Chevrolet 1500 vs. 2500 vs. 3500: Which Is the Best Used Cargo Van for You?

By December 11, 2020Cargo Vans, Truck Blog

Whether shopping for a brand new cargo van or a used one, you can’t go wrong with a Chevrolet Express.  It Comes in 1500, 2500, and heavy-duty 3500 series models, with the 2500 and 3500 having higher overall weight ratings.  The wheelbase versions come in regular 135 inches and extended 155-inch versions.

The old school American style Cargo Express Van is a real workhorse that packs a lot of towing power, which could go up to 10,000 pounds, perfect for heavy-duty work while also benefiting from low-cost maintenance.

Though they’re perfect for businesses that specialize in cargo transport, their toughness and versatility make them capable of handling any job that you need to get done.  And with the increasing demand for delivery vans brought by the rise of online shopping, full-sized commercial vans are becoming more popular than ever.  If you’re shopping for a cargo van for sale and can’t decide whether to get 1500, 2500, or 3,500, this post will help you make the best decision based on your needs.  Here is a side by side comparison of their general specs.

1500 2500 3500
4 Speed Automatic Transmission 6 Speed Automatic Transmission 6 Speed Automatic Transmission
V6 or Optional 8 Cylinder Engine 8 Cylinder Engine 8 Cylinder Engine
Flex-fuel capability Diesel, Flex-fuel – natural gas Diesel, Flex-fuel – natural gas
1/2 ton payload 3/4 ton payload 1-ton payload
6500 to 6700 pounds towing power 10000 pounds towing power 10000 pounds towing power



Thoughts On 1500

If you want a light-duty camper, you can get by with 1500.  Though having the least amount of hauling power among the Express vans models, it is a time tested van that is versatile and can handle jobs in any weather. 

If you need to move a lot of cargo, 1500 is enough to get the job done.  And if you’re not bothered by the lack of vertical interior space or less hauling power compared with its 2500 or 3500 cousins, then this is an easy pick for a brand new cargo van or even a used one.

Thoughts On the 2500 and 3500

If you’re going to load a lot of stuff, especially more massive cargo, it’s better to pick 2500 or even the 3500. If you need to pull something, the 2500 can do just as well as the 3500 because they have the same towing capacity and the same horsepower, but the 3500 boasts a higher payload (958 additional pounds over the 2500 model).  

If the price difference is only within a few hundred bucks, then take the 3500.  You get the beefier frame, bigger engines, heavier and stronger springs, better suspension, bigger brakes, and rear axle, along with the payload upgrade.  With a 3500, you can drop your engine in the backdoor without the springs even budging.  Ultimately, it all comes down to how much weight you’re going to carry.  


Choosing the perfect cargo van for sale that fits your budget and lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated.  This guide will help you focus on the features that are most important to you.  And if you’re looking for a used cargo van for sale in Oklahoma, you need to check out Truck-N-Trailer, a cargo van dealer that features an extensive inventory of used cargo vans and trucks.  Call 405-912-5800 today!