Maximum capability for demanding truck customers; up to 9,900 gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) on diesel versions
Old platform; old switchgear; driving dynamics from another era
The Express 3500 is unchanged for the 2014 model year
We'd equip an 8-passenger 2014 Chevrolet Express 3500 with the optional 6.6-liter DuraMax diesel, hook it up to a 27-foot Airstream and add just enough comfort and convenience accessories to make the Chevy livable for a 3-week grand tour. With room for everything a family of four could carry, along with bike storage inside rather than on top of the van, the Express/Airstream combo would make an excellent base camp for an extended road trip.
The Express 3500 is offered in three trim levels: a base-level "cargo" model for hauling, and LS or LT trims for carrying passengers.
Opt for the Express Cargo ($33,300) and don't expect many standard features. The van includes only the basics, such as vinyl seating, manual air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo. There's no CD player, no OnStar telematics system and no power locks, power windows or power mirrors. However, each of those features, and more, can be added as options.
Choose the Express LS ($35,000) and you get a few more features. The most important one is seats: The Express 3500 passenger is offered in two wheelbases; regular models have a 12-person seating capacity, while the extended-length Express can carry up to 15 people. The Express LS also includes power door locks and cruise control.
Drivers who opt for the upscale Express LT ($37,000) get even more standard equipment. Such features include cloth upholstery, a compass, remote keyless entry, rear air conditioning and exterior chrome accents.
In addition to the van's standard equipment, many options are available. They range from items such as power mirrors and windows to high-end features such as a reversing camera, a navigation system and rear park assist. While all-wheel drive is available on some Express models, all Express 3500 units are rear-wheel drive.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Rust-Through||6 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/24,000 Miles|
Chevrolet Suburban -- Yes, the most obvious competitor to the Chevrolet Express 3500 is in the same showroom. A Suburban will seat up to eight, and although it doesn't deliver the sheer cubic volume of the Express, it tops the van in comfort and over-the-road demeanor.
Ford E-350 -- The E-350 is just as dated as the Express, but the next-generation full-size Transit arrives soon. Given the positive reception to its smaller sibling, the Transit Connect, Ford could have a winner on its hands, which would add pressure for Chevrolet to modernize the Express.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- The Sprinter offers impressive capability and efficiency in a considerably more modern package than the Express 3500. But it's also more expensive.
RAM ProMaster -- While it hasn't reached dealers yet, RAM's latest take on the full-size van is sure to offer huge capability, whether you're hauling people or large items.