New 2018 Chevrolet Express 3500 Cargo Van/Minivan New 2018
Chevrolet Express 3500 Cargo Van/Minivan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

While every other manufacturer updated its work vans years ago, the 2018 Chevrolet Express van soldiers on in the same skin it has been wearing for the past 15 years. Unlike the Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster and Nissan NV, the Express Cargo and Passenger vans don’t offer an extended roof or a standing-room cargo bay, but they still offer a number of desirable traits including the ability to carry up to 15 passengers or tow up to 10,000 pounds. Available in two wheelbases and configured as the 2500 or 3500, the Express van’s capabilities are rarely in question. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, there is no all-wheel-drive option, but the Express does offer a potent 6.0-liter V8. It’s also well-known to upfitters and fleet managers nationwide.


You'll Like This Van/Minivan If...

If you’re looking for a tough work van with a proven history, the 2018 Chevrolet Express van is hard to beat. Its powerful engine lineup can handle just about any chore, and should it need repair, just about any ASE certified mechanic could handle the job.

You May Not Like This Van/Minivan If...

If you need a van that can also serve as a rolling workshop, a tall-roofline model like the Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster or Nissan NV makes a better choice. Looking for great fuel economy and the option of all-wheel drive? A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter makes for a pricey substitute.

What's New for 2018

For 2018, the Chevy Express van gets a new 4.3-liter V6 as its base engine mated to a new 8-speed transmission. A rearview monitor is now standard, while side-blind-zone alert and hill-start assist are new options. A few new option packages round out the changes of note.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Spending time behind the wheel of a 2018 Chevrolet Express van conjures up a nostalgic feeling reminiscent of driving an older pickup truck. The ride can be bouncy at times, although it settles down when the road does the same. The Express’ turning radius isn’t as tight as rival vans from Ford and Ram, and its cornering abilities are far from confidence-inspiring. Those who drive a van for a living won’t find any of these conclusions eye-opening. What matters most is the Express van’s strong V8 and diesel-engine options, easily configurable cargo bay and standard-height roof that takes the worry out of accessing areas with low clearance. The Express Passenger van can hold up to 15 people, but its seats lack the safety-oriented head restraints and armrests commonly found on its newer, European-inspired rivals. 

Favorite Features

6.0-LITER V8
While the new 4.3-liter V6 can handle light chores, those with big needs will want a big engine, and the Express’ 6.0-liter V8 is about as big as they come. Be it 15 passengers or a cargo van full of tools and equipment, the Express van’s V8 has the horsepower and torque to get the job done.

This new optional safety feature comes in handy, especially on vans without side glass. A flashing icon in the sideview mirror alerts the driver to vehicles or objects that may be hiding in the van’s blind spot.

Vehicle Details


The 2018 Chevy Express is a vehicle for serious work, and the interior reflects that. Cargo versions provide reasonably comfortable seats for the driver and one passenger, and the rest is a big box waiting whatever can fit inside. The Express Crew option adds seating for a total of five passengers. Many Express owners head straight to the appropriate upfitter, where the interior can be configured to suit practically any need. The Passenger version can be equipped more sumptuously, if “sumptuous” fits in the van world, with enough seating for up to 15 people across four rows, carpeting and rear air conditioning.


Chevy’s Express, in either Cargo or Passenger versions, has been around for years and its shape is a familiar one. It’s a box with rounded corners and is not unattractive; in fact, it looks about as good as might be reasonably expected. Even though the vast majority of Expresses on the road are white, it is actually available in several colors. Exterior differentiations are few, but include sliding or split swing-out side doors and rear doors with or without windows. Obviously, Passenger models have windows along both sides, and a passenger-side sliding door is available on both versions of the van.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2018 Chevy Express van puts function far above frills, but at its most basic does include power windows and door locks and air conditioning. Workmen can finally enjoy some tunes thanks to a standard AM/FM stereo with auxiliary input. Like other GM vehicles, OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity are fitted standard, a boon for operators who need mobile Internet connectivity. Base Express Passenger models include seating for 12 (15 in extended length). All models have stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and dual front airbags. Passenger vans feature side-curtain airbags covering the first three rows.

Notable Optional Equipment

If you want anything beyond the 4-wheeled transportation-and-cargo module that's the basic 2018 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van, you'll have to hit the option list. Luckily, it's pretty long. You can get navigation, Bluetooth, and backup sensors and blind-zone alert, plus the most recent version of OnStar Commercial Link. There are also choices of a larger gasoline V8 or 4-cylinder turbodiesel, standard- or extended-body lengths, and various option packages. Passenger versions start with a higher equipment level than Cargo models, but otherwise the option packages are largely the same.

Under the Hood

The base engine for the 2018 Chevrolet Express van is a new 4.3-liter V6 that puts out 276 horsepower and 298 lb-ft of torque. For carrying heavier cargo, or for more strenuous work, there’s the optional 6.0-liter V8 with 341 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque. This engine can also be outfitted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). Lastly, there is a 2.8-liter inline 4-cylinder turbodiesel generating an impressive 369 lb-ft of torque. All models are rear-wheel drive and use either a 6-speed automatic transmission (V8) or 8-speed unit (V6 and diesel). Neither of the gasoline engines is very fuel-efficient, one reason fresher, easier-to-drive cargo vans like the Mercedes-Benz Metris are drawing new customers. Then again, rival vans with smaller engines can't tow up to 10,000 pounds.

2.8-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
181 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

4.3-liter V6
276 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
298 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

6.0-liter V8
341 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
373 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/16 mpg


Pricing Notes

A 2018 Chevy Express Cargo van has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $32,500, while a base Passenger model starts at just under $35,000. The 2.8-liter diesel adds a cool $4,000 to the bottom line. At these prices, Chevy's full-size van starts slightly higher than the new Mercedes-Benz Metris and is in line with the Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit. It is several thousand higher than the full-size Nissan NV and around $10,000 beyond the Chevy City Express, a smaller cargo van based on the Nissan NV200 that is better-suited for light-duty work. Not surprisingly, the Chevy Express' pricing nearly mirrors that of its GMC sibling, the Savana. Before buying, check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new van. The Express' resale value is predicted to be higher than the Ford Transit and is on par with the Nissan NV.

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