With over 40% market share in the full-size van segment in the US, General Motor's Chevy Express and GMC Savana are strong contenders to the famous Ford E-Series. The Chevrolet Express came out in mid-1990s as a replacement to the old GM vans. Over the years, some upgrades were integrated into the design of this full size van, from engine works to interiors and other vehicle features. Several versions of the Chevy Express then came out: a passenger van, work vehicle, and a limited edition passenger model.
1996: The birth of the Chevy Express
The Chevy Express, along with the GMC Savana, was introduced in 1996 as replacements to the GMC Vandura and the Chevrolet Van. Over the years, these full-size vans from General Motors have managed to surpass other similar vehicles in terms of sales and have earned a significant share of the market, trailing behind the Ford E-Series, a dominant force in the full-size van segment. Out of the two, the Chevy Express full size van is the more popular option. It sells better than Savana by about three to one.
2000s: The upgrades on the Chevy Express
Some things changed for the Chevy Express since it was first released in the mid-1990s. One of the changes came after 2003, when the Chevy full-size van, along with the Savana, sported a front-end sheet metal similar to the ones used in GMT800 light trucks and SUVs. During this time, GM's most successful full-size van models were also equipped with LS engines, although not much had changed for the auto body. It was in 2004 when the Stability Control (Stabilitrak) feature was incorporated into passenger vans. The passenger models also got an upgraded interior in 2008. Side impact roof airbags then became a standard feature. The option for the full-size van included the 6.6 L Duramax Diesel V8 for 2006. Through the years, the engine of the full-size van had been upgraded. The 2008 Express 1500 Passenger Van and Work Van came equipped with the E85 Flexfuel Vortec 5.3L V8 engine.
Chevy Express Passenger Van, Cargo Vehicle, and Limited Edition Passenger Model
The Chevy Express came out with the cargo variety. This van is used as a work vehicle by plumbers and electricians, among others. With its cargo capacity, the vehicle is able to haul large-sized items and heavy stuff. In other countries, it was even used as an ambulance. A passenger van version of the Express was also rolled out. This vehicle is typically used as a tow vehicle and converted into a school bus, an ambulance, and a shuttle. The van has a seating capacity of 8 to 15 passengers.
The Chevy Express also released a limited edition passenger model called LT. This vehicle came with various media features such as the Bose sound system, flip down flat panel TV monitors, VCR, GM stereo system, CD, and cassette player. It's also equipped with leather seats, aluminum wheels, and extra trim. Unfortunately, around 2003, this model was discontinued.