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