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2014 Chevrolet Express Cargo Overview
Chevy's full-size cargo van gains a 5-person Crew seating arrangement for 2014 in addition to the single-occupant and captain's pair setups available since the Express Cargo's debutas such almost 2 decades ago. Otherwise essentially unchanged for almost 5 decades, the Express stands for transporting excellence on a budget, accounting for more than half the vans on the road today together with its platform partner, the GMC Savana. The Express Passenger, reviewed separately, continues in 8- to 12-passenger setups for 2014, and though very similar overall, the Cargo offers a greater engine selection and improved cargo systems allowing larger capacities.
The new Crew Cargo available for 2500 and 3500 duty ratings adds in a 3-person bench and divider just behind the captain's chairs up front, dropping its overall cargo capacity by roughly 40 cubic feet to about 200 in regular wheelbase models or 240 with the extended 155-inch wheelbase available to both duty ratings. Adding in full-length black rubberized vinyl floor covering, full-body fixed windows and an additional swing-out door as well as 3 additional airbags for 135-inch wheelbase models, going Crew in the extended wheelbase also nets rear air conditioning and extra lights.
Offered with a total selection of 6 engines and 2 drivetrains, all-wheel drive (AWD) is available only for the 1-ton 1500 equipped with its optional 5.3-liter V8 and a 4-speed automatic as the 1500's only transmission either way. Otherwise the Express Cargo operates by rear-wheel (RWD) motivation alone, with only a 6-speed automatic exclusive to the 2500 and 3500 rated models.
The best fuel economy estimate, 15 mpg city/20 highway, comes out of that 1500's standard 4.3-liter V6 good for 195 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, but it offers the worst tow capacity, maxing out at 4,300 pounds. Opting up to the 5.3-liter good for 310 hp and 334 lb-ft of torque with RWD ups towing capacity to 6,700 pounds and drops fuel economy to 13/18, or 200 pounds fewer with AWD and about 1 mpg worse—but this and just about any powertrain can operate on regular gas or Flex Fuel, with the obvious exception of its lone available turbodiesel powerplant, also estimated around 20 mpg highway.
Moving up to the 1.5-ton 2500 or 2-ton 3500 opens up a towing capacity of as much as 10,000 pounds and broadens the engine selection to the 4 remaining options, which include 2 versions of the 6-liter V8, that 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 and its default 4.8-liter V8 capable of towing up to 7,400 pounds with all its 280 ponies and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Flex Fuel 6-liter V8 puts out 324 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque, or 279 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque for the alternate version running on compressed natural gas. Opting up to the turbodiesel nets 260 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque as well as the 10,000-pound towing capacity.
Standard equipment is very sparse, including just 16-inch steel wheels, 60/40-split swing-out passenger-side doors, air conditioning, vinyl upholstery and a trip computer. Available options otherwise mimic the Express Passenger, but without any trim designations with pre-set packs of features, the Cargo notably differentiated by options like driver-side 60/40-split swing-out doors and additional rear window and door setups. Aside from those considerations as well as the lack of seating and carpet options, a fully-loaded Cargo and fully-loaded Passenger are virtually identical.
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