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Overview of 2012 Chevrolet Express Cargo 3500 Ext. By Eric Tallberg
Take an already good-size work van and make it even bigger with an extra 20 inches in wheelbase and in total length. At 244 inches long and with a 155-inch wheelbase, the 2012 Chevrolet Express Cargo 3500 Ext. is such a van. Such stretching allows 313.9 cubic feet of cargo area, but makes parking this beast a distinct challenge. In any case, the Express Cargo 3500 Ext., like its shorter siblings, is designed for labor rather than comfort, with 16-inch steel wheels, vinyl front bucket seats, air conditioning, two unemployed speakers and phone pre-wiring its only standard assets. This stretched-out 2-passenger heavy-hauler is also delivered with the standard passenger-side swing-out rear access door and rear swing-out cargo doors.
A number of options may make the 2012 Express Cargo 3500 Ext. a bit more habitable, a tad handsomer and a lot more muscular. Such options include the Convenience Package and its accompanying Power Package for power windows, power door locks and heated, power-adjustable, turn-signal-integrated outside mirrors. Then there’s the Express Access Package, with remote keyless entry, remote engine start and side-bins with remote-opening doors, as well as the self-explanatory Chrome Appearance Package and the Enhanced Lighting Package, with upgraded dash and cabin lighting. A rear driver’s-side access door is also available, as is a beefed-up rear axle ratio, heavy-duty trailer-towing equipment and a heavy-duty rear locking differential. Further standalone options, meantime, include cruise control, tilt-wheel steering, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, cloth upholstery, Bluetooth-interfaced OnStar Directions and Connections with emergency services and a single-CD player with AM/FM stereo.
Standard in the rear-wheel-drive-only (RWD) 2012 Express Cargo 3500 Ext. is a 4.8-liter ethanol-capable (FFV) V8 engine that combines with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission for 280 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Look for a payload capacity of some 4,043 pounds with mileage in the vicinity of 10 mpg city/16 highway despite variable valve timing (VVT).
A 6.0-liter Flex Fuel V8, again with the 6-speed automatic and VVT, is also available to this stretched-out van. Expect 324 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque from this combo, with towing capacity upped to some 9,000 pounds with the proper equipment and mileage hanging in at 10/16. Additionally, a compressed natural gas (CNG) 6.0-liter V8 can be substituted for the gasoline V8 engine. With the 6-speed automatic once more standard, horsepower and torque mirror those of the gasoline-burning 6.0-liter powerplant.
Standard safety features in Chevy’s Express Cargo 3500 Ext. include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front head airbags, daytime running lights, dusk-sensing headlights and a vehicle antitheft system.
This overview covers the 3500 Ext. trim only.
Please see our 2012 Chevrolet Express Cargo Overview for more information.
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