2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van

2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View 2
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Dashboard 1

2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger And Cargo Van Review: Stone-Age Survivor

2023 Chevrolet Express passenger and cargo vans are so old that they have lived through five different US administrations since hitting the market in 1995. To say that these Chevy vans - and their GMC Savana twin - are thoroughly outdated in terms of refinement, tech, and safety would be a gross understatement. Yet many Americans love them for their honest-to-goodness simplicity, ruggedness, and reliability, not to mention strong payload and towing numbers. Two naturally aspirated gas engines - a 276-horsepower six-cylinder and a 401-horsepower V8 - give it the necessary performance credentials to get the biggest load to its destination without breaking a sweat, but it does so with none of the refinement or comfort of newer and more modern vans such as the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. There are signs that the ancient vans will soon be winding down their careers, but for now, you can still buy a brand-new Chevrolet Express Passenger or Cargo Van at a price that represents decent value. Is this enough to earn it a second look compared to its more modern and expensive rivals?


12 things to know before buying

New for 2023

The 2023 Express Passenger and Cargo van lineup undergoes no changes, except that the 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine is dropped from the range this year, leaving only the V6 and V8 gas engines. Along with the diesel engine, a few other diesel-only features disappear, notably the auxiliary heat generator that was part of the Cold Climate Package on the diesel, as well as the exhaust brake. The vans go on sale in the USA at a base price of $42,300 for the people-moving derivative and just over $38k for the simpler cargo hauler.

2023 Chevrolet Express Price: Which One to Buy

The price of the 2023 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 2500 WT starts at $38,100, followed by the 3500 WT at $41,200. Opting for the extended-wheelbase versions will cost an additional $1,900 on the former and $1,800 on the latter. Due to the fitment of seating rows and rear windows in order to transport passengers, the price of the 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van is significantly higher than the equivalent Cargo Van. The base 2500 LS costs $42,300, followed by the 3500 LS at $43,500, the 2500 LT at $44,400, and the 3500 LT at $45,200. The 3500 passenger models can be had with the extended wheelbase as well, adding $800 to the price of each. These prices are MSRP and exclude the $1,795 destination fee.

The Express is a rational purchase done with utilitarian ends in mind, so what you pick will solely depend on what you want to do with it. The cargo vans are all about cargo capacity, payload, and towing ability, so those numbers will determine which one you go for. The Passenger Van is a little more nuanced, and while the basic choices will still revolve around whether you need to seat 12 or 15 people, there are also the trim levels to consider. For a people mover, we wouldn't even look at the spartan LS and go straight for the LT. At least you get keyless entry, cloth front seats, carpets, and the few available driver assists (cruise control, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision alert) in the LT, which we regard as necessary in a passenger vehicle. The V6 engine is perfectly adequate, but the V8 is recommended if you are going to make use of the car's maximum payload and trailering abilities.

See All 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Trims

Best Deals on 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van

Interior and Features

The cabin is bare, with vinyl on the seats, hard plastics everywhere, and few features beyond power accessories and manual air-conditioning.

There's loads of space inside the Express, but it gives new meaning to basic transportation with vast slabs of workmanlike, hard plastics on the dashboard, vinyl on the seats, and rubber on the floor. It's a crude box on wheels made for hauling people and stuff, with little concession to comfort or refinement. The materials are cheap-looking but tough, and controls are haphazardly strewn about the cabin with little regard for sound ergonomics. The extended body gives you a choice of seating capacity, while the Cargo Van uses all the space that would ordinarily have gone to rear passengers to stow cargo, though you can't get as much into it as rivals with high-roof options.

There is no infotainment screen, so your backup camera's display sits in the rearview mirror, while only basic manual air-conditioning and power accessories are provided. The LT Passenger Van gets niceties such as carpeting, cloth, and an adjustable steering wheel (for tilt only, not reach). Various options and packages are available to improve the basic specifications, adding items such as power seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. The generous ground clearance of over nine inches makes for a comfortable step-in height for passengers.

2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Dashboard Chevrolet 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Cargo Room Chevrolet
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Dashboard
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Cargo Room
The interior is spartan and functional with not much in the way of comforts or conveniences.


Interior space is what it's all about in the Express, and there's plenty of it, with seats for up to 12 passengers in four rows in the regular-wheelbase body and an additional optional fifth row in the extended wheelbase, taking passenger capacity to 15. The rows are evenly spaced to give each the same amount of legroom, but there isn't a lot of it, and you sit rather upright, as is typical for a van, so this car makes more sense as a short-distance shuttle than a long-distance people mover. And there is no high-roof variant, so tall passengers will have to stoop as they make their way to the back, if they've were unlucky enough to have been relegated to the back row. The driver has a commanding view of the road, but their seating position is also upright and bus-like.

The Cargo Van offers space for two front-seat occupants only, but a three-seater second-row bench can be installed at a cost of around $2k to turn it into a five-seater crew van. Chevy doesn't say whether this second row offers the same legroom as the second row in the Passenger Van, but we presume it's similar.


Trunk space is vast, although rival high-roof vans offer more. In the regular-wheelbase Passenger Van, there is 92.1 cu-ft of trunk volume behind the fourth seating row. This grows to 127.2 cu-ft in the extended-wheelbase body, but installing a fifth seating row to obtain a 15-seater passenger capacity eats up a lot of that figure. Maximum cargo volume behind the driver's seat, with all the rear seats removed, amounts to 218.5 cu-ft or 255.5 cu-ft for the two body styles, respectively. Maximum payload capacity is 3,704 lbs, and that's for the regular-wheelbase 3500.

The Cargo Van offers even more volume, with the total available behind the first row being 239.4 cu-ft for the regular-wheelbase and 283.6 cu-ft for the extended-wheelbase body. While this is a lot, the biggest high-roof versions of the Chevy's rivals beat it by quite a bit more. Still, the maximum payload capacity for the Cargo Van here is 4,280 lbs for the regular-wheelbase 3500.

Chevrolet Express Passenger VanChevrolet Express Cargo VanMercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger VanMercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van
12-15 seater2-5 seater12 - 15 seater2-3 seater
40.85 in. front
38.42 in. rear
40.85 in. front
38.42 in. rear
47.3 in. front
47.3 in. front
41.35 in. front
36.3 in. rear
41.35 in. front
36.3 in. rear
38.9 in. front
38.9 in. front
Trunk Space
218. 5 ft³ - SWB
255.5 ft³ - EWB
239.4 ft³ - SWB
283.6 ft³ - EWB
70 - 116.6 ft³319 ft³ - SWB
430 ft³ - EWB
See Full Comparison

Materials and Colors

Strangely, only the more utilitarian Cargo Van offers you a choice of interior colors, not the Passenger Van. The LS Passenger Van only comes with a Medium Pewter (gray)/black interior, and the standard upholstery is vinyl, with rubberized flooring. The front seats can be upgraded to cloth upholstery, but this is accompanied by a deluxe center-console swing-out storage bin, adding a total of $255 to the bill. The LT is fitted with the cloth front seats and swing-out bin as standard.

The Cargo Van has only two vinyl-trimmed front seats, but besides the Medium Pewter, you can also have a Neutral (dark beige)/black interior. Cloth, in conjunction with the swing-out center console, is again optional but costs only $70 in the Cargo Van. A $185 leather-trimmed steering wheel can be had on any Express but comes with the Driver Convenience package if not already fitted, adding as much as $580 to the bill.

2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Passenger Seats Chevrolet 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Interior Rundown Chevrolet
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Passenger Seats
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Interior Rundown
The interior is utilitarian, with upright seats and no rear headrests, and limited legroom. Only the LT has carpeting.

Features and Infotainment

The list of standard features in the Express is a short one. At the base level, the LS Passenger Van with the regular wheelbase comes with manually adjustable front seats, vinyl upholstery, rubberized flooring, power windows and mirrors, 12 seats, and manual air-conditioning. The LT adds cloth front seats, floor carpeting, keyless entry, a swing-out center-console storage bin, and the Driver Convenience package, which comprises a tilt-adjustable steering column and cruise control. Various extras can be added to the 2500 LS, such as keyless entry, a tilting and/or leather-trimmed steering wheel, cruise control, and remote start, but some of these can only be had as part of a package and not separately. The 3500 LS's spec level is identical to that of the 2500 LS, except for the standard inclusion of the Driver Convenience package - but it's eligible for fewer extras and packages.

The Cargo Van comes in one WT spec level only, with essentially the same standard features as the 2500 LS Passenger Van. There are, of course, only two front seats and a window-less rear cargo hold for hauling goods, but a second-row three-seater bench can be specified. Any Express can be fitted with items such as six-way power front seats ($275 per side) or remote start ($300).

The same infotainment system is used in every Express. There is no touchscreen, just an MP3-capable and Wi-Fi hotspot-enabled AM/FM radio head unit with an auxiliary jack and two front-mounted speakers. You can add a USB port and two rear speakers for $150, and SiriusXM for $150 (includes a three-month Platinum Trial subscription), but adding Bluetooth will cost $235 because it also requires a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Gauge Cluster Chevrolet 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Central Console Chevrolet
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Gauge Cluster
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Central Console
There's no infotainment system, just a radio head unit with basic functions and two speakers.
2500 LS3500 LS3500 LT
Cloth front seats
Tilt-adjustable steering wheel
Manual air-conditioning
Keyless entry
2-speaker MP3 and Wi-Fi capable AM/FM radio
Compare Features Between All Trims


Performance is good, with torquey engines providing the right type of power for the job. The powerful V8 is better for towing heavy rigs, but the V6 is perfectly adequate for normal use - and more economical.

The optional high-torque 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine in last year's Chevrolet Express Passenger and Cargo van is no more, leaving only two naturally aspirated gas engines. The base engine is a 4.3-liter V6 with 276 hp and 298 lb-ft of torque, and the upgrade engine is a 6.6-liter Duramax V8 with 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque. The six-cylinder is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the V8 gets a heavy-duty six-speed automatic. GM dropped the Express' optional AWD drivetrain many years ago, so every 2023 model is rear-wheel drive only.

The manufacturer provides no figures for the Chevrolet Express Passenger or Cargo van's 0-60 sprint or top speed because these things are unimportant in a van. Suffice it to say there is enough torque to do any job, and the V6 is fine for normal use. If trailering is important, you're better off with the V8. If you need to tow a big rig, it does so effortlessly and also offers the highest towing capacity in the lineup - up to 9,600 pounds in 3500 configuration with the regular wheelbase.

Going for a drive will remind you of yesteryear's vans of nearly 30 years ago because that's what the Express is. Time doesn't seem to have moved on for it, and its ride is noisy and unrefined by modern van standards. It's harsh when running empty and only settles down with a load on board, absorbing bumps better but still sending shivers and echoes through the structure when hitting ruts and ridges at speed. The steering is slow, it wanders in crosswinds (no new-fangled crosswind assist here!), and it leans in corners, generally feeling as big, heavy, and cumbersome as it is. Come to terms with its limitations, and you'll enjoy it for its strengths. The powerful V8 seems unperturbed by load or gradient and just gets on with the job, and the brakes feel perfectly up to the job, providing progressive retardation and decent stopping power within the limits of the commercial-grade tires. If you need refinement, you're barking up the wrong tree and will be better off with a Sprinter or Transit.

2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Front View Driving Chevrolet 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View Chevrolet
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Front View Driving
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View
The unladen ride is harsh, the handling ponderous, and directional stability at speed poor, but the Express is good at hauling and towing.

Fuel Efficiency

The discontinued diesel engine offered good gas mileage and was capable of over 20 mpg, but this year, only big-capacity gas engines remain, so the 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger and Cargo van's mpg figures are predictably terrible. There aren't any EPA estimates for big vans of this ilk, but owners' reports suggest that the V6's fuel consumption varies between 14 and 19 mpg, while the V8 will return in the region of 12-15 mpg on average. At least the huge 31-gallon fuel capacity ensures a decent range, but what you'll get will depend very much on your usage pattern. Towing with the V8 will see you dip into single-digit mpg numbers, limiting your range to 300 miles or less.

4.3L V6 Gas
8-speed Automatic
6.6L V8 Gas
6-speed Automatic
276 hp401 hp
Top speed
14-19 mpg overall12-15 mpg overall


Only the bare minimum of safety features are fitted, and you have to opt for the LT or pay extra to get driver assists such as forward-collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-departure warning.

As is typical for large vans, there is no NHTSA or IIHS safety review of either the Chevrolet Express Passenger Van or Cargo Van, but it's safe to assume that they meet few of the modern crash-test criteria, having been designed in the early '90s. They come with six airbags, and the federally mandated ABS, stability control, tire-pressure monitoring, and a backup camera are included, but the base LS Passenger Van and WT Cargo Van have nothing more than that.

With no infotainment screen, the backup camera's image is relayed via the rearview mirror, and Chevy has also built a self-dimming feature into it. This, hill-start assist, and automatic halogen headlights are the only driver assists to speak of. The 3500 LS adds cruise control, while the LT Passenger trims additionally get forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning. Blind-spot monitoring is a $395 optional feature on any Express. The Safety Package containing cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors is available on 2500 LSs and WTs at over $3k.

2500 LS3500 LS3500 LT
6 airbags
Cruise control
Forward-collision alert
Lane-departure warning
Blind-spot monitoring

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating


JD Power has insufficient data to rate the reliability of the Chevrolet Express Passenger and Cargo van, but if their recall history is anything to go by, the vans are dependable - not too surprising, considering Chevrolet has had decades to sort out any recurring problems. So far, the 2022 and 2023 models have been recall-free. The last Express that was recalled was the 2021 model, for a battery terminal that may short circuit and for tire failure.

The 2023 Chevrolet Express' Passenger and Cargo vans' warranty is average for the class, with the basic and corrosion warranties' cover being valid for three years/36,000 miles, but the powertrain warranty extends to five years/60,000 miles. Complimentary scheduled maintenance is included for the first year of ownership.


  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2023 Warranty \ 
  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit


The Chevrolet Express wasn't so much styled as made for purpose. It's a nondescript snub-nosed box with drab 16-inch steel wheels, but thanks to the fact that it's been plying American roads for nearly thirty years, it's instantly recognizable and as much a part of the local landscape as anything else Millennials can remember, because it's been around longer than them. Only a few paint colors are available, and the only obvious difference between the LS and LT trims is the Chrome Appearance package, which replaces some of the black exterior trim.

The silver steel wheels can be painted white for $25, and chromed center caps can be had for $60. Molded assist steps are available too, and some of the Chrome Appearance package's elements can be ordered separately, like the chrome bumpers and grille. The passenger-side cargo door swings out, but it can be replaced with a sliding door for $195. Dual halogen headlights are fitted, without a hope for anything more modern, such as HID or LED technology.

2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Front Angle View Chevrolet 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View 1 Chevrolet 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Forward View Chevrolet 2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Frontal Aspect Chevrolet
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Front Angle View
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View 1
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Forward View
2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Frontal Aspect
The Express looks starkly functional, with no concessions to aesthetics or style, and its enduring profile cuts a familiar figure on American roads.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Chevrolet Express A Good Van?

The Chevrolet Express is now so old and outdated that it can no longer be described as a good van. Even if all considerations regarding aesthetics and driving pleasure are thrown out the window, its rivals still beat it on various fronts. The Express lacks the AWD options of competitors and their high-roof bodies while being significantly worse to drive and not even offering as much as a rudimentary infotainment display. No, its strengths lie in its robust construction, simple naturally aspirated engines, excellent tow ratings, and an established reputation - and let's not forget the reassuring sense of familiarity that comes from it being such a ubiquitous sight on our roads.

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