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2006 Chevrolet Express 3500

$3,072 — $13,280 USED
Passenger Van
1-12 Seats
16-17 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 4 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?
(5.0) 4 reviews

The Good

  • Interior space
  • Gasoline V-8 performance
  • Towing capacity
  • Cargo-hauling capacity

The Bad

  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Stability and handling without StabiliTrak
  • Noise
  • Resale value

What to Know

about the 2006 Chevrolet Express 3500
  • Up to 15-passenger capacity
  • Three duty levels available
  • RWD or AWD
  • Choice of three gasoline V-8s
  • Diesel V-8 available for Cargo Vans
  • StabiliTrak on 12- and 15-passenger vans

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Chevrolet's full-size Express van underwent a major redesign in 2003, getting optional all-wheel drive, an optional left-side door and unique side access panels for commercial vans. Its front-end styling was revised to feature a greater family resemblance to other General Motors' other trucks.

During the 2004 model year, 15-passenger models gained GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system as a standard feature, in response to criticism about rollover risk. For 2005, StabiliTrak also was installed on regular-length 12-passenger vans.

Rear- and all-wheel-drive models come in 1500, 2500 and 3500 duty levels. Light-duty rear-drive vans have the Vortec 4300 V-6 as their base engine, but three Vortec V-8s are available. Some 2006 Cargo Vans can be equipped with a diesel V-8.

The GMC Savana is closely related to the Express, but the Express outsells its GMC counterpart by a considerable margin.


Exterior
Express vans are built on a separate box frame. The 2003 redesign included revamped taillamps and upscale reflector-type headlights. Light-duty vans have rack-and-pinion steering.

Front and rear suspensions are modified from those used on GM's full-size pickup trucks. Rear suspensions use a solid axle with semielliptic variable-rate multileaf springs and gas shocks. The wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, and the fuel tanks are made of composite material.

Express passenger vans come on a regular-length (135-inch) wheelbase, but the heavier-duty 2500 ...
Vehicle Overview
Chevrolet's full-size Express van underwent a major redesign in 2003, getting optional all-wheel drive, an optional left-side door and unique side access panels for commercial vans. Its front-end styling was revised to feature a greater family resemblance to other General Motors' other trucks.

During the 2004 model year, 15-passenger models gained GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system as a standard feature, in response to criticism about rollover risk. For 2005, StabiliTrak also was installed on regular-length 12-passenger vans.

Rear- and all-wheel-drive models come in 1500, 2500 and 3500 duty levels. Light-duty rear-drive vans have the Vortec 4300 V-6 as their base engine, but three Vortec V-8s are available. Some 2006 Cargo Vans can be equipped with a diesel V-8.

The GMC Savana is closely related to the Express, but the Express outsells its GMC counterpart by a considerable margin.


Exterior
Express vans are built on a separate box frame. The 2003 redesign included revamped taillamps and upscale reflector-type headlights. Light-duty vans have rack-and-pinion steering.

Front and rear suspensions are modified from those used on GM's full-size pickup trucks. Rear suspensions use a solid axle with semielliptic variable-rate multileaf springs and gas shocks. The wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, and the fuel tanks are made of composite material.

Express passenger vans come on a regular-length (135-inch) wheelbase, but the heavier-duty 2500 and 3500 Series are also available in extended-wheelbase (155-inch) form. The two versions measure 224 and 244 inches long overall, respectively. Each van is 79.4 inches wide and at least 81.6 inches tall.

The gross vehicle weight rating is the sum of the weight of the vehicle plus the weight of the passengers and cargo it can carry. Chevrolet's 1500 Series vans have GVWRs of 6,200 or 7,200 pounds (cargo and passenger models, respectively), whereas the GVWRs for 2500 Series vans are 7,300 or 8,600 pounds. Full-bodied vans in the 3500 Series are rated at 9,600 pounds GVWR.


Interior
Full-size Express passenger vans can carry eight, 12 or 15 occupants, while Express Cargo Vans seat only two people up front. Regular-length passenger models and Cargo Vans can be equipped with a 60/40-split left-side entry/load door. Side access doors with remote releases are limited to work-oriented Express Access models.

GM's OnStar communication system is optional. The use of an advanced Class II electrical system allows for battery run-down protection, retained accessory power, lockout protection and a substantial number of driver alerts.


Under the Hood
Four engines are available. Light-duty G-Series vans have a 195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 as the base engine. Three V-8s are offered: a 285-hp 4.8-liter, a 295-hp 5.3-liter and the 6.0-liter Vortec 6000 V-8 that generates 300 hp and 360 pounds-feet of torque. Some Cargo Vans can now be equipped with a 250-hp, 6.6-liter diesel V-8.

All engines have air-filter and oil-life monitors and mate with a four-speed-automatic transmission that incorporates a Tow/Haul mode. Equipped with a viscous-coupled transfer case, the all-wheel-drive vans function on wet or dry pavement without driver intervention.


Safety
All-disc antilock brakes and daytime running lights are standard, but side-impact airbags are not available.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

5.0
4 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)
(5.0)

Very reliable

by Bigj from York pa on January 30, 2018

This thing will pull anything and sounds awesome. Plenty of cargo space. Easy to drive. Fun to do donuts in Read full review

(5.0)

High performance

by jamesjr4y from CHEVY CHASE on August 17, 2017

I like how it drives on the road nice radio and plenty of leg space and exterior is excellent and i like how it was build Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2006 Chevrolet Express 3500 currently has 16 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 Chevrolet Express 3500 has not been tested.

Latest 2006 Express 3500 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Express 3500 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker