2012 Chevrolet Express 3500

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$5,261–$30,321 Inventory Prices
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Key Specs
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Chevrolet Express 3500. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Standard side curtain airbags (passenger vans)
  • Interior space
  • Gasoline V-8 performance
  • Towing capacity
  • Cargo-hauling capacity

The Bad

  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Noise

Notable Features of the 2012 Chevrolet Express 3500

  • Up to 15-passenger capacity
  • Three duty levels available
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Compressed natural gas version
  • Diesel V-8 available

2012 Chevrolet Express 3500 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

Chevrolet's full-size Express is available as a passenger or cargo van and is offered in 1500, 2500 and 3500 duty levels. The Express competes with other full-size vans, including the Ford E-Series, Nissan NV and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The GMC Savana is closely related to the Express.

New for 2012
Compressed natural gas models can have a three-tank fuel tank setup, but there are no other significant changes for 2012.

Exterior
Overall height and length of the Express and its competitors vary among different models, with variables like longer wheelbases and extended roofs. Half-ton Express models get standard 17-inch wheels. Standard flat and convex exterior mirrors on each side provide a wider field of vision. Exterior features include:

  • 1500 versions come on a regular-length wheelbase (135 inches)
  • 2500 and 3500 also available in extended-wheelbase form (155 inches)
  • Swing-out rear doors
  • Optional Express Access Package adds three side-panel storage areas
  • Optional Chrome Appearance Package

Interior
A driver information center in the instrument cluster displays instructions for maintenance and warnings, such as if the vehicle's transmission overheats or if a theft attempt has taken place. A fuel-operated heater is available on vans with the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine to heat the interior quickly in cold weather. The system features a self-contained, pressurized auxiliary coolant heater that uses diesel fuel to generate heat. There is also the option ...

Vehicle Overview

Chevrolet's full-size Express is available as a passenger or cargo van and is offered in 1500, 2500 and 3500 duty levels. The Express competes with other full-size vans, including the Ford E-Series, Nissan NV and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The GMC Savana is closely related to the Express.

New for 2012
Compressed natural gas models can have a three-tank fuel tank setup, but there are no other significant changes for 2012.

Exterior
Overall height and length of the Express and its competitors vary among different models, with variables like longer wheelbases and extended roofs. Half-ton Express models get standard 17-inch wheels. Standard flat and convex exterior mirrors on each side provide a wider field of vision. Exterior features include:

  • 1500 versions come on a regular-length wheelbase (135 inches)
  • 2500 and 3500 also available in extended-wheelbase form (155 inches)
  • Swing-out rear doors
  • Optional Express Access Package adds three side-panel storage areas
  • Optional Chrome Appearance Package

Interior
A driver information center in the instrument cluster displays instructions for maintenance and warnings, such as if the vehicle's transmission overheats or if a theft attempt has taken place. A fuel-operated heater is available on vans with the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine to heat the interior quickly in cold weather. The system features a self-contained, pressurized auxiliary coolant heater that uses diesel fuel to generate heat. There is also the option of a dealer-installed Wi-Fi internet hotspot. Interior features include:

  • Seating for two in cargo vans
  • Seating for eight, 12 or 15 in passenger vans
  • Standard vinyl seats; cloth upholstery optional
  • Optional power front seats
  • Optional Bluetooth cellphone connectivity
  • Optional CD stereo
  • Optional bulkhead dividers (cargo van)
  • Optional 60/40-split left-side entry/load door for regular-length vans

Under the Hood
Five available engines range from a 4.3-liter V-6 to a turbo-diesel 6.6-liter V-8. All engines have air-filter and oil-life monitors. The 6.0-liter V-8 has a fast-idle option that makes it easier to run accessories while the vehicle is idling. Vans equipped with the turbo-diesel 6.6-liter V-8 have a standard 3.73 axle ratio and an optional locking rear limited-slip differential.

Properly equipped, the Express can tow up to 10,000 pounds. The heavy-duty G3500 is available for RV and commercial cutaway applications; it has an even longer wheelbase and a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 14,200 pounds. The 1500 has a GVWR of up to 7,300 pounds; it's 8,600 pounds for the 2500 and 9,600 pounds for the 3500. Mechanical features include:

  • 195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 with 260 pounds-feet of torque (cargo van only)
  • 280-hp, 4.8-liter V-8 with 296 pounds-feet of torque
  • 310-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with 334 pounds-feet of torque
  • 323-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with 373 pounds-feet of torque
  • 280-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with 320 pounds-feet of torque (compressed natural gas model)
  • 260-hp, turbo-diesel 6.6-liter V-8 with 525 pounds-feet of torque
  • Four- or six-speed automatic transmission
  • 31-gallon fuel tank
  • Optional remote start

Safety
All Express cargo and passenger vans have a standard electronic stability system. Side curtain airbags are standard in all passenger vans and available in cargo models. Other standard safety features for all models include:

  • Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
  • Lap/shoulder belts for all center seats

Latest 2012 Express 3500 Stories

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Chevrolet Express 3500 currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Chevrolet Express 3500 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Chevrolet

Program Benefits

Two Factory-Backed Warranties, CPO Scheduled Maintenance Program, Vehicle Inspection & Reconditioning, 3-Day/150-Mile Vehicle Exchange Program, 24/7 Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation, OnStar & SiriusXM Satellite Radio Trial Offers, and a Carfax Vehicle History Report

  • Limited Warranty

    Two Factory-Backed Warranties

    6-Year/100,000-Mile, Powertrain Limited Warranty and a 12- Month/12,000-Miles, Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty, both with $0 deductible
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 172-Point Inspection & Reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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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