2017 Chevrolet Express

2017 Chevrolet Express Van Review

The 2017 Chevrolet Express Passenger van is older and less versatile than others in its class.
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

A full-size passenger van is really the only choice if you're looking to transport a large number of people. The 2017 Chevrolet Express is one option, with versatile seating arrangements that can host eight, 12 or 15 passengers. But unless you like the styling or are comforted by the wide availability of spare parts, we suggest you look elsewhere.

Advanced age is the primary knock against the Express. Though it has undergone minor interior and exterior refreshes over the years, today's Express is the same as the one that launched in 1996. All other competitors have been fully redesigned since then. Rivals also offer high-roof variants to aid passenger ingress and egress. Although used-parts availability and an established track record might be potential draws, overall we don't recommend the Chevrolet Express Passenger given the strength of the competition and lack of competitive advantage.



What's new for 2017

The optional diesel V8 has been replaced by a four-cylinder diesel.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 Passenger carries forward unchanged.

We recommend

Recommending any one version of the 2017 Chevrolet Express Passenger is difficult; the body and load rating you should choose will largely depend on your needs. If you intend to regularly fill the van with people or tow a trailer, consider the 3500 for its increased payload and tow capabilities. If you need an additional row of seats, check out the extended-wheelbase 3500. We think the regular-wheelbase 3500 will be suitable for most buyers and the LT trim's reasonable price point and increased feature content make it the more desirable trim.



Trim levels & features

The 2017 Chevrolet Express Passenger is a full-size van with abundant seating configurations and room for up to 12 people. (Its Express Cargo sibling retains the front two seats and uses the rest of the interior as an expansive cargo area.) It's available in two load ratings, 2500 and 3500, and in two trims, base LS and LT. Additionally, the 3500 can be ordered with a long wheelbase, which increases the length of the floor by 20 inches. The additional room allows for another row of seats, if you desire.

The LS is powered by a 4.8-liter V8 (285 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque) mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 16-inch steel wheels, a 60/40-split opening passenger door, 12-passenger seating (2-3-3-4 with a 50/50-split back row), air-conditioning, power windows and locks, a driver information display, vinyl upholstery and floor covering, GM's OnStar emergency communications, and a two-speaker audio system with an AM/FM stereo and an auxiliary port.

A tilt-only steering wheel and cruise control are standard on 3500 models and optional for the 2500. Opting for the extended-wheelbase 3500 adds rear air-conditioning, which is available as a separate option for the other LS models.

Stepping up to the LT adds front and rear chrome bumpers, remote locking and unlocking, cloth upholstery, carpeted flooring and rear air-conditioning. This trim also adds the tilt-only steering wheel and cruise control to the 2500.

Many of the features added by the LT are available on LS models as well. A bundle containing a 6.5-inch touchscreen with integrated rearview camera display, Bluetooth, a CD player, a USB port and a navigation system is available for any Express Passenger model. A rearview camera with display located in the rearview mirror can be ordered on any vehicle without the touchscreen. Other stand-alone options include power-adjustable heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, a heavy-duty locking rear differential, remote vehicle start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable front seats, satellite radio and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Some features and packages are available only when the appropriate body type is selected. The Paratransit package for 3500 extended-wheelbase models removes the rear seat and reverts to vinyl floor coverings. This body style can also be ordered in a 15-passenger (2-3-3-3-4 seating) configuration. Standard-wheelbase 2500 and 3500 models can be ordered in an eight-passenger (2-3-3) configuration.

Two additional powertrains are available on any body style. For hauling a high number of people, consider the 6.0-liter V8 (342 hp, 373 lb-ft) matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. If fuel efficiency is a priority, check out the 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine paired to an eight-speed automatic.



Interior

Most vehicles in this class max out at 12 seats, but the Express (along with its GMC Savana twin and the Ford Transit) offers seating for up to 15. A high roof is not on the options list, so passengers will have to duck as they enter and exit.

Utility

The cargo area behind the rear seats measures an impressive 92.1 cubic feet, leaving plenty of room for carry-on luggage. All seats behind the first row are removable should you need to store extra cargo, increasing the area to 252.8 cubes in the long-wheelbase model.

Technology

The Express isn't the most tech-forward van on the market, with just a two-speaker sound system, AM/FM radio and an auxiliary port as standard. Additions such as a USB port, CD player and navigation are available. The optional touchscreen's user interface is dated compared to those in other Chevys.

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.