Though newer vans such as the Ram ProMaster and the Ford Transit offer taller roofs and more high-tech features, the 2020 Chevrolet Express still has a few tricks up its sleeve. A low roof and a narrow width make the Express much easier to park and maneuver, not to mention get in and out of low-roofed parking structures. Most fleet mechanics have worked on these vehicles for years, so long-term service, parts and maintenance shouldn’t be an issue. The Express also has a 10,000-lb max tow rating, which is better than every one of its rivals, and the choice of a regular or an extended-wheelbase model adds to the cargo van’s flexibility. When equipped with the 6.0-liter V8 engine, the Express 3500 adds 958 additional pounds of payload over its smaller 2500 sibling. If you’re seeking better fuel economy without giving up pulling power, you might find the 4-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel the perfect compromise. However, the Express’ aging design means that there’s no high-roof version for extra-large cargo, something you can get from several rivals. There’s also no all-wheel drive option and no multitude of body styles. And the van certainly drives as though it’s from another era, with a large turning radius and sloppy handling.
What’s New for 2020?
For 2020, the Express sees some equipment package reshuffling, but that’s about it. See the 2020 Chevrolet Express 2500 models for sale near you or See the 2020 Chevrolet Express 3500 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Covered cargo area
- 10,000-lb tow rating
- Easy for fleet mechanics to work on
What We Don’t
- Outdated design
- No AWD option
- Passenger models lack head restraints for rear passengers
- Sloppy driving dynamics
- Not as spacious as its rivals
Three engines are offered. A 276-hp 4.3-liter V6 is the standard. Towing capacity with the V6 is a respectable 7,200 pounds for the cargo van and 8,700 pounds for the passenger van.
Drivers who want more power can opt for the 341-hp 6.0-liter V8, which enables the van to tow up to 10,000 pounds as a cargo van or 9,600 pounds as a passenger van. Finally, a 2.8-liter turbodiesel offering 181 hp and a whopping 369 lb-ft of torque is also optional. The V6 and diesel engine are mated to an 8-speed automatic, while the V8 uses a more traditional 6-speed.
The Environmental Protection Agency does not require fuel economy figures for vehicles of this size.
Standard Features & Options
The 2020 Chevrolet Express is offered in three trim levels: a base-level WT model that only comes as a cargo van, and LS and LT trims, which are offered as passenger models.
The base WT ($33,295 for the 2500, $36,395 for the 3500) comes with only the basics. That means vinyl seating, air conditioning, a rearview camera, a standard auxiliary port for music and little else. There are also power locks, power windows and a 2-speaker AM/FM radio.
Step up to the LS ($36,195 for the 2500, $38,495 for the 3500), and you’ll get power locks and windows, rear air conditioning, a rear auxiliary heater and General Motors’ revised OnStar system with in-car Wi-Fi. More importantly, you’ll get 12 seats, as the LS is the van’s base passenger model.
Many more comfort and convenience features come standard on the LT ($38,295 for the 2500, $40,195 for the 3500). Added items include a chrome grille, chrome bumpers, a carpeted floor, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, power mirrors, lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning. Fifteen-passenger configurations are available.
Shoppers can also choose from various options, even on the stripped-down WT model. Drivers who want a CD player, for instance, can add one. The same goes for the van’s available power accessories. For shoppers interested in more luxury, Chevrolet offers the Express with the MyLink infotainment system, blind spot monitoring, navigation, parking sensors and an iPod/USB interface. Also optional is a long-wheelbase version.
Every Chevrolet Express model includes side-curtain airbags, front-side airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability control. Options include a side blind zone alert, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, hill-start assist and rear parking sensors. Passenger models feature General Motors’ OnStar system as standard equipment.
Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash-tested the Express.
Behind the Wheel
Ponderous proportions typically make for ponderous handling, and in this regard, the Express delivers as expected. To their credit, GM engineers have done an admirable job of providing the aging platform with a range of powerful V8, V6 and diesel 4-cylinder engine choices.
As a result, the Express goes about its business with a surprising degree of eagerness regardless of the engine. But despite the Express’ ability to navigate highways and byways, the arrival of recent competitors has moved the needle for customer expectations. The industry has moved forward, and GM will need to modernize the Express to keep pace.
If space can be construed as a luxury, the Express delivers it in spades. Considering that it’s a passenger van from Chevrolet, you’ll find the level of comfort serviceable. Also, a visit to a van converter can provide all the additional luxury or decadence you’re inclined to purchase.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Chevrolet Suburban — Yes, one of the most obvious competitors to the Chevrolet Express is in the same showroom. A Suburban will seat up to eight, and while it doesn’t deliver the sheer cubic volume of the Express, it tops the van in comfort, capability and over-the-road demeanor.
2020 Ford Transit — Ford’s European-inspired full-size van is also offered in cargo and passenger configurations. But unlike the Express, it boasts several fuel-efficient engine choices, modern driving dynamics, available AWD and high-tech options.
2020 Ram ProMaster — Ram’s big cargo van is just the latest in a line of full-size vans that have made the Chevrolet Express look like the dinosaur that it is. The ProMaster offers more room, more engine choices and more configurations.
Used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter — The Sprinter offers impressive capability and efficiency in a considerably more modern package than the Express, but it’s also more expensive, so you might want to consider a used model.
We’d shop the competition, but if we had to choose an Express, we’d opt for an entry-level LS or WT model with sparse options. As the Express’ rivals have improved dramatically, affordability is this Chevy’s last major selling point. Find a Chevrolet Express 2500 for sale or Find a Chevrolet Express 3500 for sale