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A white 2021 Chevy Express Cargo van and a silver Express Passenger van are parked on a city parking structure.

Head to Head Between the Chevy Express 3500 and Ram Promaster 3500 – Which Comes Out on Top?

If you’re running a business, you know more than anybody the importance of spending your money wisely. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing a commercial vehicle. Two popular commercial vehicle options that are often brought head to head are the 2021 Chevy Express 3500 vs 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500. These are both quality vehicle options, but when you’re looking to make a wise investment, it’s important to look at all the facts before making a commitment.

There are many commercial vehicle options these days. However, when it comes to the full-sized cargo van arena, the Chevy Express 3500 and the Ram Promaster 3500 are two of the top vans that are competing for your money. Both of these vehicles offer plenty of cargo space, capable engines, and numerous options. But if you need to pick between the two for the work you do, which would you choose and why?

Under the Hood

First, let’s take a look under the hood of these two vehicles. The 2021 Chevy Express 3500 has three different engine options. This vehicle comes standard with the 4.3 L V6 gasoline-powered engine. This engine has direct injection and variable valve timing, which come together to give this baby plenty of power. This engine option gives the Chevy Express 3500 some 276 horsepower and 298 lb-ft of torque. This is a great engine option for most business needs and can even tow up to 7,400 lbs. However, it is not the only option. If you happen to need more horsepower or towing ability, then the Chevy has you covered.

New for 2021, Chevy has added a powerful 6.6L V8 engine to the Express. This engine is part of the Ecotec family and is a significant step up over the older 6.0L Vortec V8 found in the 2020 Chevy Express. Chevy believes that if you need or want a more powerful work vehicle, you should be able to satisfy that desire. The 6.6L engine option comes with 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque and can tow a whopping 10,000 lbs. With that amount of towing capacity, maybe we should be comparing this vehicle to a work pickup truck instead of a work van.

For all of you diesel lovers out there, the 2021 Chevy Express 3500 also has a turbocharged diesel option. This is the 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel that comes with 181 horsepower and 396 lb-ft of torque. Of course, being a diesel, you also have the added bonus of increased fuel economy to keep operating costs down. With this diesel engine, you will still be able to tow up to 7,000 lbs.

While the 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 has a quality engine, alas, there is only one engine option. This is the 3.6 L Pentastar V6, and it gets 280 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 is capable of towing up to 6,910 lbs, but that puts it behind both of the optional Chevy engines. Depending on the work you do, this might be enough. However, if you need a more powerful work van, go with the 2021 Chevy Express.

A white 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 and ProMaster City are parked in front of a house under construction.

Passenger Options

Next in our comparison, we are looking at passenger capacity. While not every business owner will be looking for a work vehicle capable of carting around people, some businesses like the option of being able to drive either employees or clients around. However, the 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 can only carry two people, while the 2021 Chevy Express 3500 can be configured to carry up to 15 passengers. This is great news for those who need to get whole teams of people to a location.

Now you don’t need to go with a 15 seater Express. By all means, if that is too many for you, then go with a smaller configuration. In fact, the Chevy Express 3500 also has a 5-passenger seating arrangement that allows for space for a crew of five, plus all of their tools and equipment. With the 2021 Chevy Express 3500, no longer do you need to drive two or three vehicles just to get an efficient crew to your job site.

While the 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 can easily fit two people plus all of their gear and equipment, that’s about where it ends. If you have a job that needs the help of more than two people, plan on driving several vehicles just to get things done in a timely manner. However, if you only require teams of one or two, then either of these vehicles will be enough for you.

A man is loading luggage into the rear of a silver 2021 Chevy Express passenger van as part of the 2021 Chevy Express 3500 vs 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 comparison.

Other Features

One incredibly convenient feature that the 2021 Chevy Express 3500 has involves the doors. The 2021 Express comes standard with hinged swing-open doors for the cargo area. These doors can be convenient if you only need to open half the space and would prefer to keep the other door close, such as in situations of inclement weather or high winds. This is also handy if you need those swinging doors to be used as places to hang equipment while you are working.

Unfortunately, if you are working in a tight parking spot or other low-space areas, these doors will be a problem. Thankfully, Chevrolet was thinking ahead and solved this issue by giving the option of a passenger-side sliding door. These sliding doors will be so useful if you ever have to fully access the back area of your work van while in tight working conditions.

On the other hand, the 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 only has one door option, and that is the sliding door. The Ram’s sliding door means you can work in tight spaces, just like with the Chevy. However, you have lost the option of those hinged swinging doors that so many people find so useful. If you like the idea of only opening up a small portion of your cargo area at a time, or you enjoy the idea of using your doors to hang equipment on, then the 2021 Chevy Express 3500 is the work vehicle for you.

Safety is important to everybody on the road, but especially to business owners. The 2021 Chevy Express 3500 and the 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 both have similar safety features that work hard to keep you safe. Each vehicle has available blind-spot alerts, available rear park assist, and also rear cameras of various sorts to help you keep track of things that are behind you. Cruise control is also available, and each van has a number of side-view mirror setups to accommodate a variety of applications. If you’re looking for a safe commercial vehicle, both the Chevy and the Ram have your safety in mind.

Which Vehicle is Best for You?

In a comparison of the 2021 Chevy Express 3500 vs 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500, it is clear that each vehicle will provide you with quality features in a safe and secure package. Each vehicle will be perfect for somebody. However, which vehicle is perfect for you? If you are looking for more power, more towing capability, more passenger seating, or unique door options, then the choice is clear. You want to go with the 2021 Chevy Express 3500.

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