Big capability; proven reliability for carrying family or cargo
Current-generation Express dates back to 1996
After adding several new features last year, the Express is largely unchanged for 2014.
We'd equip an 8-passenger Express 1500 with the optional 5.3-liter V8, LT trim and just enough comfort and convenience accessories to make it livable for a 3-week grand tour. With room for everything a family of four could possibly carry, along with bike storage inside (rather than on top of) the van, the Express would make a great base camp for any weekend or weeks-long adventure. And even with extras such as navigation, Bluetooth and a backup camera, the price comes in under $35,000.
The Express comes in two trim levels -- base-level LS and a higher-end LT.
The Express LS ($30,500) is sparsely equipped and primarily aimed at fleet buyers. Standard equipment includes steel wheels, air conditioning, vinyl upholstery and an AM/FM stereo. A CD player is omitted, as are power windows, power locks and power mirrors.
Shoppers who step up to the Express LT ($32,500) get several more features. Such items include keyless entry, cruise control, a trip computer, cloth upholstery and visor mirrors.
Options include a towing package, power seats, Bluetooth and a remote starter. Newly available last year are upscale features such as a reversing camera, rear park assist and a navigation system.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Rust-Through||6 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/24,000 Miles|
Ford Transit Connect -- If your duties don't demand the capabilities of a full-size van, the smaller and more efficient Ford Transit Connect may get the job done. It's also available in passenger and cargo configurations, though the passenger version seats only five. The full-size 2014 Transit arrives soon.
Ford Transit -- The Econoline is essentially dead, and the Ford Transit takes its place. The new full-size transit is thoroughly modern with many engine and cargo configurations. Its introduction signals a new era of full-size cargo van. Because of the Transit, we can't help but think the Express will get a serious update soon.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- The Sprinter offers impressive capability and efficiency in a much more modern package than the Express 1500. With a standard diesel engine, it also comes in passenger and cargo versions. But it's much more expensive than the Express.
Nissan NV -- Only the NV3500 is offered as a passenger van, but Nissan's NV1500 cargo van is a close competitor to the Express 1500 cargo van. The Nissan also uses a standard V6, but all-wheel drive is not offered. The NV has a unique, more SUV-like body style than most full-size vans.