2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Review: A Modern Relic

by Aiden Eksteen

A lot happened in 1995, with movies such a Waterworld, Toy Story, and Pocahontas all being brought to the silver screen, it was the year of the Mexican bailout, and it was the year in which OJ Simpson was pronounced not guilty. It was also the year in which the Chevrolet Express Passenger van joined the world, and while most manufacturers tend to update and replace their passenger haulers over time, Chevy has seemingly forgotten about the Express altogether in its 25 year history. Sure, there have been a few engine updates along the way, leaving us with gasoline V6 and V8s today developing up to 341 horsepower, and there's a nifty 181-hp turbo-diesel too, but that's a band-aid on an amputated leg as the big bruising Express battles on into its 26th year. It wouldn't all be so bad if other passenger vans were approaching the same age, but with new Ford Transits and Mercedes-Benz Sprinters to contend with, the Chevrolet Express is better off dying hard with a vengeance… yet another thing that's been around as long as the Express.

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Express Passenger Van?

There have been no enhancements or alterations made to the Express Passenger Van for the 2020 model year, so in the deepest sense of the phrase, it's work as usual for the Chevy Express Passenger Van.

Pros and Cons

  • Good old fashioned workhorse engines
  • Numerous body configurations
  • Decent selection of driver assists
  • High maximum payload and towing capacities
  • Likely to last another 25 years without breaking
  • The cabin design is considerably outdated
  • Infotainment system is tacky and behind the times
  • Not very frugal
  • Clumsy handling dynamics

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LS 2500
4.3-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$36,400
LT 2500
4.3-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$36,400
LS 3500
4.3-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$37,600
LT 3500
4.3-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$37,600

Express Passenger Van Exterior

Like most, if not all vans, the Express Passenger Van isn't really much to look at: it's essentially a metal box riding on 16-inch steel wheels and with Solar-Ray deep-tinted enhanced-tech glass, swing-out rear cargo doors, and swing-out passenger side rear doors. Offering a rather plain and unadorned profile, the Express Passenger Van has prominent bumpers and a front grille that seems a little dated. All models are fitted with dual-halogen composite headlights with daytime running lights, and while the LS trims feature black exterior constituents, the LT trims features a chrome exterior appearance package, comprising the grille and the front and rear lower fascia.

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Front Angle View Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View 1 Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Exterior Photos

Dimensions

In the regular wheelbase configuration, there's 135.2 inches between the axles, and the Express Passenger Van spans 224 inches in overall length. It's 84.5-84.7 inches in height, and 79.25 inches in width. A solid 20 inches gets added to the overall length of the van with the extended wheelbase configuration optioned on, which has a wheelbase measurement of 155.1 inches. As the lightest trim, the RWB 2500 LS presents a curb weight of 5,830 lbs, while the heaviest trim, the LWB 3500 LT presents a curb weight of 6,169 lbs when equipped with the 6.0-liter V8.

  • Length 224.0 in
  • Wheelbase 135.2 in
  • Height 84.5 in
  • Max Width 79.3 in

Express Passenger Van Performance

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Front View Driving Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Gauge Cluster Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Engine Chevrolet

Engine and Transmission

Three engine options, all competent and refined in performance, are available for any trim of the Express Passenger Van. The base engine is a 4.3-liter V6 with outputs of 276 hp and 298 lb-ft, it's coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission by default. While this powertrain serves the van well, confidently propelling it around and delivering smooth gear shifts, the V8 engine is the arresting heavy hitter. The 6.0-liter V8 is available in standard format or tweaked for Flex Fuel use with ethanol and CNG, but in either form it produces 341 hp and 373 lb-ft, sending it earthward via a six-speed heavy-duty auto gearbox. The final option is a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel four-pot that cedes 181 hp and 369 lb-ft through the eight-speed auto as well. Though lower in horsepower, it's a potent hauler nonetheless, and is also the most frugal engine, albeit at the expense of towing capability. The V6 engine avails a 6,700-pound maximum towing capacity, the V8 a 9,600-pound max, and the turbo-diesel a 6,300 max tow capacity.

  • Engines
    2.8-liter Turbo Inline-4 Diesel, 4.3-liter V6 Gas, 6.0L V8 Vortec®, 6.0-liter V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

As one can imagine, a large, metal lunch-tin on tiny 16-inch wheels isn't going to be very plush or maneuverable on the road; its expansive size and heft are expected encumbrances to its ride quality and handling dynamics. Even so, its strapping powertrain propels it around easily and predictably, with controlled and smooth acceleration. Its steering is sloppy and excessively vague, however, but that's something typical to the class. Considering the van's dimensions and impressive maximum towing capacities, its brakes perform admirably, delivering effective stopping power and with responses that are easy to modulate.

There's plenty body roll exhibited around turns and the van definitely feels top-heavy, with little capability at speed. Fortunately, considering its purpose for routine passenger hauling, it probably won't ever be driven around any corners very fast, which is probably for the best. Despite all this, its suspension still manages to properly dampen most minor road abrasions and common undulations, however, larger obstacles will have to be taken cautiously. It's a firm ride, but with a few passengers onboard the heavy duty suspension tends to soak things up decently, even if road noise echoes through the cabin tremendously.

Express Passenger Van Gas Mileage

Ultimately, gas mileage from the Express Passenger Van will differ substantially depending on what powertrain is in play, the chosen wheelbase configuration, and how much payload is on board or in tow. For some insight, the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel mill with the eight-speed auto gearbox is supposedly the most frugal composition, with real-world reports suggesting mileage return of 15 mpg combined. With the 6.0-liter V8 mill and the six-speed auto gearbox, drivers claim a combined mileage figure of 14 mpg. The Express Passenger Van comes equipped with a 31-gallon gas tank, regardless of the powertrain, trim, or wheelbase configuration, availing the van with an average range of around 465 miles on a full tank of gas.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    31.0 Gallons
* 2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van RWD 2500 135" LT

Express Passenger Van Interior

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Dashboard Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Central Console Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Steering Wheel Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Regular wheelbase models are equipped with seating for up to 12 passengers, but the extended wheelbase models are afforded enough room for an entire additional row of seating, expanding seating capacity to 15. Unfortunately, there are no high-roof configurations available for the van, which means taller occupants will have to endure some hunkering down while searching for a seat. Legroom also becomes considerably cramped from behind the second-row seats though, meaning the Express would perhaps best be used as a short distance shuttle rather than a long-distance passenger commuter. The driver and front passenger, on the other hand, are given plenty of room and the driver is positioned with a commanding view of the road ahead, even if the seating position is a bit rudimentary and truck-like.

  • Seating capacity
    12-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.4 in
  • Front Head Room 40.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.3 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.4 in

Express Passenger Van Trunk and Cargo Space

With seating for up to 12 or 15 passengers, it's good to know that there's plenty of cargo room offered in the Express Passenger Van. Behind the rear-most seats in the regular wheelbase model, there's a suitable 92.1 cubes of cargo room, and the extended-wheelbase model boasts an expansive 127.2 cubes of cargo room, which is diminished significantly, however, with the 15 passenger seating configuration. The Express' 50/50 split 180-degree opening rear doors are convenient for loading cargo to the rear though, and the rear-most seats do fold down in a 50/50 split, offering some level of versatility.

There are a handful of in-cabin storage solutions. Up front there are three cup holders and a moderately sized slide-out console. The LT trims get a deluxe front console with a storage bin, but all models feature various small-item storage compartments and trays in the dashboard, a large glovebox, and slender door pockets that don't carry bottles.

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Passenger Seats Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Front Angle View 1 Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View 2 Chevrolet

Express Passenger Van Infotainment and Features

Features

With the Express' rudimentary purpose and significantly dated outlook on life, one can't expect much from it in the way of features. Base level features in the 2500 LS include power door locks and windows, a fixed steering wheel, manually-adjustable front seats, manual air conditioning, and a rearview camera. The 3500 LS is installed with Chevy's Driver Convenience Package which throws in a tilt-only adjustment to the steering column along with cruise control. LT trims are further outfitted with remote keyless entry, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning, amongst a few cosmetic upgrades too. All the features that the higher-specced trims come with as standard, are optional for the trims that don't, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a blind spot monitor, and six-way power-adjustable front seats are optional for all.

Infotainment

The Express' basic nature is continued through to the infotainment system as well. Every trim comes fitted with a basic AM/FM/MP3 compatible stereo that features only two front door-mounted speakers. GM's OnStar communications system comes standard in every trim too, providing functionality in turn-by-turn navigation, hands-free calling, remote diagnostics, in-vehicle security, and emergency services. A single auxiliary input jack and 12-volt power outlet are provided for device connectivity and charging. Optionally available is a 6.5-inch touchscreen with GPS-based navigation, Bluetooth audio streaming capability, and voice command for all trims along with a single-CD player and USB port.

Express Passenger Van Problems and Reliability

Though the 2020 Express passenger van remains free of any recalls, the 2019 model was subject to three with instances pertaining to a delayed seatbelt-unfastened warning, incorrect rear-quarter window glass, and a reversed back-up camera display image. There are numerous complaints about the van online as well, but Chevrolet adds some peace of mind with a three-year/36,000-mile basic and corrosion warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance.

Warranty

  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2020 Warranty Note \ 
  • 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

Express Passenger Van Safety

One would expect that the immediate determination of a passenger van's crashworthiness should be compulsory, but neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has compiled enough crash test information on the Express Passenger Van for a comprehensive overall safety rating. Fortunately, the standard airbag consignment of six, including two side curtain airbags that span the full length of the van, are a decent measure, these are joined by a rearview camera, hill start assist, an ESC system with traction control, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The LT trims get forward collision alert and lane departure warning as well, and a blind spot monitoring system is available for all along with blind spot monitoring.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van a good Minivan?

As a list of parts, the Chevrolet Express is a passenger van just like any other, with limited standard safety features, rudimentary entertainment, and a greater focus on cramming people in than on keeping them safe. But beyond this, the Express isn't all that great. Sure, it ight be able to tow a fair amount, and all three engines are incredibly versatile, but it drives like a van from the 90s with slow steering, poor body control, and little to no sound deadening. Praise should be given to Chevrolet for the optional driver assistance features available, but the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit offer those too, along with vastly more comprehensive infotainment suites, higher levels of comfort and convenience, and driving dynamics that are far less strenous on the driver. Once upon a time the Express may have been viable, but now it's just a big engine and a whole lot of old, and we'd recommend looking elsewhere.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van?

Pricing for the Express Passenger Van hasn't changed from last year but remains relatively attractive. The 2500 LS in standard guise comes in at an MSRP of $34,900 followed by the 2500 LT at an MSRP of $37,000. The 3500 LS with the regular wheelbase configured is priced at $37,200, while the LT costs $38,900. 3500 extended wheelbase models are priced at $38,000 for the LS and $39,700 for the LT.

Prices vary when adding the optional engines, although just a few hundred dollars gets you the V8, with the turbo-diesel the most expensive at nearly $4,000 extra. All prices are excluding tax, registration, and licensing fees as well as Chevrolet's destination charge of $1,295.

See All 2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Trims and Specs

🚗What Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Model Should I Buy?

There's really no right or wrong answer whenit comes to vans as you buy the one that suits your needs. Need to tow a lot? Get the big V8 and any of the 3500 models. Need 12 seats? Get the standard wheelbase; need 15? Then get the extended wheelbase. The only thing we can recommend is paying extra for the LT, as the LS is really too bare for any level of comfort from a driving perspective. The rest is up to you and your needs, but regardless of which trim you end up going for, we do recommend throwing in the 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, which includes a GPS-linked navigation system, as well as the blind spot monitor, as maneuvering the large van isn't the easiest task.

Check out other Chevrolet Express Styles

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Comparisons

Ford Transit Passenger Van Ford
GMC Savana Passenger Van GMC
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Chevrolet Express Passenger Van276 hpTBC$36,400
Ford Transit Passenger Van 275 hp15/19 mpg$40,180
GMC Savana Passenger Van 276 hpTBC$36,400

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van vs Ford Transit Passenger Van

While the Ford Transit also comes from the near beginning of time, it's received far more major enhancements and updates over the years than what the Express has, including a sunstantial refresh for the 2020 model year. It costs about $5,000 more than the Express at the base level but Ford packages it with a whole lot more value overall, with a more functional infotainment system and a far more expansive selection of features included at even the base level. The Ford's various engine options offer similar performance and characteristics as the Express', though the Ford's turbo-diesel is a lot more fuel-efficient with real-world claims of 19 mpg combined. The Chevy delivers far greater capability, however, offering almost double the towing capability of the Ford's 4,900-pound cap. There's more room in the Chevy's cargo hold, too. While the Chevy seems like the winning van here, the Ford is still the recommended option for its greater selection of features, versatility in body configurations, and higher value for the money.

See Ford Transit Passenger Van Review

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van vs GMC Savana Passenger Van

The GMC Savana is essentially a rebadged Chevrolet Express Passenger Van, one with the cooler name perhaps. Apart from that, the only differences really are seen in the front and rear badges and in a few minor exterior styling elements. Both are otherwise identical in every way, from performance to features and even value. Even the same powertrain options are offered for the Savana, which is also offered in either regular or extended wheelbase configurations, meaning the same payload and towing capabilities, and seating occupancy for eight, 12, or 15 passengers. If anything, buyers can save $100 by going for the Savana, as GMC offers a $100 cheaper destination charge than what Chevy offers the Express with.

See GMC Savana Passenger Van Review

Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Popular Comparisons

2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Video Review

Check out some informative Chevrolet Express Passenger Van video reviews below.

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Photos
$36,400 - $38,400
Price Range (MSRP)
Chevrolet Express Passenger Van