The 2015 Chevrolet City Express has less cargo space and power than its competitors, but it should come with a lower price that makes it ideal for commercial operators or small business owners.
Small footprint should make it more maneuverable than most cargo vans; easy-to-load cargo area, economical four-cylinder engine.
Slow acceleration; less cargo space than rivals.
The 2015 Chevrolet City Express is an all-new model.
Until recently, Ford has had the growing segment of small commercial vans almost to itself. Its Transit Connect model offers a small footprint with a big interior, making it a favorite with delivery services, utility technicians and even taxi fleets. Chevrolet enters the field with the 2015 City Express, a "van" built atop a car platform. Roughly the same size as the Chevy Cruze, the City Express will offer more agility and better fuel economy than large, truck-based vans.
The City Express may look vaguely familiar, as it's based on the Nissan NV200. Only restyled front and rear ends and different badges differentiate the two models. A partnership between General Motors and Nissan allows Chevrolet to offer business customers an alternative to SUVs and crossovers without developing an entirely new model.
The City Express should mimic the NV200's interior utility, with wide side door pockets, a drawer underneath the driver seat, a fold-flat passenger seat and a long load floor. Sliding doors on each side and 40/60-split rear cargo doors (the left side is smaller to reduce street-side intrusion when open) are among the NV200's thoughtful touches that we expect to carry over to the City Express.
Unfortunately, the Chevrolet City Express will also inherit the NV200's anemic 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which sends its 131 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). That's barely enough power for most modern small sedans, let alone a van full of cargo. Acceleration will not be among the City Express's merits, but it should achieve decent fuel economy. The NV200, for example, returns 24 mpg combined. Chevrolet could also eventually offer its 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder to improve pulling power.
Like the NV200, the City Express won't be exceptionally vast compared to others in the segment. The NV200, for example, comes up about 13 cubic feet short of the Transit Connect, and 22 cubes short of the 2013 Ram C/V Tradesman. The City Express will likely come in base LS and LT trims, the latter including cruise control and remote keyless entry among other features.
The 2015 Chevrolet City Express goes on sale in the fall of 2014. Check back for a full review of the City Express, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.
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