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The Chevy Express Is the Most Ancient New Car You Can Buy

Here’s something you may not have known: the oldest car on the market is the Chevrolet Express and its GMC twin, the Savana. I say you may not have known this not because you don’t know they’re ancient — everyone knows they’re ancient — but because you probably didn’t realize they’re still on sale. But they are on sale, as new 2019 models, and are largely identical to how they were when they came out in 1996.

Yes, that’s right: the Chevy Express and the GMC Savana have now been on the market for 24 years, largely unchanged since day one. Oh, sure, they received a facelift for the 2003 model year — but even if you count that, they’re still the oldest vehicles on sale today, now that the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been redesigned. And the facelift was entirely cosmetic, as the vans kept their powertrains, transmissions, platform, interior and even most of the same body panels.

Oh, sure, the vans have made some changes over the years. Although they used a 4-speed automatic until 2014, that finally went away, and now you can choose between a 6- or an 8-speed automatic. Engines have come and gone: the old 4.3-liter V6 was replaced with an updated one last year, for instance, and there’s now a 2.8-liter turbodiesel Duramax 4-cylinder. And the 1500 models were discontinued in 2014, leaving just the 2500 and the 3500 versions.

But in general, this is the same old van you could get back in 1996, just updated occasionally, but never thoroughly. It’s offered in two configurations — cargo van and passenger van — and it just keeps chugging along, even as the Ford E-Series finally became the Ford Transit, even as the Dodge Ram Van finally became the Ram ProMaster, and even as other rivals arrived, like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Nissan NV. The Express is there, always there, and it’s even offered in a rather lovely shade called Kinetic Blue Metallic. Not that anyone would notice, of course, because it’s only ever sold in white — as it has been for the last 24 years.

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