"Bought new in 2001, now has 104K miles. It's needed lots of repairs and parts over the years, so be prepared and have a good mechanic. Replaced or repaired: front wheel bearings, multiple fan belts, two water pumps, fuel pump (inside gas tank, big $ to repair), head gaskets, AC lines (multiple times), radiator failed/replaced, door handles reparied multiple times, brake light problems (electrical), rusting/frozen door hinges. Bottom line: too problems that cost $ to repair, but thats how GM's are if you keep them too long."
Pros: "you can accessorize and not feel it is a waste."
Cons: "GPM, light wiring, tire balancing"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"A mechanic gave me a list of things in sequential order that will go wrong with the van. When the tranny goes it is time to get rid of it. Do not let the oil change people put in the wrong antifreeze it will cost you $700 for new seals, The driver seat goes so start looking for a seat. This is a cargo van and either seat will work on either side. Just eliminate the arm rest. Rust occurrs at the bottom of each door. The steering wheel got chewed up so fix every small tear early. GPM is about 16-18. I wanted a larger or a second gas tank for long trips. Rides very well full or empty, fast or slow. I put 4 studded snows and went EVERYWHERE during the previous year with too much snow. Trailer package with trailer having the brakes worked out very well and hauled on occassion shingle trailers with that small 8 cylinder engine. When the van is totally empty, the pedal to the metal occurrs frequently as it really goes. The tranny had an eight year clunk glitch and it finally went. No park, no reverse so it'll cost $1300 and now at 14 years old $1300 is all it is worth via Blue Book. Had a stray current the last few years so it lets you know when you get out of the van. Ignition electronic part on top of engine went a month ago and was a cheap fix. Remember to change the tranny fluid. The water pump was changed out.The rest was normal maintenance. It is a 3/4 ton van and it hauled so many tools it squatted the 80# tires for 6 out of 8 years. Pulled a 1.5 ton trailer without brakes."
"After many years in home remodeling and using many trucks and vans of various vintages, I ordered this 2003 Express 2500 cargo van new and waited 4 weeks for the best van ever ! She is loaded with options , very reliable , no problems and a pleasure to own and drive. The 5300 V8 delivers 19 mpg on the highway loaded with cargo and air conditioning operating-- not bad for a full size van. I tow a trailer effortlessly. The Michelin tires make this van handle like a dream at highway speeds . I now have 123,000 miles on this one and ready to sell to a lucky buyer. I am however a little dissapointed in the resale value. I am selling due to upcoming surgery and being forced into another line of work so my need for a van is greatly decreased. Otherwise I would keep this one forever. My 1998 Astro was a piece of junk and I replaced it with a gem. If you are in the market , take my advise and buy a 2500 not a 1500 , get a V8 , AND BUY A 2003 OR NEWER. There were many mechanical advances introduced with the 2003 model year which you will benefit from in terms of servicing or should I say not servicing because nothing breaks down or wears out now including brakes. At 123,000 miles I still have the ORIGINAL brakes with 30% wear left ! I replaced brakes on that lousy Astro every year ! Great vehicle and I hate to see it go !!"
Cons: "high fuel prices- gets about 15 hwy miles/gallon"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This Chevy Van is the longest lasting vehicle I have ever owned. I am a contractor and boater. I needed a vehicle with powerful towing capabilities and the Chevy Express delivered. I have had no major mechanical problems, only general maintenance and normal wear and tear work. I have no complaints. I would purchase this vehicle again. If you're on the fence between two vehicles, you won't regret the investment in this model Chevy."
"Good vehicle overall. It's not bad to maintain. Most parts are readily available and reasonably priced. Seat fabric is durable and cleans up well. Plastic door panels and trim become brittle and break over time. Plastic used is ABS plastic, I recommend using ABS pipe cement to make repairs (works well). The paint on this vehicle has held up fairly well, but it has been maintained (waxed, washed, polished regularly). It's a big vehicle and requires extra care when driving, especially at freeway speeds, because of it's size and handling. If you normally drive over the speed limit, don't buy this vehicle, it doesn't handle high speed maneuvers very well. The ride is decent and is comfortable to travel in. It isn't very convenient to park or maneuver in most parking lots. It tows reasonably sized trailers well. Handling in snow without decent tires or tire chains is like riding a pregnant elephant on a roller skate."
"I LOVE my van. I own the 3500 15 passenger with a 6.0L V8. Fun to drive. Great visibility. Superb acceleration. Very reliable. Great traction. Very comfortabe. Great styling. Smooth ride. Great acceleration. Great van."
"I was given this van for work replacing our Dodge Vans. I can honestly say that the van is styled well. Engineers must have been service work oriented on this design. It is comfortable, has plenty of power for a V6, and rides well. I can even haul my boat with it after work and get more out of it. Goes great in the snow as well. My only complaint is the side doors need a better design on the hinges, have to oil weekly to keep them moving freely."
"This is a great truck. Had mine since 2005 (it is a 2002)and it had 30000 miles on it when I bought it. The inside is more comfortable than you would think but it is not the most manueverable in smaller spaces. It is great on gas gets 15 to 17 miles to the gallon but the tank is huge so when you do fill up all the way it will take a dent out of your wallet. I am a DJ and I haul light to heavy loads of lighting and sound equipment and this truck is used 5 days a week so it gets used hard. Jobs can sometimes be out of state and I can't tell you how much of an improvement this is from our last couple vans we had. I do not have to worry about it breaking down which is a big load of my mind. Don't get me wrong you still have the normal stuff just not the major stuff. It is not the greatest truck on wet grass or mud or ice or snow but as long as you have good tires and don't let them get bold you will do fine."
"I bought this van to use for my flooring installation business. It has about 75000K on it. Really like the extended wheelbase. The 6.0 engine has really got some power. I have hauled materials weighing over 4000 lbs with it, no problem for this 1 ton. It gets about 14 mpg in daily use. I took a 1700 mile trip and the gas mileage jumped to 16.9 running 75 mph most of the time. This is my 4th work van over the last 20 years, and it is the best so far."
"This is my second 15 passenger G3500 Express van. I'm in the market for my third, because they have been so reliable and handle so well as compared to the equivalent Ford vans I'd used previously.
With over sixty thousand miles on this one I've had no malfunctions and only routine maintenance expenses. Winter starting is completely reliable, even in the cold weather of Alaska.
"I have owned two of these (2003) and (2008). My current 08 has 168000 miles and the only mechanical issue was at 165000 miles with a water pump. Mileage is low at 13.5 mpg but that was expected. We take this vehicle on family vacations every summer and put on about 30,000 miles per year. Great vehicle!"
"We bought this van used with 14k miles. We retrofitted it to haul dirtbikes and gear to the pro motocross races around the country. I built a middle section sleeper area. This van has been a good and reliable vehicle. We put an additional 73k miles on it and the only maintenance, other than tires, was the front wheel bearing assemblies, on both sides, had to be replaced. They were bone dry of grease. Not a hard job to do. I would much rather have a type with zerk fittings so this would not occur. Very solid van with okay mileage for its size, about 16mpg, loaded, at 70 mph. The big brakes are great! Front and rear discs will stop you QUICK! Comfortable seats help a lot on the long drives."
"great for hauling people, the more you have the more comfortable the ride. You can't easily convince adults that it is a 15 passenger van, but with a mix of kids, it can be done. So far so good on the reliablity."
Pros: "I know it's not stylist, but very practiable."
Cons: "Not many cup holders, only two on console."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my fifth Chevy van. The curent model,with 120K miles is a 3500 w/a 6.0l gas engine. We use it for long distance vacations,towing,and moving any thing we need to. A lot of room with the seats out.Never had a problem. I get 18 mpg driving at 65mph. Great for what we use it for."
"Don't usually like writing reviews, but the Chevy Express is the exception. We have owned about 15 Express vans from in the 1500 and 2500 series from 2006 to 2011, and there isn't a more durable cargo van this size anywhere.
Occasionally we'll have the occasional water pump go out or wheel bearings need replacing. One of our express vans has gone 200,000 miles without major problems or without even changing the spark plugs. From the time they're new (to us) we only use synthetic fluid, and continue proper maintenance.
Alignments have been our only real complaint. They weren't properly aligned from the factory and have difficulty keeping a couple of them aligned.
"Runs great, plenty of power.Versatile for passengers, camping and hauling. AC has gone out twice. Plastic gas tank cracked had to be replaced. Cd player has broke twice. Gas gauge and dash lights don't work. Wish it had a grab bar for passengers."
"We purchaased the van in 2001 with about 8500 miles on it from a local dealer for our new family of five kids aged 7-13. The dealer fixed a faulty fuse in the first week, but other than that it has run flawlessly. It's had regulary service and oil changes (including brakes and tires) and we've never had a single mechanical failure. No engine, tranny, drive train or electrical problems, The A/C and heating have all run well with no failures. It can take a few minutes to heat up in the winter. The interior has gotten dirty (five kids) but all fabrics have held up very well and no tears or worn spots in the carpet. Having both the front and rear air controls has been important as the front cools off but the back can be stuffy. We've hauled teams and their gear, moved households, etc. with no problems. In town gas mileage has consistently been 10mpg with 12 on the highway."
"I still have my 2000 3500 cargo, with only 70,000 miles. I bought it new in 2001 as a leftover. It was invoice minus $2000 from chevy (to get it off the lot) and another $2700 off from using my GM card. I liked it so much that I kept it after closing up my business. It is excellent to tow with and I've come close to it's maximum 10,000lbs limit. It loves to tow and it seems the heavier the load the better it drives! The locking rear has got me out of quite a few slippery places. The only thing that I really hate is the anti lock brakes. Some day I'll remember to see how it stops if I pull the anti lock fuse. Note that I hate anti lock brakes in general, not just on this vehicle."
"these are all subject to the same issues as the gm trucks ie intake gaskets fuel pumps leaky coolant lines and ac (rear units) and most costly TRANSMISSIONS and they will eat one every 100k or less and the intake will go at @ 80k or so miles
if you can deal with the above issues they are workhorses you can count on
and alot more van for the buck than its comp fords dodge ect"
"I HAVE OWNED SEVERAL OF THE 3500 EXPRESS CARGO VANS . I AVERAGE AROUND TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND MILES ON THESE VANS WITH VERY LITTLE PROBLEMS.I USE SYNTHETIC OIL BY CASTROL AND CHANGE IT EVERY 45HUNDRED MILES.IF YOU SERVICE THEM AS YOU SHOULD ,ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS DRIVE THEM AND THEY WILL PAY FOR IT SELF."