Chevy has graced visitors of the Chicago Auto Show with news about its new 2015 City Express van. While we traditionally have a good idea about what is going to be revealed a few days ahead of time, this came out of left field.
The Nissan NV200 -based van is little more than a Chevrolet rebadge, but it gives Chevrolet a tool to use against the Ford Transit at a minimal cost.
If you are looking for a smaller way to haul your kids, you are still going to need to look at the Mazda5, as City Express is purely a functional machine. It has two seats, and a load of cargo room; that is it.
Still, there is a lot to love about this little Chevy, so click on through to find out all the details from its drivetrain to its max cargo capacity.
Aside from the new Chevrolet family grille, the exterior of the City Express is nearly identical to its Nissan NV200 base. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the compact exterior dimensions of the NV200 make it a great tool for urban running. It is less than six-feet wide, so if you live in a big city like New York and need to park down a narrow side street or alley, you are covered. It has a long wheelbase and a tall height to increase the amount of interior cargo space that’s available in such a small footprint.
- Chevrolet signature front grill
- Aerodynamic front end design
- Halogen headlights
- Black front and rear bumpers
- Outside mirrors with wide-angle spotter mirrors
- Low-effort dual sliding side doors
- Tall 40/60 split opening rear doors with dual opening positions (90 and 180 degrees)
- Available heated outside mirrors (including spotter mirrors)
The interior of the City Express is all business. Pencil trays, laptop storage, hanging file storage and multiple recessed storage areas make it easy to turn the City Express into a mobile office. It’s not completely barren of luxurious however. The driver’s seat is 6-way adjustable, there are one-touch auto windows and an AM/FM/CD stereo. There is a technology package available that adds luxuries like navigation, Bluetooth and satellite radio.
The real news about the interior is the design of the cargo area. At four feet and six inches wide, it is sized perfectly to hold a standard size pallet. With a six-foot 10-inch depth from door to seatback, you can actually stack two pallets worth of goods into the back. There are also six floor-mounted tie-downs to help you secure all your cargo. If you need room for longer items, the passenger seat can be folded to give a max length of nearly 10 feet.
- Driver-focused front cockpit with fold-down passenger seat that creates a worktop or extended cargo space
- Driver 6-way manual adjustable seat with lumbar and armrest
- 4-way manual adjustable passenger seat
- Height-adjustable front head restraints
- Cloth seat surfaces with outboard vinyl wear patches
- Driver and passenger front door map pockets
- Power windows with one-touch auto up and down
- Center console with two cup holders
- Laptop/hanging file storage
- Pen/pencil tray and CD holder
- 12-volt power outlet on instrument panel
- Available 12-volt power point in rear of center console
- Recessed storage areas on upper instrument panel for folders and documents
- Passenger side under seat storage tray
- Driver information center
- Battery saver feature
- AM/FM/CD with auxiliary input and two front door mounted speakers
- Floor mounted cargo hooks (6) in cargo area.
The drivetrain of the City Express is a direct carryover from the NV200. That means a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent exclusively to the front wheels through a standard CVT transmission. Payload capacity is limited to just 1,500 pounds so the lower power engine shouldn’t be too large of an issue.
To bring the whole thing under control, there is a MacPherson strut front suspension, the rear has old-school leaf springs, and four-wheel ABS is standard. Should thing turn turtle for the Chevy Express, there are six airbags in the cabin.
|Engine||2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine|
|Transmission||CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)|
|Drive Configuration||Front engine, front-wheel drive|
|Cargo volume (CU. FT.)||122.7|
|Maximum payload (LB.)||1,500|
|Horsepower (HP @ RPM)||131 @ 5,200(est.)|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||139 @ 4,800|
Suspension and Braking Specifications
|Suspension||Independent front strut, rear leaf spring, front stabilizer bar|
|Braking||Power-assisted vented front disc/rear drum brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)|
There has been no announced pricing, but we would expect the base model to stick close to the $20,000 mark that Nissan currently charges for the NV200.
This is the exact machine that the City Express is based on. It features the same size, most of the same features and the exact same drivetrain. What you get by going with the NV200 is that any service that needs to be performed will be done by mechanics that are familiar with the engine. That can be a big deal if you have issues down the road.
Gallery Nissan NV200
The Ford essentially created the cargo van market decades ago with the original Transit. The latest generation Transit connect builds on that experience and the results are solid. The Transit connect is a fair bit larger, but with a 175 horsepower engine and more than 30 mpg on the highway, its a tough act to beat.
Gallery Ford Transit Connect Cargo
The City Express is going to be a great machine for anyone in the market looking for a small cargo van. Unfortunately, the NV200 that it’s based on has been on the market for more than six-years, and a lot of people in the market for this type of vehicle, likely already have one.
It makes sense for GM to use a proven and successful vehicle, we just wish they would have changed a little more to separate it from the Nissan.
- Compact exterior size
- Acres of interior cargo space
- Lots of storage areas
- Tiny four-cylinder engine
- Low maximum load weight
- CVT transmission
Gallery Chevrolet City Express
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 i 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.