Unlike most vehicles, traditional full-size vans haven't changed much over the years. Yet, the Chevrolet Express 2500 still qualifies as a significant member of the American motoring scene. What keeps the decades-old design alive in a shifting marketplace? Express and its GMC Savana stablemate continue as perennial favorites of buyers who want, or need, more cargo or passenger room and hauling capacity than a smaller vehicle can offer. Simply put, nothing else will suffice.
What's New for 2016
OnStar 4G LTE connectivity is new for 2016, including provision for a wi-fi hotspot in the vehicle. IntelliLink with navigation now is optional. So are single-pane side-view mirrors. Express vans have six airbags, including seat-mounted thorax protection.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Express 2500
Serving as the medium-duty Express model, the rear-wheel drive 2500 comes in two forms: as a Passenger wagon and a Cargo van. The Express Passenger wagon can be configured to seat eight or twelve people, while the Cargo van comes only with two front seats. Both versions offer up to 216 cubic feet of cargo space (with seats removed). With seats in place, capacity is 92 cubic feet. If you need more, the extended-wheelbase (155 inches) Cargo model can hold a voluminous 253 cubic feet.
Under the hood, the Express starts with 4.8-liter V8 producing 285 horsepower. The optional 6-liter V8 delivers a hefty boost to 329 horsepower. Choice number three is a 282-horsepower version of the 6-liter V8 that runs on compressed natural gas (CNG). Finally, the Express Cargo van can get the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 with 260 horsepower and a whopping 525 pound-feet of torque.
Passenger-van payload is 2,482 pounds, with a 9,800-pound towing capacity. The standard Cargo van has a 3,212-pound payload and can tow 7,400 pounds. Duramax diesel boosts towing capacity to 10,000 pounds. All engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Cargo and Passenger models are each offered in two trim levels:
Chevrolet’s Express 2500 is one of the most customizable vehicles you can purchase, and the massive option list applies to all configurations. So, even on the basic utilitarian model, you can specify every available convenience.
The Express Cargo's gasoline V8s are fully capable of getting tasks done in most work situations. The Duramax diesel engine, which adds almost $12,000 to the price, targets buyers with more serious hauling requirements. Among Passenger models, the LS works best as a light-duty shuttle, while the plusher LT makes more sense for large-family transportation. Chevrolet also offers a heavier-duty 3500 series.
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