A white 2022 Chevy Express van and truck are shown parked at a construction site.

Chevy Express Cargo Van vs Chevy Express Passenger Van

Most minivans seat seven or eight passengers; however, if your passenger needs go beyond that, you might want to consider a model like the Chevy Express passenger van, which can seat up to 15 people. Meanwhile, if you need to haul more stuff than people, you could find that most pickup trucks fall short of what you’re looking for. In this case, a Chevy Express cargo van could be just right for your needs. If you are going to a Chevy Express dealer because you know you need a larger vehicle than those found at most consumer vehicle dealerships, it will be helpful to know the differences (and similarities) between Chevy Express cargo and passenger vans.

Overall, Chevy Express vans are often used for business rather than personal use. They boast much higher towing and hauling capacities than minivans or pickup trucks. They’re often available for sale in fleets for companies that need multiple vans to carry out their operations. On the outside, the Chevy Express cargo and passenger van look nearly identical, but once you look inside, you’ll see that each serves very different and specific purposes. Here’s a look at the differences and similarities between the Chevy Express cargo and passenger vans.

How These Two Vans Differ

As we said, these models look similar from the outside, but once you look closer, there are quite a few differences that are going to pop up. The most notable are:

Rear Configuration

The first significant difference between these vans is what you find in the back. In the passenger van, you’ll find rows of seats for up to 12 or 15 passengers. In the cargo van, you’ll find a gutted rear area that can be fitted for specific professional needs. Its flexible shelving area can accommodate a variety of professional equipment and storage for different professions, including plumbers, electricians, and contractors.


The next significant difference is going to be price. The passenger van traditionally has a higher price tag than the cargo van. This is mostly due to the fact that passenger vans need to be outfitted with features to keep passengers happy, like climate control from front to back, cupholders, and quality materials for seating. There is just less in the back of a cargo van––the rear area has been mostly stripped down––and so it costs less than the passenger van.

A white 2022 Chevy Express van is shown at a warehouse after leaving a Chevy Express dealer.

Seating Capacity

Seating capacity is clearly a large difference as well. You can seat up to 15 passengers in the passenger van, and traditionally only two in the Cargo van. However, you can opt for the crew package and get seating for five in the cargo van, making it ideal for businesses that need to send a small team, along with all of their equipment, out to a job site.

Payload Capacity

The passenger and cargo vans both have solid payloads. However, the cargo van is built to support more weight than the passenger van since it might carry heavy-duty equipment and tools. So you will find a higher payload capacity in the cargo van compared to the passenger van. As is the case with the Chevy Silverado, there is a 2500 and a 3500 model of the Express vans. This number denotes payload abilities, and the 3500 can handle more weight than the 2500.

Door Configurations

The cargo van has more door configuration options compared to the passenger van. This van has standard rear swing-out doors to give you easy access to your cargo and standard hinged cargo doors. There is an available sliding side cargo door if you need an alternative way to get to your cargo. Between these options, different types of professionals can choose the best way to store and access their equipment and tools.

There Are Still Plenty of Similarities

While their main functions differ greatly, there are some features that you can expect to find in both the Chevy express cargo and passenger van. Some of the highlights include:


Both 2023 models are available with a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing all passengers to stay connected on the road. If you run a transportation business and get the passenger van, this will be an appealing perk to customers who need to stay up to date with emails and more while traveling. Meanwhile, businesses that opt for the cargo van need their employees to stay up to date on new work orders while they’re away from the office. So this is also a major bonus for cargo vans. Each model also has a 120-volt power outlet, two auxiliary outlets, and an available USB port. These additions give passengers and employees the flexibility to power various types of equipment and devices on the road and at a job site.


Each of these two vans has two robust engine choices. The first is the 4.3L V6, which will be standard on the Express 2500 and Express 3500. It kicks out 276 horsepower and enjoys 298 lb-ft of torque. This engine will be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The second engine option is the powerful 6.6L V8, which is available on the Express 2500 and Express 3500. It gets 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque. Plus, it can tow up to 10,000 pounds. This engine will be paired with a heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission.

Drivers should consider their priorities––fuel economy vs trailering abilities––when selecting their engine. The V6 won’t have as much hauling power as the V8, but it will be more fuel efficient, which could make it good for businesses with passenger vans that travel far distances. However, businesses that need to trailer large equipment across short distances might do well with the V8 engine.

Safety Features

Both vans come with impressive driver assist features to help you remain in command of these large vans. These features include a standard tire pressure monitoring system that alerts you when it’s time to add air to your tires and a standard rear vision camera to make easy work out of backing out of driveways or into parking spots. They also include available rear park assist to help you get in and out of tight spots, available side blind zone alert, available lane departure warning, and available forward collision alert. Whether you’re transporting cargo or passengers, each of these features will keep you informed about what’s happening around your vehicle so you can provide safer transport.

Get a Chevy Express Van to Empower Your Business

Chevy Express vans are excellent additions to any business that needs to transport a high number of passengers or a large amount of heavy-duty equipment on a regular basis. With their sturdy frames and durable materials, they can handle the wear and tear and frequent use of commercial use and will last for many years (and jobs) to come.

Understanding the differences between the cargo and passenger vans can help you decide which better suits your needs. The passenger van is an excellent choice for a transportation business such as an airport shuttle or a tour guide business, as it can seat up to 15 passengers. The cargo van is great for professionals such as electricians and plumbers who transport tools and equipment. Each one has available Wi-Fi, USB ports, and other tech-forward features to keep passengers and professionals connected. Plus, each has two strong engine options and excellent driver-assist features to enhance the safety of your day-to-day operations. Both are also available in fleets and ready to be great assets to your business.