2009 Chevrolet Express Van Expert Review

You'll Like The 2009 Chevrolet Express Van If...

If you have a business and need a substantial amount of room for tools or storage, the 2009 Chevrolet Express Van is hard to top. A choice of four powerful V8 engines, varied towing capabilities and optional all-wheel drive makes the Express Van perfect for business and family use.

You May Not Like The 2009 Chevrolet Express Van If...

If you are used to a minivan, the Express Van may be more vehicle than you would like to drive. The gasoline V8 models can be thirsty, especially when loaded with passengers. Those needing room to stand and work may be happier with the Dodge Sprinter.

What's New

Changes for 2009 are minor and include some new 17-inch wheel and tire options, an engine oil cooler added to the 4.3-liter V6, and a transmission oil cooler as standard on applications exceeding a 14,000 pound GCWR.

Interior Features

The Express Van's passenger models received a major makeover last year, replacing the aged steering wheel, dash controls, window switches and message center. New fabrics for the seats complete the update. The big glass side panels make it easy to see what's around you, and their deep tint foils prying eyes.

Exterior Features

The 2009 Chevrolet Express Van is about as contemporary as possible for a rolling box. It features rounded edges, high-mounted side taillights and flush side glass. One long-wheelbase model is available in quarter-, half- or one-ton configurations. Cargo vans can be equipped with external compartments for easy access and offer a number of rear-door options.

Driving Impressions

The base Cargo Van is powered by a 195-horsepower V6 engine. Although the V6 can handle light loads, if you plan on hauling heavier cargo or towing a trailer, you should choose the Vortec 5.3-liter V8, with its 301 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. For the larger 3500 series, a potent Vortec 6.0-liter V8 offers customers the most powerful V8 engine in its class. Also available with 2500 and 3500 models is the Duramax diesel engine, which provides an abundance of torque and is capable of towing and hauling extreme loads.

Pricing Notes

The Chevrolet Express Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) ranges from around $24,500 for the base 1500 Cargo Van to just under $40,000 for a loaded 3500 Extended Passenger Van. To be sure you receive the best deal on your Express Van, check the Fair Purchase Price to see the typical transaction price being paid in your area. While the Express Van's resale can be described as only average, it is consistent with the values held by the Ford E-Series and GMC Savana Vans.

Notable Equipment

The Express Van 1500 Cargo Van comes standard with a 195-horsepower 4.3-liter V6 engine, while the Passenger Van has a 5.3-liter V8. Other notable features include air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), StabiliTrak stability control (Passenger models), tire-pressure monitor, swing-out side doors, flat and convex dual side mirrors and eight-person seating.

Notable Options

Options include all-wheel drive, a 5.3-liter V8 (standard on Passenger Vans and all-wheel-drive models), a 323-horsepower 6.0-liter V8, a 250-horsepower 6.6-liter turbo-diesel (2500 and 3500 models only) and a FlexFuel 5.3-liter V8. Other options include a Cold Climate Package, a Trailering Package, dual heated power mirrors, power windows, six-way power driver's seat, rear air conditioning, auxiliary transmission oil cooler and aluminum wheels.

Favorite Features

Side Access Doors
Side access doors allow you to reach tools and equipment without climbing inside.

Seating for 15
Available seating for 15 makes the Express Van the ultimate commuter vehicle.

Under the Hood

The Express Van's V6 may be a fuel-efficient choice but, if you need to haul heavy loads, this engine will probably not be enough. For most uses, one of the three gasoline V8s works best, providing sufficient torque and horsepower for hauling heavy loads or towing. The ultimate towing machine will be had with the Duramax turbo-diesel, which produces a whopping 460 pound-feet of torque, more than enough for tackling the biggest jobs – and then some.

4.3-liter V6
195 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20

4.8-liter V8
279 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
294 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

5.3-liter V8
301 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 9/12 (E85, RWD), 9/12 (E85, AWD), 9/12 (E85 Cargo), 13/16 (gasoline, RWD), 12/15 (gasoline, AWD)

6.0-liter V8
323 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
373 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

6.6-liter Turbodiesel V8
250 horsepower @ 3200 rpm
460 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Editors' Notes

The 2009 Chevrolet Express Van is really three vans in one. Its massive interior can be configured to hold up to 15 passengers, making it an ideal company shuttle or airport limo. Strip the interior bare and the Express Van becomes a cavernous cargo container or the ideal platform to build a rolling workshop. And for those looking for the ultimate in customization, the Express Van can be outfitted with plush captain's-chair seating, a built-in refrigerator and a convertible sofa bed. No matter what the mission, Chevrolet provides not just the platform, but the hardware to back it up. From its powerful engine lineup to its optional heavy-duty transmission oil cooler, the Express Van is designed to be a hard-working vehicle.

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