Like its Nissan-badged counterpart, the City Express pairs a cavernous cargo area with a thrifty powertrain, featuring a continuously variable transmission and a 2.0-liter, 131-horsepower four-cylinder. As this is a badge-engineering job in the truest sense of the term, we wouldn't expect a very different driving experience from the NV200 we reviewed a few months back.
In case you're interested in seeing more of Chevy's expedient rival for the Ford Transit Connect, we headed down to the floor of the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place to get a closer look. Join in by taking a look up top at our full gallery of images from the show, and scroll below for the official press release from Chevrolet as well as video footage of its live media reveal in Chicago.
Versatile urban work van blends cargo room, maneuverability and efficiency
CHICAGO – Chevrolet's all-new 2015 City Express matches maneuverability and cargo-hauling flexibility with efficiency, giving urban business owners and fleet managers value-driven capability with low operating costs.
The City Express goes on sale this fall, offering 122.7 cubic feet (3,474 liters) of customizable cargo space, a tight turning diameter of only 36.7 feet (11.2 m) and an estimated payload capacity of 1,500 pounds.
The City Express also will deliver greater efficiency than full-size vans due to its smaller size and a 2.0L inline-four-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing matched to a continuously variable transmission.
"As the newest member of the Chevrolet Express family of vans, the 2015 City Express offers a smaller, more efficient choice for businesses that don't need the cargo volume or other capabilities of a full-size van," said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet and Commercial. "It is an easy-to-maneuver van that makes the most of its compact dimensions with clever features, allowing business owners to maximize its space – and their resources – with a vehicle sized for their needs."
Versatile and well-equipped
Designed for function, the City Express's all-important cargo area accommodates large and bulky items, with 4'6" of space from side wall to side wall – more than enough to load a standard 40" x 48" pallet flat on the floor.
There's also 6'10" of room from the rear doors to the back of the front seats. With the passenger seat folded, the length grows to 9'8". The tops of the rear wheel houses are flat to enable tiered storage and to maximize storage space.
Additional features include:
- Fold-down passenger seat that converts to a flat work space
- Center console designed for storage, including a standard file folder bin
- Tall, 40/60-split rear cargo doors that open to 90- and 180-degree angles
- Left- and right-side sliding doors
- Twenty integrated cargo-mounting points throughout the interior
- Six floor-mounted D-rings
- Six exterior roof rack mounting points
- Standard vinyl flooring
- Standard solid rear doors with tinted-glass windows available
- Standard driver information center
- Standard power windows
- 12-volt power outlet standard on LS
- Remote keyless entry with automatic locking feature standard on LT
- Heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors standard on LT
- Cruise control standard on LT, (available on LS)
- Backup sensors standard on LT, available on LS)
"The City Express is engineered to carry what's important to business owners – and do it with cost-effective efficiency and surprising versatility," said Peper.
A Technology package available on LT models includes a 5.8-inch diagonal touch screen, navigation, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio with a three-month trial period, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB input and a rearview camera system.
Bluetooth connectivity is also available on LS models.
Under the hood
Rated at 131 horsepower (98 kW) and 139 lb-ft of torque (188 Nm), the City Express's dual overhead cam 2.0L inline-four cylinder engine features continuously variable valve timing. A continuously variable transmission drives the front wheels, contributing to efficiency by making the most of torque delivery across the rpm band.
Designed to provide a balance of strength and low mass, a body-integral chassis enhances efficiency and the feeling of performance. A MacPherson-strut suspension is located in the front with a truck-style multi-leaf rear suspension. Other chassis features include 15-inch wheels, front disc brakes and efficiency-enhancing electric power steering.
Four-wheel antilock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution are standard, as is an electronic stability control system.
The City Express also comes with six airbags standard: dual-stage frontal airbags, side-impact supplemental airbags and roof-mounted curtain airbags for enhanced side-impact and rollover protection.
The City Express gets Chevrolet's Complete Care including:
- Three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty
- Five-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty
- Two-year/24,000-mile scheduled maintenance
All 3,200 Chevrolet dealerships across the United States can service the City Express.
Based on the Nissan NV200, the City Express comes in LS and LT trims. Pricing will be announced later.
Chevrolet also offers Express full-size cargo vans in half-ton, three-quarter-ton and 1-ton chassis, in regular and extended lengths, and with gas – including CNG-capable – and diesel engines. Cut-away and passenger models are also available.