2012 Chevrolet Express

The 2012 Chevrolet Express is available in either a passenger or cargo configuration, depending on your needs. It is powered by a 5.3L V8 Vortec engine that produces 310 horsepower and generates 334 lbs-ft of torque.

This engine is fuel efficient although it is not powerful enough for carrying heavy loads. The 1500 series uses the same 5.3 liter V8 engine which is backed by a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 2500 series on the other hand, comes with a standard 4.8 liter V8, 280 hp engine. The 3500 series is powered by a 6.0 liter V8 engine, but there is an option of a 6.6 liter turbo-diesel V8 engine.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Van Base Price: $28,940.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 31 gallons (117l) MPG: 13 city / 17 hwy
Length: 224.1 in. (569.2 cm) Wheel Base: 135 in. (342.9 cm)
Height: 83.7 in. (212.6 cm) Width: 79.2 in. (201.1 cm)
Curb Weight: 5644 lbs (2560 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.4 in. (18.8 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 57.1 cu ft Maximum Seating: 8 people
Engine: VVT V8 OHV Displacement: 5.3 Liter
Horsepower: 310 HP Max RPM: 5200 RPM
Torque: 334 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Available Trims & Engine
Option:LS2500 4.8L MSRP: $29,835; MPG: 11 city / 17 hwy
Option:LS3500 6.6L MSRP: $32,130; MPG: 11 city / 16 hwy


The Chevrolet Express 3500 has a towing capacity of up to 10,000 pounds for the cargo models, while the passenger 1500 vans have a towing capacity of 6,200 pounds. The base Cargo 1500 model with a V6 engine gets up to 20 mpg while on highway, while the 3500 series with 2-wheel drive gets up to 14 mpg while on highway.


The Express comes with three exterior remote-release, side-access panels, which can be opened by a remote keyless entry. The panels are meant for organized and easy access to your cargo and tools. The van also comes with a roof rack package, for extra carrying capacity up top.

All models are offered in a standard 135 inches wheelbase. Other key exterior features include: a sliding side door, heated mirrors and optional 17 inch alloy wheels.


The interior is sparse, just like as any other passenger van. The seating can be configured to accommodate 15 people depending on the customer’s need and budget. The extended wheel base models comes with a standard 15 people seating capacity, a capacity only matched by the Ford E-series.

The Chevrolet Express beats other large vans such as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (MSRP $36,290), in terms of seating capacity. Other standard interior features include: leatherette seats, auxiliary power outlet and an AM/FM stereo. This van also beats brands like Ford E-series and Ford Transit Connect in terms of cargo space.

Safety & Reliability

The 2012 Express is covered with a 3 year/ 36,000 mile basic warranty plus a 5-year/ 100,000 mile powertrain warranty which also covers 24/7 road assistance and courtesy transportation. There are numerous safety features which include 4 airbags: driver and passenger airbag, side air bag and side head airbag.

Another notable key safety feature is the trailer sway control feature, which helps the driver to stay on track. The 6-speed heavy duty transmission models come with a standard auto grade braking which automatically downshifts, so as to slow the van when brakes are applied when descending steep and long grades. The Express is also fitted with a standard 6 months OnStar Automatic crash communication.


  • High towing capacity
  • Available in all-wheel drive
  • Many engine options
  • Variety of passenger configuration
  • Solar tinted driver and passenger side windows


  • Does not drive as well as other passenger vans
  • Cheap cabin plastics
  • Less spacious than Sprinter rival

The 2012 Chevrolet Express is suitable for business people who need to transport goods and even passenger. The van can also be very effective in hotels for transporting their guests, and for transporting equipment to a job site.


There are a number of passenger and cargo vans in the market, included are the Ford E Series – a V8 (MSRP $29,830; 13 city / 17 hwy) and the Transit Connect – an inline 4 (MSRP $23,660; 22 city / 27 hwy), also by Ford.

What others say:

“Like all big vans, these are clumsy to drive, with a wide turning radius, copious cornering lean, and modest grip. Steering is less-overboosted than on previous test vehicles, but still feels numb. All of GM’s big vans respond with reasonable confidence in quick maneuvers.”Consumer Guide

“Designed primarily for commercial purposes, the full-sized Express van can be purchased in cargo or passenger versions.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“If you don’t have big people-moving needs, a Chevy Suburban or some other full-size SUV might be a better option. While the Express Van is competent, it’s also crude with a rough ride, noisy interior and bench seating that is far from comfortable on long trips.”KBB

“The full-size 2012 Chevrolet Express van is one of the most versatile and functional passenger vehicles on the road.”Edmunds