With the recent introduction of the Ram ProMaster, the Ford Transit, and before that, the Nissan NV fullsize models, General Motors seemed to be left out of the news when it came to fullsize vans lately. But the General has some news for the 2015 model year. If you're looking for Chevrolet Express or GMC Savana 1500 models for 2015, you're out of luck, as the light-duty vans have been phased out for the new model year, leaving the 2500 and 3500-series vans to carry the fullsize banner.
There are likely several factors at play in the decision. First, the majority of Express and Savana sales were the 2500 and 3500 models to begin with. The outgoing port-injected LU3 4.3L V-6 is now no longer used in the fullsize trucks, leaving the 1500-series vans as the only models using the outdated powerplant. The LMF 5.3L port-injected V-8 also goes the way of the Dodo for 2015, leaving only the 4.8L and 6.0L Vortec port-injected gas V-8s and the LGH 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel V-8. This also marks the first time the 4.8L L20 V-8 has been offered with a six-speed transmission, as all 2015 fullsize vans now come standard with the 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission.
The other wrinkle in the story is the introduction of the Nissan NV200-based City Express compact cargo van being offered for 2015, giving commercial customers a smaller, more economical option to fullsize vans. Finally, by dropping the under-8500 GVWR versions, GM is taking its big vans out of the CAFE equation, as vehicles with 8600 or greater GVWR are exempt from EPA fuel-economy ratings. The Ram ProMaster and new Ford Transit vans are offered in 150/1500 grades, but interestingly, all have GVWRs of more than 8500 pounds.
Source: General Motors