Chevrolet’s workhorse line of Express vans only has one change for 2005: StabiliTrak, GM’s stability control program, becomes standard on regular-wheelbase, twelve-passenger vans.

Most Express vans are sold for commercial use, but they do hold appeal for many consumers: if your minivan can’t haul your boat or trailer, and you’re also taking along more people than will fit in a truck, a full-size, full-frame, rear-wheel-drive van like the Express is the answer.

The Express also shows up at GMC, where it’s called the Savana. Both models should attract more attention with the discontinuation of the Astro and Safari vans.

Express passenger vans are offered in base or LS trim, in regular or extended wheelbase, in 1500, 2500 or 3500 designation, and with a choice, depending on the model, of a 4.3-litre V6, 4.8-litre V8, 5.3-litre V8 or for the big jobs, a 6.0-litre V8. All use a regular or heavy-duty Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is available on the 1500 regular-wheelbase model. Depending on the model, seating is for eight, twelve or fifteen passengers.

The base model includes a 60/40 swing-out side door (it can be optioned to a sliding door at no extra charge), 16-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, air conditioning, black vinyl flooring, auxiliary rear heater, vinyl seats, and AM/FM stereo with four speakers.

The LS adds chrome bumpers and grille, dual composite halogen headlights, cruise control, power locks, colour-keyed carpeting with rubber floor mats, tilt wheel, power windows, and cloth seats. There are several stand-alone and option packages available, including rear defogger, deep-tinted glass, aluminum wheels, leather-wrapped wheel, power seats and six-CD stereo, to minimize the feeling that you’re driving the airport shuttle bus.

Other contenders in the field include the Ford E-Series van and the Dodge Sprinter.

The Express is built in Wentzville, Missouri.

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