Generations of Americans have known the Chevy cargo van in one form or another, but the 2020 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van, still in its first generation, has been around for ages - since 1996. This means you get a trusted platform that bodes well for reliability, but it also means that competitors such as the Ford Transit have progressed to a point where the Express looks ancient. The only real upgrades over the years have been the engines, and for this year, under the hood, you get either a standard 4.3-liter V6, a 2.8-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder, or the option of a powerful 6.0-liter V8 engine that develops 341 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque. This endows the Express Cargo Van with an impressive maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds and a payload capacity of up to 4,503 lbs, but that's about it. Considering the price of the 2020 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van is within a few thousand dollars of the established segment elite, can the dearth of tech, safety, and modern refinement be overcome by a big ol' US-style V8? Unfortunately not; it's time to step up your game Chevrolet.
Unsurprisingly, the now-ancient Express Cargo Van enters yet another year with no significant changes. In fact, it may be even more basic than it has been in the past. Several optional features are no longer offered compared to what was available for 2019, such as the 6.5-inch touchscreen, and some changes are seen in the availability of the standard exterior paint selection, varying from dealer to dealer.
See trim levels and configurations:
There are three engine options on offer providing varying levels of performance. The standard motor is a naturally-aspirated 4.3-liter V6 developing 276 hp and 298 lb-ft and towing up to 7,400 lbs. Power from the gasoline 6-cylinder is sent to a rear-wheel drive system via an 8-speed automatic transmission. The second option is a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel inline-4, developing 181 hp, and a range-topping 369 lb-ft. This engine allows the Express to carry its maximum payload figure of 4,503 lbs. Finally, we get the 6.0-liter V8 engine which develops 341 hp and 373 lb-ft and can be run on gasoline or CNG. Paired to a 6-speed heavy-duty transmission, this is the model with the best hauling capacity, towing up to 10,000 lbs.
The 2020 Express Cargo Van gets a few things right; its range of powertrains is impressive - we're big fans of the 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine - and it offers a solid towing capacity. Additionally, the vehicle has been around for ages, so reliability issues have been ironed out, but that's where the glowing recommendations stop. Chevrolet has invested very little in keeping this cargo hauler updated, and competitors such as the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster Cargo not only offer better features and tech but destroy it in terms of cargo capacity by an embarrassing 100 cubic feet in some instances. It seems that Chevrolet has forgotten about the Express Cargo Van but has remembered to update the pricing. For the money, its competitors offer way more of everything, and the best conclusion we can come to in our review of the 2020 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van is to look elsewhere unless you're getting a seriously sweet deal.
The Chevrolet Express Cargo Van was built to carry and haul things, so your choice will most likely boil down to engine and body sizes, and that is ultimately your call. There's no difference between the 2500 and 3500 in terms of features, but the 2500 is offered with a few more optional extras. The 3500 WT provides more cargo space, and the V8 option allows you to haul 10,000 lbs. The regular wheelbase van equipped with the diesel engine can carry up to 4,503 lbs.
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Check out some informative Chevrolet Express Cargo Van video reviews below.