2004 CHEVROLET EXPRESS: STRONG, SMART AND SURPRISING
Chevy Express simply delivers more for customers, whether they're looking for a passenger van, cargo van or a solid foundation for an RV conversion. Advanced safety and reliability features also enhance these hard-working vans for work or play.
Express is strong, with its stable of third-generation Vortec powerplants, standard four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 16-inch wheels and an independent front suspension.
Express is smart, with features like its advanced multiplexed electrical system, air filter monitor and a tow/haul switch to improve transmission shifts when pulling a trailer or hauling heavy loads.
And Express is surprising, with a long list of innovations, including a left-side passenger door, available side-access panels and all-wheel drive, the industry's first in a full-size van.
In addition, 15-passenger vans will be equipped with the StabiliTrak vehicle stability enhancement system in an interim change during the 2004 model-year production cycle.
StabiliTrak helps drivers maintain control of vehicles during certain difficult driving conditions such as ice, snow, gravel, wet pavement and uneven road surfaces, as well as in emergency lane changes or avoidance maneuvers. The system will be standard on all 15-passenger Express vans.
"By adding this system, we will take what we believe is already a very safe vehicle and make it even better," said Ray Chess, GM vehicle line executive, commercial trucks and vans. "This enhancement underscores GM's leadership in bringing this important safety technology to more customers than any of its competitors."
The vehicle stability enhancement system works by recognizing wheel skid. Sensors detect the difference between the steering wheel angle and the direction the driver is actually turning by "reading" the steering wheel position, the amount of sideways force in play, vehicle speed and the vehicle's response to steering-wheel input.
The system then uses the brakes to enhance control of the vehicle's direction and to help keep it on course. It automatically reduces the engine torque and applies precise amounts of pressure to the front right or left brakes to help keep the vehicle on track. These brake and engine interventions help realign the vehicle's actual path with that being steered by the driver.
"It is important to understand that no system is foolproof," said Robert C. Lange, GM executive director, structure and safety integration. "That is why we will continue to educate our customers on the unique operating characteristics of full-size, extended passenger vans and that they should be operated only by experienced drivers. We also support the advice of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that drivers and passengers in vans - and all other vehicles - always use safety belts. And we remind all vehicle occupants to obey state seat-belt use and child-passenger safety laws."
Vortec engines mean power
The advanced technology of Vortec Generation III engines helps Express to top comparable rivals in horsepower and acceleration.
The Vortec 4800 4.8L V-8 cranks out 275 horsepower (201 kw) and is used for heavy-duty applications in the 2500 Series cargo vans.
The Vortec 5300 5.3L V-8 has the ability to provide segment-leading acceleration. Used for light-duty applications, it churns out 285 horsepower (213 kw) and 325 lb.-ft. of torque (441 Nm), and is the standard engine in all-wheel-drive models.
Those seeking more power can opt for the Vortec 6000 - the segment's most powerful V-8. It's fuel-efficient and more than capable of handling heavy-duty trailering/hauling requirements.
An expanded array of models equipped with a Vortec 6000 V-8 offers fully converted, dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) systems.
The 200 horsepower (149 kw) Vortec 4300 4.3L V-6 with multi-port fuel injection (previously available only in California) is now the base engine for light-duty G-vans in all 50 states. A central fuel injector delivers a separate flow of fuel to six individual hybrid injectors for better performance and improved emissions.
Express also features GM's unique tow/haul mode - a proven technology on Chevy full-size pickups and sport utilities. It reduces the frequency and improves the predictability of transmission shifts when pulling a trailer or carrying a heavy load.
Driving under control
Express offers a four-wheel power disc brake system with ABS as standard equipment. The system features the responsive Hydroboost hydraulic assist power brake booster. Light- and heavy-duty models include Dynamic Rear Proportioning (DRP), which recognizes changes in wheel speed and load variation and adjusts the amount of pressure applied to the rear brakes appropriately.
A three-piece, fully boxed frame increases torsional stiffness on the Express, which contributes to improved ride and handling and better isolation from the road. Large stabilizer bars - 33 mm on light-duty models and 35 mm on vehicles with 8,600-pound (3,901 kg) GVW and above - add stability. Standard 16-inch wheels provide for a more comfortable ride and power rack-and-pinion steering on all light-duty models provides more precise control.
Smart electrical system
An advanced multiplexed communication network transfers data throughout the vehicle to allow the instrument cluster to monitor and report on more than 20 system functions - it even tells a customer when to change oil. The system also supports features such as dual-level air bags (on light-duty models), lockout prevention, retained accessory power and battery-rundown protection. The rundown protection guards against battery drain if interior lights and/or headlamps and parking lamps are left on accidentally.
Plenty of innovation
Convenience is the key to an industry-exclusive 60/40 left-hand-side hinged door for flexible passenger entry/cargo loading capability. Available on regular-length passenger and cargo vans, the innovative feature offers easy access to the second-row seat/cargo compartment and third-row seat/rear compartment.
Express also offers three all-wheel-drive models. Superior traction provided by a viscous-coupled transfer case gives the best on-road, wet- or dry-pavement handling performance available on a full-size van. The system automatically transfers torque from slipping wheels to those with a firmer grip.
The Express Access provides innovative side access panels allowing easy access to cargo areas. These panels operate via remote key fob or internal mechanical release, a definite time saver for the vocational user.
Safety is a priority
Front-seat, dual-stage air bags - standard in all light-duty models up to 7,300-pounds (3,311 kg) GVW - tailor inflation speed to crash severity, minimizing the risk of injury to smaller occupants during low-speed crashes.
Standard safety enhancements include driver and front-passenger belts, three-point lap and shoulder belts in all first- and second-row seating positions, and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system for child seats in passenger vans.
Express offers the security and convenience of GM's next-generation OnStar system on passenger and conversion models. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the U.S. and Canada. Using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar services include automatic notification of air bag deployment, stolen vehicle location, remote door unlock, emergency services dispatch, roadside assistance, remote diagnostics, route support, convenience services and OnStar Concierge. OnStar Personal Calling allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated phone calls through a nationwide network in cooperation with Verizon Wireless. Virtual Advisor (U.S. only) gives subscribers access to personalized information in a hands-free, voice-activated manner with no screens or displays.
Attention to the details
It isn't always just about power or performance. Express also attends to the details that sometimes can be overlooked. Express has supportive front seats, excellent lighting, quality fit and finish on panels, and safer trim. Express has integrated armrests, door pull handles, window and lock control switches and mirrors. Front doors include storage pockets.
An added storage tray, twin trip odometers, a second power outlet, a third console cupholder, loop-style coat hooks and durable carpeting are also provided. Power exterior rearview mirrors, available on some models, offer integrated turn-signal indicators, along with remote control and are electrically heated. Express continues to offer superb features such as the wide rear cargo-door openings and the low step-in heights.
Express vans also continue to offer a wide selection of high-quality audio system choices, including AM/FM stereo, seek/scan, clock, cassette, single-CD player or six-disc CD changer. On all except the base-model and upfitter-package radios, Radio Data System (RDS) is available. RDS displays a variety of text descriptions, including station call letters, traffic information, or even song and artist information.
Express comes in both regular (135-inch / 3,429 mm) and extended (155-inch / 3,937 mm) wheelbase lengths, and can provide eight-, 12- or 15-person capacity. Cargo vans, available in the same wheelbase lengths, offer seating for two. The cutaways, which can be converted to various commercial, school bus and RV requirements, are available in 139-inch (3,531 mm), 159-inch (4,039 mm) and 177-inch (4,496 mm) wheelbase lengths. The 1500 Series vans include light-duty models rated at 6,200- and 7,200-pounds (2,812- and 3,266-kg) GVW. The 2500 Series includes light-duties rated at 7,300- and 8,500-pounds (3,311- and 3,856-kg) GVW (in CNG), and heavy-duty models rated at 8,600-pounds (3,901-kg) GVW. The heavy-duty 3500 Series includes full-bodied cargo/passenger vans rated at 9,600-pounds (4,354-kg) GVW, and commercial and RV cutaway chassis, with GVW ratings of 8,600-12,300 pounds (3,901-5,579 kg).