp @ 4600 rpm


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

Top Consumer Reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Chevrolet Express


Consumer Rating

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1997 Express
1997 Express 1500 Conversion w/55K miles in Mar 2002. 5L V8 equipped. Reliable for appx 30K miles, then all heck broke loose. By 105K miles: Trans replacement (NO tow pkg), rear axle seals, both u-joints, fuel pump module, gas gauge sender, starter, alternator, radiator repair, A/C repair, 2 fuel injectors. Upper intake manfifold gasket. Chronic Intake Manifold coolant leaks, Vacuum line leaks, tail-lite replacement. #8 cyl ate spark plugs (every 3K-5K miles after 80K miles) finally suffered ring or valve failure at 105K (0 compression at idle). RH side rear door hinges corroded and upper hinge broke making door unuseable. Prior to engine fail - spent over 8K on repairs in 10K miles.
Conversion Express Van
My experience with the 1500 Chevy Express Van is very pleasant. You will be hard pressed to fine another van that rides like it. The 5.7 liter engine is adequate in power but I would like to get better gas mileage. It has plenty of room and the auto volume radio is nice. The gas mileage in the city of course is not good in traffic but what 350 cid engine is. I really love this truck and would consider getting another one but…
Used 1997 Chevrolet Express Van Overview

The Used 1997 Chevrolet Express Van is offered in the following styles: G3500 LS 3dr Van, G2500 3dr Van, G1500 LS 3dr Van, G1500 3dr Van, G3500 LS 3dr Ext Van, G2500 LS 3dr Van, G3500 3dr Van, G2500 LS 3dr Ext Van, G2500 3dr Ext Van, and G3500 3dr Ext Van.

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