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2015 Chevrolet Express Overview

Providing basic transportation for 12 is once again the prime function of Chevrolet’s 2015 full-size Express passenger van. Actually, seating for anywhere from 8 to 15 people can be arranged in this brutish workhorse, but creature comforts often take a back seat (pun intended). Alas, so do modern aesthetics, ride comfort, handling ability and any sort of distinctive styling cues. But then this venerable van, in passenger and cargo versions, has been tooling around the ‘hood in its present garb for some 2 decades and shows no signs of ill financial health. Should the Express Cargo van be more what you’re looking for, by the way, that gets covered as a separate model.

Doubtless, the biggest news concerning the Express for the upcoming model year is the fact that Chevy/GM is dropping the half-ton 1500 line in both the Chevy Express and its GMC twin, the Savana, due to bottom-line concerns, not to mention the debut of the sort-of-ballyhooed Chevy City Express urban-oriented minivan. Thus for the foreseeable future, this capable if a bit weathered people-hauler will be offered only in three-quarter-ton 2500 and one-ton 3500 iterations. Fear not, however, the 3500 can again be delivered in one of a pair of overall lengths, 224.1 inches in regular length and 244.1 inches in Extended length, with corresponding wheelbases of 135 inches and 155 inches, respectively. Also the stretched 3500 variant can be adapted to seat a maximum of 15 folks.

Also for 2015, 4 trim levels, the entry-level LS and the slightly up-featured 2LS, as well as the top-shelf LT and 2LT return, each with their respective bells and whistles. And, of course, in keeping with its traditional adaptability, the latest Express can also be delivered with the 3500 chassis or the 4500 chassis, thereby allowing conversion to, for instance, ambulance, school-bus, motor-home or semi-heavy construction duty.

A singular advantage the Express lineup continues to enjoy over such rivals as Ford’s E-Series is in engine choice. The base drivetrain in both the 2500 and 3500 variations remains a 4.8-liter Flex-fuel (FFV) V8 engine mated with the ubiquitous 6-speed automatic transmission. Look for 285 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from this fairly peppy V8, but beware that mileage remains estimated at a woeful 11 mpg city/17 highway.

The 6.0-liter FFV V8 also returns as an available power option to all Express iterations and is again managed by the 6-speed automatic to put out 342 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque. With mileage mirroring its 4.8-liter cohort's, this potent powertrain not only gives you considerably heftier bang for the buck, but is once again available in CNG (compressed natural gas) form for even greener leanings, though power numbers drop to 282 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.

Finally, those selecting the Express 3500 can expect to have the option of putting the muscular and efficient 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 under the hood. This oil-fired turbo V8 pounds out 260 hp and a towing-friendly 525 lb-ft of torque and remains mated with the 6-speed automatic transmission, but though it’s touted as more fuel-efficient than its gasoline-burning cousins, mileage figures are unavailable.

Appearance-wise, the base Express LS and 2LS boasts standard 16-inch (on the 2500) or 17-inch (on the 3500) steel wheels and a passenger-side rear swing-out door. Inside look for vinyl upholstery, power windows, OnStar/Bluetooth hands-free technology, air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo with 2 speakers.

Moving up to the LT and 2LT versions in both tonnage categories, check out such standard add-ons as chrome exterior trim, keyless entry, dedicated rear-seat air conditioning and heating, full-length carpeting and a trip computer. Additionally, this top-shelf trim level boasts cruise control and tilt-wheel steering, while a single-CD player, GPS navigation, power-adjustable driver’s seat and premium cloth upholstery all return as optional goodies. Additionally, both the LS and LT trim levels can be delivered with an available rear locking differential and remote engine start, and of course there’s that 15-passenger seating arrangement that returns as an available extra for the 3500 trim.

Finally, standard safety equipment adorning each Express edition includes antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control, 3-row head airbags, daytime running lights and a post-collision safety system.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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