KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/18/2012
When it comes to moving big payloads, few vehicles are as up to the task as the full size 2013 Chevrolet Express Van. Dressed for passenger service, the Express Van crushes the largest of SUVs, providing seating for up to 15 people. Switch to the cargo van and the Express Van offers up a massive 285-cubic-foot cargo hold. It also can be outfitted as a rolling workstation. The 2013 Chevy Express Van also makes for a pretty nice conversion van. Knowing that no matter what the mission, the Express Van will need to be prepared, Chevrolet has given its van a beefed-up suspension, available extended-length cabs, a choice of gasoline or diesel engines and even the option of all-wheel drive (AWD).
You'll Like This Car If...
If you need a van that can handle multiple tasks and take a beating, a front-drive converted minivan with a V6 isn't going to cut it. Chevrolet designed the Express Van with the sole purpose of moving big payloads, be they passengers or cargo.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you need a vehicle that is maneuverable in small spaces and doesn't need to hold more than eight passengers, a minivan or an SUV makes a better choice. Those who use their van as a mobile workshop might find the taller cabins of the Nissan NV or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter a better fit.
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Chevy Express Van now offers an available navigation system, rearview camera and rear park assist.
With only 195 horsepower on hand, the Chevy's 2013 Express Cargo Van's V6 engine might offer the best fuel economy on paper, but we're willing to bet that the amount of work this engine has to do to keep a fully loaded van moving will likely return figures more in line with the more powerful and preferable 310-horsepower 5.3-liter V8. Of course, really big jobs are best tackled either by the 6.0-liter V8 engine or the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8. With its 525 lb-ft of torque, there isn't much that Duramax can't haul, and its longevity and reliability will likely appeal to fleet managers trying to get the most out of their investments. On a 3500 model with the Duramax engine, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is 9,900 pounds with a 9,700-pound tow rating.
SIDE ACCESS DOORS
The Chevy Express Van's side doors provide easy access to the cargo area without having to climb in from the back.
Consider the 2013 Express Van to be a jack-of-all-trades, one that can carry up to 15 people, boasts 284.4 cubic feet of cargo space, and tows up to 9,900 pounds.
In its purest form, the Chevy Express Van for 2013 is a 2-person rig with a massive metal cave residing behind the very supportive high-back front bucket seats. An empty canvas, the Express Van's cargo bay can be configured by any aftermarket customizer, or by taking advantage of Chevy's many option packages that include flip-up access panels that allow easy access from outside the van to the rack-mounted tools inside. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Express Passenger Van that allows for such luxuries as power windows, additional seating, carpet, navigation, rear air conditioning and Bluetooth.
Let's face it, when the ultimate interior configuration of a vehicle is basically a giant elongated cube, there's not a whole lot of leeway for shaping the exterior. Still, Chevy has modernized its big van with rounded corners, high-mounted taillights and stylish truck-like wheels. The 2013 Chevy Express Van's grille may be its most ornate feature, resembling the trademark look that adorns Chevy's big pickup trucks. Door options include sliding or split swing-out side doors, and split rear doors with or without windows. Handy exterior accessories include a roof-mounted ladder rack, roof-rack cross-rail system, and mud flaps.
Notable Standard Equipment
Listed among the Chevrolet Express Cargo Van's standard features are a V6 engine, vinyl flooring and upholstery, air conditioning, a step-up rear bumper and manually operated exterior mirrors. Frills are not part of the deal, though the Passenger Van does jazz things up some, with a V8 engine and cloth seats. All 2013 Chevy Express models are equipped with stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and dual front airbags. Passenger vans features side-curtain airbags covering the first three rows.
Notable Optional Equipment
Creature comforts are not what you'd call plentiful on the 2013 Chevy Express Van, so shoppers will need to look to the options list if they want power windows and door locks or, if they're really feeling crazy, a radio. There are also choices of engines, light-duty (Express 1500) or heavy-duty (Express 2500 and 3500) models, body lengths and various packages. Some of the more noteworthy options include navigation, a rearview camera, rear park assist, Bluetooth connectivity and the most recent version of OnStar.
Under the Hood
If fuel economy is a primary concern, a 2013 Chevrolet Express 1500 Cargo Van equipped with the base 4.3-liter V6 is a buyer's best choice. That 6-cylinder is expected to average 20 mpg on the highway, but with 195 horsepower, it's not exactly a powerhouse. Though less efficient, the Express Van's four available V8s promise to get most any job done with up to 324 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque. There is also a CNG (compressed natural gas) conversion for the 6.0-liter gasoline engine that includes hardened valve seats and a special 3-tank fuel-tank configuration. The 3500 vans can be equipped with stump-pulling power of the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel.
195 horsepower @ 4,600 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 mpg
280 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
296 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17 mpg
310 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
334 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 mpg
324 horsepower @ 4,600 rpm
373 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/16 mpg
6.0-liter V8 CNG
279 horsepower @ 4,700 rpm
320 lb-ft or torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
6.6-liter turbocharged diesel V8
260 horsepower @ 3,100 rpm
525 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
Chevrolet has set the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2013 Express Van at just over $25,000 for the base model and nearly $50,000 for a fully loaded version. Prices are always changing, so before agreeing to a deal, make sure to check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to determine what buyers in your area are actually paying. Over time, the 2013 Chevrolet Express Van is expected to hold its value better than its major competitor, the Ford E-Series van, but faces a still unknown challenge from the new Nissan NV.