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2018 Chevrolet Express Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2018 Chevrolet Express Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LS vs LT & WT

What 2018 Chevrolet Express Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The competition among vans does not quite hinge on the same metrics as with passenger cars, trucks and SUVS, and the Chevrolet Express has built its strong sales around its versatility. While it lacks some of the more advanced technology, driver assistance, and convenience features that other vans offer, the Chevrolet Express instead offers a wider range of engines and a more customizable setup for its vans that make it easier for commercial and application-specific purchasers to purchase exactly the vehicles they need straight from the manufacturer.

As such, there is a relatively low availability of Chevrolet Express models at dealerships, since it is a vehicle that is mostly not aimed at individual buyers. Those drivers are instead advised to check out some of Chevrolet’s crossovers or trucks, depending on the kind of use they were planning on putting their Chevrolet Express to. However when properly equipped, the Chevrolet Express can offer excellent utility to either commercial or private buyers.

Like all vans, the Chevrolet Express comes in a variety of performance grades and wheelbase options. Chevrolet has discontinued its 1500-based line of Express vans in 2014, leaving only the 2500 and 3500 models available today. Both come in either a regular or an extended wheelbase, with the latter adding about 35 cubic feet of passenger volume on the passenger van models and about 45 cubic feet of cargo volume in the cargo van configuration.

The cargo van is available with all four configurations, while the passenger vans only come with an extended wheelbase on the 3500 models. Four engines are also available: a 276-horsepower V-6, a 6.0-liter V-8 with 341 horsepower, a natural-gas version of the same V-8, and a 2.8-liter turbo diesel with 181 horsepower. From there, there are three trim levels available: the WT trim level for the cargo van model, and the LS and LT trim levels for the passenger van.

In this guide, the main differences in standard and optional features between these models are outlined.
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Compare the 2018 Express WT vs LS Trims. What is the difference?

For those who have shopped for Chevrolet’s trucks, the WT designation should be a familiar one, as it denotes the basic work truck models of those vehicles. The Express WT is similarly basic in terms of the standard equipment that it offers. The WT Express has power locks and windows, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and driver shift controls. Aside from that equipment, there is little beyond the basics on the WT. It has steel wheels, vinyl upholstery, and a basic AM/FM radio. The rear area of the truck is geared towards cargo, so it is fairly empty aside from a number of mounting points for partitions, cabinets, and equipment hooks. However, there is an expected full range of upgrades available.

Several upgrades are relatively simple one-offs: cruise control can be added, seats can be upholstered in cloth and get added power adjustments, and the radio can be exchanged for one with a CD player or a USB port, or could even be upgraded to a consumer-grade MyLink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen and built-in navigation.

Other upgrades are more thorough. The cargo package includes the V-8 engine and its heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission, as well as Chevrolet’s Commerical Link and a spray-in cargo liner. The communications package adds steering-wheel audio controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and satellite radio, as well as upgrading the car to the V-8 engine and including a more advanced audio system and cruise control. The safety package adds blind spot monitors and rear parking sensors, together with heated side mirrors, cruise control, and Commercial Link. It also comes bundled with the V-8 engine.

The enhanced convenience package is another V-8 package, and it comes with remote keyless entry and a remote starter, as well as heated side mirrors and heavy-duty trailering equipment. Finally, a chrome appearance package adds a few chrome accents to the exterior. The Hotel Shuttle Package and the Ambulance Package are special options that adds a large selection of convenience and technical options to the model, but they are only available by special order and their final configuration is customized in discussions between the buyer and the manufacturer.

The LS is the basic passenger van model of the Chevrolet Express, and comes with a very similar set of features to the WT model, with the exception of the standard 12-passenger seating layout and the accompanying airbags. It is important to note that the extended wheelbase model does not increase the amount of available seats on the passenger van. It simply increases the amount of passenger space available, as both models are set up to handle 12 passengers, unless you opt for the optional 15-passenger capacity upgrade. The LS passenger van comes with practically the same options as the WT does as well, with a few notable differences.

The communications package, the safety package, enhanced convenience package, and the chrome package are all the same between the two. Neither the Hotel Shuttle nor the Ambulance package are available on the passenger van though, for obvious reasons. There is also a new optional package available for the passenger van only. The Cold Climate package uses the turbodiesel engine, and comes with an engine block heater and a special auxiliary heating system used to keep the rear area of the van nice and warm when it is particularly cold outside. 

For almost everyone shopping for an Express van, the choice between the WT model and the LS model is already predetermined depending on the use for which the van is going to be employed. If it needs to haul cargo, the WT is the obvious choice, while for passenger duties the LS is the better choice, though the Hotel Shuttle Package for the WT is also a consideration depending on the specific requirements involved. The Hotel Shuttle Package is a fairly specialized choice though, so those buyers who are not sure if it is right for them should probably either stick with the LS model or consult their local dealer for a consultation on the specifications available.

Compare the 2018 Chevrolet Express LS vs LT Trims. What is the difference?

The Chevrolet Express LT actually offers only fairly minor differences from the standard LS passenger van model. It includes the same number of seats, and almost the same standard and optional equipment, though most of it is added piece by piece instead of together in packages like on the LS. It is also slightly nicer for both the driver and the passengers compared to the LS and looks a little more upscale.

It includes the chrome package and the driver convenience package, so it comes with cruise control, chrome bumpers, and chrome exterior accents. It also includes an air conditioning system for the rear compartment, contributing to passenger comfort. The seats are also upholstered in a premium cloth, and the floor is covered in color-matched carpeting. The Cold Climate package is the only major package available for the LT, though most of the optional equipment from the LS and WT trims is also available through individual add-ons on the LT as well. 

The LT is a little better than the LS when it comes to passenger comfort for the rear compartment. For shuttle services and other short-haul trips, the LT does not offer as much of an improvement over the LS, but for longer trips or operation in areas with really cold, warm, or variable weather, the LT can be the better choice. The carpeted flooring does add a little more difficult to cleaning the van’s floor, but it is a minor consideration compared to the passenger comfort one.

Which Trim Level to Choose?

The 2018 Chevrolet Express is highly customizable in all of its configurations, and each of the trim levels is tailored to specific applications that make choosing one fairly straightforward. The WT trim level is the sole version of the cargo van available, and is the best choice for those who are looking to either transport cargo in the van, or convert it for further use through either the Shuttle and Ambulance packages available through Chevrolet, or with an aftermarket modification of some kind.

The LS and LT passenger van trim levels are a little harder to separate out, but the LS in general serves as a better shot-haul transport or one that won’t operate in any particularly hot or cold areas. For every other type of passenger transport, the slightly more expensive LT is the best choice. 

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & Motortrend.
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