Review: 2006 Chevrolet Express

The Express offers remarkable value for the money. It's relatively cheap to buy, easy to configure for your specific needs, and has a good value history, factoring resale, maintenance, insurance, and repairs. (Fuel is another story.) The Express is newer and generally superior to its closest competitor, the Ford Econoline. The Dodge Sprinter is a significant alternative. But with its European design philosophy, the Sprinter isn't as well equipped as the Chevy for heavy lifting, whether towing several tons on a trailer or a transporting a dozen people from here to there. This, of course, begs a critical question: How often will you need a vehicle to perform these tasks? If it's only occasionally, you might want to consider a minivan. Even the small ones seat seven, and unless you're a tradesman, you may find the storage space more than sufficient. With the Express, you'll get a standard three-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Bigger than a minivan and shaped like the box the Uplander came in, the Chevrolet Express offers a robust powertrain range, unparalleled seating, and storage-unity cargo capacity.

What's Hot

  • Seats up to 15
  • Optional all-wheel drive
  • Numerous configurations, powertrains

    What's Not

  • Clumsy handling
  • Lousy fuel economy
  • Commercial-grade interior

    The only change for 2006 is the availability of the laudable Duramax 6.6L diesel engine, an enticing choice for drivers who plan to tow heavy trailers and rack up six-digit mileage on the odometer. Making StabiliTrak standard on regular-wheelbase 12-passenger vans was the token change for 2005.

    The base Express is a bare-bones vehicle aimed at fleets and commercial customers, so most consumers will probably opt for an option package that includes rear air conditioning, a rear heater, power windows and locks, cruise control, tilt steering, and a keyless remote. An upgraded package incorporates a left-side passenger door, CD player, rear defogger, and OnStar. But this is just the tip of an options iceberg that favors business applications.

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