2021 Chevrolet Express 3500

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in Vans
2021 MODEL
$35,600 - $36,400
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2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: November 19, 2020


The design of Express 3500 is still the same as when it first got its debut in 1996, but the vehicle is getting some new changes under the hood. Chevrolet is adding an optional all-new 6.6L V8 Gas Engine. The price range for base trim starts from $32,500 goes up to $39,000. The 2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 has some serious competition from its rivals such as the Ford Transit Cargo Van, the GMC Savana Cargo Van, and the RAM ProMaster Van. The multiple trims that it offers varying from work van to LS and LT come with many different features to choose from. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Class leading engine power

Monumental towing capacity

Cons

Low fuel economy

Subpar handling

Low cargo volume

Power doesn't translate to performance

What's New?

A new V8 engine


Pictures

exterior
interior

Similar Cars

2021 GMC Savana 3500
2021 GMC Savana 3500

MSRP: $35,600 - $36,400

N/A
2021 Nissan NV200
5.2/10

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 3500 Work Van

3500 Work Van

power
276 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$35,600 - $36,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
3500 Work Van 3dr Van (4.3L 6cyl 8AM) Starting at $35,600 MSRP TBD 276 hp @ 5200 rpm, 4.3 L, V-6,
TBD TBD 2
3500 Work Van Extended 3dr Van (4.3L 6cyl 8AM) Starting at $36,400 MSRP TBD 276 hp @ 5200 rpm, 4.3 L, V-6,
TBD TBD 2

Expert Review


When it comes to utility vehicles, There are many names that come up with new cool features and the Chevrolet Express 3500 is one of them. It offers solid towing capacity and due to that, it is still in the market by having enormous space, competitive pricing, and strong towing power. It is the perfect showcase of strength and durability. 

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Features

The 2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 has multiple trims, 2 work van trims, 2 LS passenger van trims, and 2 LT passenger van trims. But we will follow two variants of the 2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 i.e. the work van RWD Cargo Van and the work van RWD extended Cargo Van starting from $35,600. 

Both trims come with new cool tech and features and in 3 different engine configurations. Though some of its standard features are the same as the previous year’s model.

Trim

Work Van RWD Cargo Van

Work Van RWD Extended Cargo Van

MSRP

$35,600

$36,400

Key Features

7200 lbs towing capacity

7400 lbs towing capacity

 

4060 lbs payload capacity

4280 lbs payload capacity

 

Power windows

Power windows

 

1 touch down

1 touch down

The Work Van RWD Cargo Van and the RWD extended Cargo Van offer the same features from exterior to interior. Even the engine specifications are the same. The reason for the extended Cargo Van having a higher price is that the exterior length is longer than the original. The extended Cargo Van is 244.05 inches in length and the original has only 224.05 inches.

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

The Chevrolet is known for making budget-friendly vehicles with adequate services. Just like that in the case of the utility van category, the Chevrolet managed to make a van with a budget-friendly price that one can easily afford. 

The Chevrolet Express Cargo Van is known for its amazing high load and towing capabilities. Even the customer reviews of last year’s model show that the service, good warranty, and unmatched value makes it worth buying.

Reliability and Ownership Costs

After all these years, This Cargo Van is one of the most rigid and capable vans in its segment as it stood the test of time. The design is so basic and unchanged yet the continuous upgrades kept it alive. Unfortunately, there is no J.D. Power rating for the 2021 model but seeing the user reviews of previous years’ models, one can easily see that the express Cargo Van 3500 is still going strong. 

It has been ranked as #12 on best Cargo Vans in terms of reliability and that is saying something. The Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500’s cheap repairs without any extra hassle make it very reliable and easy to maintain.

There is no data on the current prices of the Chevrolet Express Cargo Van in different states of the US. We only know that the starting prices of Chevrolet's express RWD Cargo Van and the RWD extended Cargo Van are $35,600 and $36,400 respectively.

The Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 is considered a reliable van. Unfortunately, there are no ratings by the NHTSA for the 2021 version yet. But there were 11 recalls and 26 complaints about the 2008 version. 5 recalls and 10 complaints about 2011, 6 recalls, and 13 complaints about the 2012 version. 

Most of these issues were with the wheelchair lift which was fixed later by the company. So seeing how it went in the past we can assume that the 2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 will perform nicely. Oh and yes. The repairs are cheap and not so frequent. In terms of the ownership costs, the cost of a brand new Chevrolet Express Cargo Van is quite lower than its rivals.

Warranty

In case of warranty, Chevrolet surely knows how to take care of their customers. The Chevrolet provides a basic warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles, a roadside assistance warranty for 5 Years/60,000 Miles, a powertrain warranty for 5years/60,000 miles.

Criteria

Period

Basic Warranty

3 years/36,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain Warranty

5 years/60,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Corrosion Perforation Warranty

6 years/100,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Maintenance Warranty

1 year/unlimited

Roadside Assistance Warranty

5 years/60,000 miles; whichever is earlier

The different warranties of the Chevrolet Express Cargo Van are pretty close to Ford Transit Cargo Van and Ram ProMaster Cargo Van. but a little lesser than its other rivals such as GMC Savana Cargo Van, and RAM ProMaster Cargo Van. Chevrolet now offers an extended warranty for 5years/60,000 miles. Despite all of this the Chevrolet is still known as one of the most reliable vehicles in the same segment.

Miles per Dollar

The 2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 offers 11 MPG in the city, 16 MPG on the highway, and 13 MPG combined which we think is a decent fuel economy, and the miles per dollar is $0.59.

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Buying Advice

We will recommend the Chevrolet Express RWD Extended Cargo Van 3500 from the Chevrolet Express lineup. It comes with all the features of a top model Chevrolet express but what really keeps it distinctive from its siblings is the extended size. it is a van and who doesn't like to have extra carrying space. It is 20 inches longer in size hence increased cargo capacity. 

The extended length is 244.05 inches compared to the original 224.05 inches. Another difference from the original is its wheelbase. The extended Cargo Van has 155.15 inches over the original 135.15 inches. Of Course, if something is increased then the price will surely go up. But it's not a huge leap upward. 

In fact, the extended Cargo Van comes in at $36,400 whereas the original is for $35,600. The 2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 has not been ranked by J.D. Power yet. But seeing how previous years models did, it is easier to assume that the new version will have the same reliability.

Is buying a used Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 a good idea?

If one buys a new Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 for $38,490 then holds a resale value of $18,860 after 5 years with the depreciation of 51% averaging 13,500 miles per year. Compared to its rivals, the Ford Transit Cargo Van and the RAM ProMaster Cargo Van offer better resale value but the price gap is not that huge. But the option of getting a bigger size makes the Chevrolet express cargo a preferable choice.

According to the depreciation value, the model which is 2 years old is the best one to look out for. One could save $13,564 compared to buying a new one. It will still have relatively new features and plenty of useful life remaining.

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Engine and Performance

The 2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 previously had 2 engine configurations to choose from but this year Chevrolet added a new more powerful engine option for enhancing the power of this vehicle. It means now the Cargo Van comes in 3 different engine options to choose from. The first is a 4.3L V6 Gas Engine that produces 276 hp @ 5,200 rpm. 

The second is a 2.8L In-Line 4 Diesel Engine that produces 181 hp @ 3,400 rpm. The third option is an all-new 6.6L V8 Gas Engine that produces 464 hp @4 ,000 rpm. The drivetrain on both trims is RWD and the engine is coupled with either 8 speed automatic or 6 speed automatic. This kind of engine flexibility is a major plus point for buyers. 

Each engine type has its advantages and disadvantages but having them as options is very sensible.

Models

2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 

2021 Ford Transit Cargo Van

2021 RAM ProMaster Cargo Van 

2021 GMC Savana Cargo Van

MSRP

$35,600

$34,150

$36,190

$35,600

Engine

4.3L V6 

3.5L V6

3.6L V6

4.3L V6

Drivetrain

RWD

AWD

FWD

RWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic w/OD

10-speed automatic w/OD

6-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power 

276 hp @ 5,200 rpm

275 hp @ 6,500 rpm

280 hp @ 6,400 rpm

276 hp @ 5,200 rpm

Torque 

298 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm

268 lb-ft @ 3,750 rpm

260 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

298 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm

The Chevrolet Express Cargo Van is very identical to GMC Savana cargo and gives tough competition to its other rivals. This proves that the vehicle might lack behind in design but when it comes to power, there is no holding back.

2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 Acceleration And Braking Performance

Chevrolet’s 4.3L V6 Gas Engine allows the express Cargo Van to go from 0-60MPH in 8.5 seconds. it does a quarter-mile in 16.6 seconds and the top speed is 99MPH (estimated). Chevy’s automatic transmission is reliable enough to shift easily. Unfortunately, there is no data on stopping power for 2021 models of vehicles in the table below.

Models

2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van

2021 Ford Transit Cargo Van

2021 RAM ProMaster Cargo Van

2021 GMC Savana Cargo Van

0-60 MPH (seconds)

8.5 seconds

10.6 seconds

8.1 seconds

8.5 seconds

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

16.6 seconds

N/A

16.5 seconds

16.6 seconds

Top Speed (MPH)

99 mph

100 mph

100 mph

99 mph

60-0 MPH (feet)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

The RAM ProMaster Cargo Van wins here by going from 0-60 MPH in just 8.1 sec with Chevrolet Express Cargo Van and GMC Savana Cargo Van in the second spot. The top speed on all of these is estimated.

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Fuel Economy

One of the best things about the Chevrolet Express Cargo Van is the balanced combination of efficiency and power. although it can not compete with its rivals in case of mileage but having a bigger fuel tank surely makes up for it.. it has 31 gallons fuel tank which is way bigger than Ford Transit and RAM ProMaster.

Models

2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 

2021 Ford Transit Cargo Van

2021 RAM ProMaster Cargo Van 

2021 GMC Savana Cargo Van

MPG (City)

11

15

19

11

MPG (Highway)

16

19

25

16

MPG (Combined)

12

17

21

12

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

31 

25.1

24 

31 

Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles) 

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 If we take a look at the rivals stats then The RAM ProMaster surely wins over everything else with Ford Transit coming in second place, then Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana come at last.

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Interior

If there is one point where the Chevrolet express Cargo Van lacks behind its rivals then it is the design whether interior or exterior but the inside of the vehicle is very spacious. The looks of the vehicle are still the same after all these years since its first debut in 1996. 

It is a straightforward basic design of a van that has 3 doors, 2 standard vinyl seats (vinyl front seat upholstery) which are bucket-style, and a max seating capacity of 5. There are options for 4-way driver and passenger seat adjustments with both having mounted armrests. Manual reclining for both seats is also available. 

On the engine console cover, there are 3 cup holders and an open storage bin. In fact, there are multiple storage bins at different places inside the cabin such as bin instrument panel storage, driver and passenger door bins, and dashboard storage. 

It’s a van after all so there is plenty of space for everything. Shift knob material is of Urethane. The leather steering wheel is optional. Cargo space floor material is of vinyl/rubber with cargo tie-downs. The lighting is apt having 4 dome lights (3 LED’s on cross members in the cargo area and 1 overhead) with defeat switch and door handle activated switches.

Models

2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 

2021 Ford Transit Cargo Van

2021 RAM ProMaster Cargo Van 

2021 GMC Savana Cargo Van

Seating Capacity

2

2

2

2

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

40.85/68.85/41.35

40.8/67.9/41.3

65.4/74.8/38.8

40.85/68.85/41.35

 The Chevrolet Express Cargo Van is easily outmatched by the RAM ProMaster Cargo Van in case of having a more polished interior. But still, the Chevrolet Express Cargo Van wins over the ford transit Cargo Van by having better dimensions.

How’s the 2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500’s infotainment system?

Unlike predecessors, The 2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van gets some new features that are interesting such as AM/FM stereo with Mp3 Player seek and scan, Theftlock, digital clock, primary monitor touch screen, WiFi hotspot, auxiliary jack, and 2 front door speakers 

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Exterior

As we mentioned before the Chevrolet express lacks in the design section so the exterior and interior have not seen many changes from the last years’ version. it still has that same basic van shape. The steel body is fully galvanized with a black grille and black door handles, Manual-folding side view door mirrors, split swing-out right rear passenger door, and split swing-out rear cargo door. 

Both front and rear bumpers are painted black with a step pad. Dual halogen composite headlamps, front intermittent wet-arm with pulse washers wipers, and all glass windows are Solar-Ray light-tinted for better ease and comfort. Further, we are going to compare Chevrolet express Cargo Van’s external dimensions with its rivals. 

Models

2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 

2021 Ford Transit Cargo Van

2021 RAM ProMaster Cargo Van 

2021 GMC Savana Cargo Van

Curb Weight (lbs)

5,266 

4,985 

4,883 

5,266 

Length (inches)

224.1

219.9

236.1

224.1

Width (inches)

79.3

81.3

80.7

79.3

Height (inches)

84.8

83.9

99.4

84.8

Ground Clearance (inches)

8.6

N/A

6.9

8.6

Wheelbase (inches)

135.2

130

159

135.2

 Once again the RAM ProMaster wins over other rivals but the Chevrolet express has more ground clearance and comes second on the comparison table and it is heavier than the others GMC Savana takes third place and ford transit comes at last.

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Safety

Unfortunately, the 2021 Chevrolet express Cargo Van does not have NHTSA and IIHS ratings. But seeing how good the previous year's versions were. 

There are better sensors, assists, and safety measures now. such as back up camera, ABS, Tire pressure monitor, stability and traction control, side-impact bars, seat-mounted driver and passenger side-impact airbags, electronic stability, forward collision alert, occupant sensing airbags, power door locks, double panel side glass, and panic alarm are standard. But, rear parking aid and blind-spot monitor are optional. 

So if one gets all these features then the safety value of the vehicle increases and it is safer to assume that the latest version will stay true to its reputation.

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Competition

2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van 3500 vs 2021 Ford Transit Cargo Van

Although the Chevrolet express Cargo Van lacks the same level of design and infotainment for the user in Ford Transit. Ford even has better suspension and a comfortable cabin. But when it comes to raw hauling power, the Chevrolet Express Cargo Van wins.

2021 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van vs 2021 RAM ProMaster Cargo Van 

The 2021 RAM ProMaster Cargo Van owned 2021 Chevrolet express cargo in almost every section by having such remarkable specifications. The only areas where the Chevrolet express did come on top were by having better ground clearance and a bigger fuel tank.

2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 Final Verdict

Even though the rivals of Chevrolet express are much further ahead by having better designs and features, yet the Chevrolet still survives by having lots of power and capacity and when it comes to vans, these characteristics matter the most. Furthermore, it is budget-friendly.

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