2017 Chevrolet Express Review


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2017 Chevrolet Express Overview

Awaiting a complete overhaul in the near future, Chevrolet’s Express full-size passenger van is expected to roll into the 2017 model year with few, if any changes. So it seems safe to expect little more than the full-size 8- to 15-seat van that we've grown accustomed to, and which many reviewers claim still lacks the modern refinements and efficiency of most of its rivals.

Chevy has actually mentioned a proposed partnership with Nissan that would allow it to manufacture its body-on-frame Express vans using the Japanese automaker’s NV chassis. Chevy would also likely give the Express a more contemporary look, along with a new engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. But don’t expect any of these upgrades until at least the 2018 model year. For next year’s Express lineup, the only tweaks that are even hinted at include a few enhancements to the optional Chevy MyLink infotainment feature and more comfortable front seats. The same upgrades should appear in the related GMC Savana vans as well.

Look for the 2017 Express to return in the 2500 (three-quarter-ton) and 3500 (1-ton) trims, along with a stretched 3500 Ext version. The 3500 Ext boasts 244 inches (20 feet, 3 inches) of overall length, with a 155-inch wheelbase (12 feet, 11 inches), compared to the regular-length versions, which measure 224 inches (18 feet, 8 inches) in length with a 135-inch (11 feet, 3 inches) wheelbase. Each Express can be outfitted in two trim levels: the base LS and up-featured LT.

It’s anticipated that the 2017 Express standard-length iterations will again boast 92.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat row in the standard 12-passenger setup, while the 3500 Ext (also configured for 12 passengers in its standard form) will offer 127.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats.

Power for the Express comes from a 4.8-liter flex-fuel (FFV) V8 that puts out 285 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque under the management of a 6-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated mileage checks in at 11 mpg city/16 highway/13 combined. There is also an optional 339-hp, 6.0-liter V8 engine that uses the 6-speed automatic for 373 lb-ft of torque. Look for mileage of 11/16/12 from the larger powerplant.

Returning solely for the Express 3500 and 3500 Ext is an optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 powerplant that throws down 260 hp and a whopping 525 lb-ft of torque, managed by the 6-speed automatic. Look for a 10,000-pound max towing capacity from the turbodiesel. Mileage figures are unavailable.

Express vans equipped with the 6.0-liter V8 can be tweaked to burn compressed natural gas (CNG); doing so will drop their power figures to 282 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. There are no fuel-efficiency estimates for CNG engine. It is also worth noting that all Express trims come with rear-wheel drive (RWD) only.

Since the 2017 Express lineup is again geared toward commercial duties, standard features remain somewhat sparse. The LS 2500, for example, is slated to offer 16-inch painted steel wheels, while 3500 variations get standard 17-inch steel wheels. You'll also find vinyl upholstery, swing-out passenger-side rear doors, power door locks, power front-side windows, and front manual air conditioning. Standard entertainment comes in the form of a AM/FM radio with two speakers and an auxiliary audio input. The Express LT adds chrome exterior trim pieces, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, and a trip computer.

The Express can be also be equipped with numerous trim-specific options, including 17-inch alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, 8- or 15-passenger seating configurations, a sliding passenger-side rear door, and remote engine start. Further available features are expected to include GM’s Bluetooth-interfaced MyLink infotainment with a 4G LTE WiFi Hotspot and optional GPS navigation. Optional audio entertainment includes a CD/MP3 player, 6 speakers, a touchscreen display, and smartphone apps.

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Express consists of 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, 3-row head curtain bags, daytime running lights, On Star emergency telematics, and a post-collision safety system. The current Express earned only 3 out of 5 stars in rollover testing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Expect Ford’s Transit to again challenge the 2017 Express for full-size van supremacy, along with such rivals as Mercedes-Benz’s Sprinter, Ram’s ProMaster, and Nissan’s NV.


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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