The biggest players in the commercial van segment are part of GM and Ford teams. Everybody knows that the Ford E Series has always struggled to stay in front of its rivals and most of the time had succeeded.
The E Series is around since 1992 and since then, it received a lot of upgrades which helped it stay on top of the sales chart. However, Ford ’s E Series has its roots planted back in 1960 when it was known as the Econoline.
Ford ’s van was always considered a practical, utilitarian workhorse and every generation was stronger and more refined than the previous one.
The 2003 model received a few major upgrades and was available in a wide range of body configurations. The 2003 upgrades included new engines, a new transmission, standard rear disc brakes, four new exterior colors, standard battery saver, optional AM/FM/CD audio system and remote keyless entry on cutaway models.
The 2003 Ford E-Series gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranged from 6,700 lbs. to 19,000 lbs, depending on the engine.
Even since its first launch in 1996, the GMC Savana managed to attract buyers’ interest and for many years was the second best sold van from the US market, after the Ford E Series.
The van received a set of significant modifications in 2003 when it came with upgraded engines and a few style modifications.
The year 2003 has seen the introduction of a four wheel drive system that was a premiere for the Savana. The 2003 GMC Savana was also offered for the first time with four wheel disc brakes.
New driver-side 60/40 access doors have been added as an option together with larger stabilizer bars and a stronger frame. The cabin was slightly revised as well and Chevrolet added new seats, upgraded the lighting and ventilation systems, and also offered dual-stage airbags.
The Chevrolet Express has been around since 1996, when it came as a replacement for the old Chevrolet Van. The second generation was launched in 2003 and featured a series of style and technical upgrades which helped the van remain competitive. However despite the constant struggles made by Chevrolet’s marketing team, the Express was always a half step behind the Ford E Series when it comes to sales charts.
For the second generation Express , the year 2003 brought four wheel disc brakes with ABS, new driver 60/40 access doors, larger stabilizer bars and a stronger frame. The 2003 Express was also offered for the first time with an all wheel drive system. The entire range of V8 units was replaced and th eold 6.0 liter turbo diesel was ditched.
The GMC Savana shared the same design and underpinnings with the Chevrolet Express and was launched for the first time in 1996 as a replacement for the old GMC Vandura.
Thanks to its generous payload capacity and the strong engines, the vehicle was fairly practical and even since its debut, has managed to stay on top of the sales charts.
The van was build with versatility in mind and thanks to its flexible character in could’ve be converted into various commercial vehicles being perfectly suited to be used as an ambulance or bus.
The GMC Savana was offered with a choice of redesigned Vortec petrol engines which developed between 220 and 290 hp. There was also a 6.5 liter turbo diesel V8 unit which came with 190 hp on tap. The van is offered with two wheelbases, three gross vehicle weights and an Extended version.
Te first generation of the highly utilitarian Chevrolet Express was launched in 1996 and came as a replacement for the old Chevrolet Van.
The vehicle shared the same underpinnings with the GMC Savana and both models were hot sellers on the US market. However, despite the fact that these two vans were basically identical, the Express outsells the Savana by more than 3 to 1.
The Chevrolet Express is a fairly versatile utility vehicle that can be used for towing heavy loads or as an ambulance, shuttle bus, or school bus. For increased versatility Chevrolet also offered cutaway versions for its Express.
The year 2003 brought only minor style and comfort upgrades for the Silverado . The most significant exterior changes were made to the front fascia. The interior was also slightly redesigned and the most striking modification is the new steering wheel which looks much better than the old one and gives the cabin a modern look.
There was also introduced the innovative Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system that was available on 1500 Extended Cab models and 1500 Heavy-Duty Crew Cab models. Other new optional features include an XM satellite radio and a more performant audio system. The engines lineup is the same as the previous one and consists of both V6 and V8 units.
After it was completely redesigned in 1999, the GMC Sierra has benefited from a few upgrades in 2003. With this occasion, the vehicle received a bolder front end and a few interior modifications.
There were also offered new comfort features which included a new sound system and an optional rear seat DVD entertainment center. Other upgrades were made to the brakes, while the engines were also slightly tweaked to run cleaner.
The entire engine lineup however, remained unchanged and the Sierra continued to be powered by the same units as the old generation.
The 2003 GMC Sierra continues to share the same underpinnings with its Chevrolet Silverado twin, but it’s considered slightly more upscale as it has more luxurious features than its brother.
Between GMC and Chevrolet there was always a strong bound, as these two brands shared a lot of platforms and technologies. It’s the same case for the Sierra truck that even since its inception shared the same design and engines with the Silverado.
A new generation Sierra was launched at the same time with the first Silverado pickup in 1999 and both models were based on the old Chevrolet C/K pickup.
The new Sierra represented a huge step forward in terms of engines and technology, undergoing a lot of upgrades which helped it climb to the top of the pickups food chain.
The 1999 GMC Sierra was offered with a new family of V8 engines and also some upgraded old units. There were various configurations available including regular or extended cabs, short bed or long bed, three trim levels and rear- or four-wheel-drive versions.
The year 1999 was a major one for Chevrolet . In this year, the company has launched on the market its completely redesigned C/K pickup and gave it a true identity.
The first generation Silverado was born from Chevrolet’s desire to come up with a better pickup, but the main problem was that the old truck was already a hot seller, so the new one needed to be at least as good as its processor.
In the end, Chevrolet ’s gamble with the Silverado paid off and the new truck was a huge success. It had stronger engines, a better ride and also superior handling abilities. For its time, the Silverado was among the most luxurious trucks from the streets, yet its exterior design was still a half step behind the main rivals from Ford or Dodge.
Between the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra was a strong bound as Chevrolet and GM offered parallel lineups and except for a few exterior details and some unique features, the two models were basically the same.
The first generation Avalanche was launched in 2001 and its main attribute was the famous unique foldable mid gate. Thanks to this feature, the Avalanche can be transformed from a five passenger SUV with a 5-foot-3-inch bed into a standard cab pickup with a full 8-foot-1-inch load bed.
The Avalanche is based on the Suburban model and was designed to fill the big gap between the SUVs and pickups. The Chevrolet Avalanche however, is a couple inches longer than the Suburban, but half a foot shorter than the Silverado extended cab.
At the launch the first generation Chevrolet Avalanche was offered with a standard 5300 Vortec V8 engine and comes in both 4x2 and 4x4 flavors.