For 2007, the Chevrolet Express undergoes minor engine changes: the 5.3-litre V8 becomes the standard engine on half-ton passenger vans (the 4.3-litre V6 is still the base engine on cargo and conversion vans, and the 4.8-litre V8 is the base engine on the 2500 passenger van), and the 5.3-litre can be ordered with E85 flexible fuel capability.

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 is available in cargo or passenger versions; it also shows up at GMC, where it’s called the Savana.

Express passenger vans are offered in LS or LT trim, in regular or extended wheelbase, in 1500, 2500 or 3500 designation, and with a choice, depending on the model, of a 4.8-litre V8, 5.3-litre V8 or for the big jobs, a 6.0-litre gasoline V8 or 6.6-litre diesel. 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 LS 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 LT 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.

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