2021 Chevrolet Express 3500 — Despite all the flack that white windowless vans have gotten over the years, as it turns out, they aren’t all bad. Sure, Buffalo Bill was a pretty awful dude, but Bill the plumber? He’s just trying to make a living, and wants nothing to do with harvesting your skin to wear as a sundress. And lucky for Bill the plumber, white vans have come a long way in thirty years thanks to vans like the Chevy Express 3500.
The Chevrolet Express is available one of two formats — either in Cargo or Passenger trim. The Cargo trim comes with a significant amount of upfits to accommodate whatever your vocation happens to be, whether it is that of a contractor, electrician, or plumber like Bill. Shelving, hooks, lockers and job-specific storage are all part of the build. The passenger trim uses the huge rear space to seat up to 15 passengers and keep them cool with a powerful rear air conditioning setup.
No matter which trim you decide to go with, you have your choice of one of three engines to power your ride. The standard engine is a direct-injected 4.3-liter V6 with variable valve timing that makes 276-horsepower and a respectable 298 lb-ft of torque. The 4.3-liter engine provides the Chevrolet Express with a maximum towing capacity of 7,400 pounds. If more power is needed then you can opt for the 6.6-liter V8 that produces a whopping 401-horsepower and massive 464 lb-ft of torque. This monster motor allows for a max trailering weight of 10,000 pounds. Then there is the more fuel efficient Duramax turbo-diesel 2.8-liter inline four cylinder engine that makes 181-horsepower and a sizable 369 lb-ft of torque and allows for a maximum towing capacity of 7,000 pounds. That power for the gas engines is routed through a standard 8-speed automatic, while an optional 6-speed heavy-duty auto trans can help those that need to tow consistently. Opt for the diesel engine and you’ll also get the 8-speed auto.
While the Chevrolet Express in any form is made to be for work, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself a little bit along the way. A 120-volt power outlet, USB port, available 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot, and two auxiliary outlets allow you to stay connected and use your smartphone to play whatever tunes or audiobooks you’d like on your daily adventures. But life isn’t just about having fun, but being safe as well, and the Express offers up a standard Rear Vision Camera, standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and available Side Blind Zone Alert to help you from inadvertently colliding with another car while you’re trying to multitask one too many things while changing lanes. There is also a Lane Departure Warning system available as well as a Forward Collision Alert and Rear Park Assist to give your commute a bit more peace of mind.
In terms of numbers, the Chevrolet Express 3500 comes in either a 135-inch or 155-inch wheelbase. It has a Gross Combination Weight Rating of up to 16,000 pounds, a Gross Vehicle Weight rating of 9,900 pounds and the Passenger trim offers 3,540 pounds of payload capacity, while the Cargo trim offers up 4,280 pounds of payload capacity. If more space is needed, there is also an optional Thule Hitch-Mounted Storage Container available to carry along whatever extra equipment or luggage you might need to bring along.
With a base price of just $32,500, the Chevy Express 3500 will not require you to spend more than you’re going to make in your job in order to afford a competent van for your job. So no matter what your career choice happens to be, the Express will make you more more successful. So while Buffalo Bill may have given the white van a bad name, all the Bill the plumbers out there will help change that reputation quickly, and it doesn’t always have to come in white and you can get one with windows, just in case.