Chevrolet Express

This article is about the full-size van. For the concept car, see Chevrolet Express (concept car).
Chevrolet Express
Manufacturer Chevrolet/GMC (General Motors)
Production 1996–present
Body and chassis
Class Full-size van
Body style van
Predecessor Chevrolet Van / Beauville
GMC Vandura / Rally
Successor Chevrolet City Express (1500 Series)

The Chevrolet Express and its mechanically identical twin GMC Savana are Full-size vans from General Motors. They replaced the Chevrolet Van and GMC Vandura in 1996. The Express and Savana currently hold 44.8% of the full-size van market in the United States, just behind rival Ford E-Series. The Express outsells the Savana by more than 3 to 1 in the USA, but the Savana outsells the Express 2 to 1 in Canada.

After 2003, the Express and Savana had updated front-end sheetmetal similar to the GMT800 light trucks and SUVs, and at the same time, fitted with the LS engines. The remainder of the body was not modified. In 2004, Stability Control (Stabilitrak) was added to all passenger vans. In 2008, the interior was updated and side impact roof airbags were standard on all passenger models. They also offer the E85 Flexfuel Vortec 5.3L V8 engine in both the 2008 Express 1500 Work Van and Passenger Van. The 6.6L Duramax V8 engine Diesel was added as an option for 2006.

As of 2016, the Express/Savana is the last American-designed full-size van, following Chrysler replacing its Dodge Ram Van with Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based Dodge Sprinter in 2003 (since replaced with Fiat Ducato-based Ram ProMaster) and Ford retiring its Econoline line in favor of the European-designed Ford Transit in 2014.


First generation
Also called Chevrolet Savana
GMC Savana
Production 1996–2002
Assembly Wentzville, Missouri, United States
Body and chassis
Class Full-size van
Body style 3-door van
4-door van
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive (MY2003-MY2014)
Platform GMT600
Engine 4.3L Vortec 4300/L35 V6 (1996–2001)
4.3L Vortec 4300/LU3 V6 (2002)
5.0L Vortec 5000/L30 V8 (1996–2002)
5.7L Vortec 5700 L31 V8 (1996–2002)
6.5L V8
7.4L V8 (1996–2000)
8.1L Vortec 8100/L18 V8 (2001–2002)
6.5L Detroit Diesel V8 engine (1996–2002)
Transmission 4 speed automatic (4L60e / 1500 series) (4L80e / 2500 & 3500 series)
Wheelbase SWB: 135.0 in (3,429 mm)
LWB: 155.0 in (3,937 mm)
1999–2000 Express SWB: 127.9 in (3,249 mm)
Length 1996–98 SWB: 218.8 in (5,558 mm)
1996–98 LWB: 238.8 in (6,066 mm)
1999–2002 SWB: 218.7 in (5,555 mm)
1999–2002 LWB: 238.7 in (6,063 mm)
Width SWB: 79.2 in (2,012 mm)
LWB: 79.4 in (2,017 mm)
Height 1996–98 Express: 81.8 in (2,078 mm)
1996–98 Savana SWB/2500 SWB & 3500 LWB: 82.5 in (2,096 mm)
84.7 in (2,151 mm)
85.0 in (2,159 mm)
1996–98 Savana LWB: 88.3 in (2,243 mm)
84.8 in (2,154 mm)
1500 & 2001–02 3500 LS LWB: 79.6 in (2,022 mm)
1997–2002 3500 SWB: 83.9 in (2,131 mm)
1997–2002 2500 LWB: 81.1 in (2,060 mm)
2001–02 2500 LWB: 82.2 in (2,088 mm)
2001–02 3500 LWB: 82.8 in (2,103 mm)
First generation (facelift)
Also called Chevrolet Savana
GMC Savana
VIA Vtrux Van
Chevrolet Express Prisoner Transport
Chevrolet Utility Service Body
Production 2003–present
Assembly Wentzville, Missouri, United States
Body and chassis
Class Full-size van
Body style 3-door van
4-door van
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive (MY2003-MY2014)
Platform GMT610
Engine 4.3L Vortec 4300/LU3 V6 (2003–2014)
4.8L Vortec 4800/L20 Flex-fuel V8 (2500/3500, 2010–present)
5.3L Vortec 5300/LMF Flex-fuel V8 (2008–present)
6.0L Vortec 6000/L96 Flex-fuel V8 (2010–present)
6.6L Duramax V8 turbo-diesel V8 (2006–present)
Transmission 4-speed automatic on 1500 (2010–2014)
6 speed 6l90 on 2500 and 3500 (2010-present)
Wheelbase SWB: 135.0 in (3,429 mm)
LWB: 155.0 in (3,937 mm)
Length 2003–present SWB: 224.1 in (5,692 mm)
2003–present LWB: 244.1 in (6,200 mm)
2003–05 Savana LWB: 244.0 in (6,198 mm)
Width LWB & 2003–present SWB: 79.4 in (2,017 mm)
Height 2003–present SWB: 81.6 in (2,073 mm)
2003–present LWB: 82.0 in (2,083 mm)

Chevy Express Cargo

The cargo variety of the Express/Savana is popular as a work vehicle, often used by electricians, plumbers, and others needing to haul a variety of large items. In this way, it is the North American equivalent of the ubiquitous white vans in the United Kingdom. In the Netherlands, the Express is in common use as an ambulance, although its popularity is declining because of the high fuel consumption and small interior space compared to European vans.[1]

Chevy Express Passenger

The Express/Savana is also available as a passenger van, seating 8 to 15 passengers (depending on the model), and is often used as a tow truck, ambulance, shuttle bus, or school bus. Both the cargo and passenger models, as well as the cutaway versions, often serve as the basis for conversion vans, motorhomes, and wheelchair accessible vans. As of mid-2014, half-ton Chevy Express vans and its cousin the GMC Savana have been discontinued. It was replaced by a Nissan-GM partnership badged Chevy City Express in the U.S. Only the 3/4-ton and 1-ton full size vans will be available as previous.[2]

Chevy Express Concept

Chevrolet Express was also the name of a concept car first shown in 1987. It was a turbine powered, drive-by-wire car made to show the possibilities of future limited-access highways.[3]

2012 recall

On August 14, 2012, GM issued a recall for 10,315 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans made from 2003-2004 in 20 cold weather U.S. states and in Canada because road salt may have corroded the fueling pipe. There are 9,389 vans recalled in the United States and 926 in Canada. The affected vans have "60/40" swing-out driver side doors.[4]

1500 Discontinuation

General Motors discontinued production of the 1/2-ton ( <8500 lbs. GVWR ) 1500 series vans in June 2014 (2015MY). Sources cite low production numbers and CAFE requirements for the halt.[5] With the end of 1500 model, unique features such as the all wheel drive and driver's side passengers doors have been removed from the options list. The Chevrolet City Express compact cargo van, a badge-engineered Nissan NV200, has taken the place of the 1500 van. At the same time, the Vortec 4300 engine was phased out of production. The full-sized van is still offered as the Chevrolet Express Cargo and the GMC Savana Cargo with a larger payload.


  1. "'Ambulance is verlengstuk van jezelf'". BN DeStem. 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  2. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "1987 Chevrolet Express Images, Information and History". Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  4. "GM recalls 10,315 vans in cold-weather areas". Reuters. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  5. Login (2014-07-15). "Chevy Express 1500, GMC Savana 1500 get the axe". Retrieved 2015-12-15.
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