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The 2003 full-size cargo vans are the first major redesign of the models from General Motors in seven years. GMC Savana is shown above and within text.

2003 GMC Savana/Chevy Express Preview
Full-size vans get all-new look

By Bill Roebuck

By the summer of 2002, GM will introduce a new line of full-size cargo vans. This will be the first major redesign of the vans in seven years. The 2003 Chevy Express and GMC Savana lineup offers an all-new look, upgraded powertrains and enhanced safety and reliability -- plus new features of interest to commercial users. These include more power, more doors, more drive wheels and more braking power.

The 2003 models will boast three industry firsts for the full-size van segment: All-wheel drive models and left-hand-side 60/40 entry/load door availability. Also, unique side access panels on the work-oriented Express Access and Savana Pro models will allow access to tools and parts from both sides of the vehicle to save time and steps. The models heavily share components developed for the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups.

Express and Savana can be configured to provide the highest maximum payload rating (2,430 lb) of any light-duty, base-model van. Other work-oriented features include the widest rear cargo-door openings and lowest step-in heights.

GM also is introducing a new lineup of V6 and V8 engines for the 2003 models designed to provide more horsepower and better operating economy.

Outside, the models have a redesigned front-end and revamped tail lamps. Inside, convenience improvements include more cupholders, an additional power point and more storage options.

Express/Savana Cargo vans are available in regular (135-in.) and extended (155-in.) wheelbase lengths. The 1500 Series vans include models rated at 6,200 and 7,200 lb gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR)  -- an increase of 100 lb. The 2500 Series includes models rated at 7,300 and 8,500 GVWR. The heavy-duty 3500 Series includes models rated at 9,600 lb GVWR. Also available is a commercial and RV cutaway chassis, with GVWR of 8,600-12,300 lb.

© Copyright Bill Roebuck, 2002.

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