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2018 Chevrolet Express Cargo Overview
The Chevrolet Express and the nearly identical GMC Savana have been General Motors workhorses since the mid-1990s, and there have been few serious changes to the platform. It may seem like a bit of a dinosaur, but the Express continues to sell well. The Express is available in a 12- or 15-passenger configuration, but commercial clients often favor the Express Cargo. Still popular among American small businesses everywhere, the Express faces increased competition from more modern designs with high-roof and all-wheel drive (AWD) options. For 2018, the Express range adds a base 4.3-liter V-6, a reversing camera is now standard equipment, and a blind-spot monitor is an optional extra. The 2018 Express Cargo is available in 2500 or heavier duty 3500 and extended wheelbase configurations. Cost is generally in the mid-$30,000 range.
Express Cargo buyers—typically small business owners—have a choice of three engines. New for this year is a 4.3-liter 6-cylinder that makes 276 horsepower and drives the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic. The powerhouse of the range is the Vortec 6-liter 8-cylinder with 341 hp and a towing capacity of up to 10,000 pounds. Finally, there is a turbodiesel 2.8-liter 4-cylinder that makes 181 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. There are no EPA ratings for the Cargo version, but last year’s V-8 model averaged13 mpg combined.
The inside of the Express Cargo is on the plain side, but it’s been that way since the beginning. Unlike the Express Passenger version, there are no trims to choose from. Buyers’ options are limited to the 2500 or the 3500 and an extended wheelbase. Standard equipment for the Express Cargo includes vinyl seats, an auxiliary port, power windows, a stereo with two speakers, and, as of 2018, a reversing camera. Optional extras include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a USB port, MyLink infotainment system, navigation, parking sensors, blind-spot monitor, and an engine block heater for cold-weather work.
The Express Cargo features plenty of room behind the seats. The regular length 2500 can stow 240 cubic feet worth of cargo, and the extended 3500 can hold up to 284.4 cubic feet.
The Express hasn’t been crash tested in any configuration, but optional extras include hill-start assist and rear parking sensors. The 2018 Chevrolet Express is an older design, but it’s also a proven platform that buyers can be confident won’t come with any unpleasant surprises. It’s a safe choice, and, for commercially-minded customers, sometimes the safe choice is best.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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