NEW FOR 2008:

– Standard tire pressure monitoring system
– Curtain airbags standard on all passenger van models
– New interior
– Expanded driver information centre

For 2008, the Chevrolet Express receives safety upgrades, with all passenger vans receiving curtain airbags for the first three rows. Interior changes include a new steering wheel, HVAC controls, radio, window switches, cloth seat material, belt-to-seat design and instrument cluster, and automatic headlamps. The expanded driver information centre now includes instructions to replace the fuel filter, clean the exhaust filter, and service the air conditioning system; warnings that the transmission is hot, traction control has been engaged, fuel level is low or a vehicle theft has been attempted; and reminders that a turn signal has been left on, the gas cap has not been properly tightened, or that the vehicle’s top speed is limited.

Also sold as the GMC Savana, the Express is available as a passenger or cargo van. Passenger vans are offered in LS or LT trim, in regular- or extended-wheelbase models, as a 1500, 2500 or 3500, and with an E85-compatible 5.3-litre V8 in the 1500, or 6.0-litre V8 in the 2500 and 3500, all with four-speed automatic transmissions. Cargo and conversion vans also offer a 4.3-litre V6, 4.8-litre V8, and 6.6-litre diesel V8. Passenger vans in 1500 regular-wheelbase configuration can be optioned with all-wheel drive.

Features on the LS include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, rear step bumper, swing-out right-hand cargo doors, full-opening rear load doors, deep-tinted rear windows, manual mirrors with flat mirror over convex glass, variable intermittent wipers, full-length vinyl flooring, auxiliary rear heater, vinyl seats, and CD stereo. The 3500 models include a tilt wheel and cruise control.

The LT adds chrome bumpers and grille, cruise control, power locks, carpeting with rubber floor mats, reading lamps, underhood lamp, power windows, instrument panel stowage compartment, and cloth seats.

With very few full-size rear-wheel drive vans left in the marketplace, the Express and its Savana sibling are popular with those who need to haul people and tow items such as boats, but who don’t want a truck. Other contenders in the segment include the Ford E-Series and the Dodge Sprinter.

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