The base trim in the 2011 Chevrolet Express lineup, the LS 1500 full-size passenger van nevertheless proves itself a capable performer. This half-ton eight-passenger van features standard swing-out rear passenger doors, 17-inch steel wheels, privacy glass, and 216.2 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats removed, and that’s just for starters. Standard vinyl upholstery, front bucket seats, tilt-wheel steering, air conditioning, OnStar Directions and Connections, and an AM/FM radio with two speakers complete the ensemble. Options, meanwhile, can include power-adjustable front seats, sliding passenger-side rear doors, tilt-wheel steering, remote engine start, driver’s-side passenger doors, a heavy-duty towing package, power accessories, including remote entry and heated outside mirrors, power-adjustable front seats, heavy-duty locking rear differential, a single-CD player, and Bluetooth wireless capability.
Safety features that come standard in this hefty van include four-wheel ABS, traction and stability control, three-row head curtain airbags, OnStar collision and airbag deployment alerts, dusk-sensing headlights, daytime running lights, and a post-collision safety system. Optional safety equipment includes turn-signal-integrated outside mirrors. All this, of course, complements the Express LS 1500’s sheer bulk.
Standard power for the 2011 Express LS 1500 comes from a variable-valve-timed (VVT) 310-hp 5.3-liter Flex Fuel V8 engine. These ponies are managed by a standard four-speed automatic transmission to the tune of 334 lb-ft of torque, and will get some 13/17 mpg burning regular unleaded or 10/13 with ethanol-based fuel. Towing capacity, meantime, is maxed out at 6,200 pounds for the rear-wheel-drive-only (RWD) LS 1500.