The 2015 Chevrolet City Express is an all-new model.
The 2015 Chevrolet City Express is an all-new, compact cargo van that is based on the Nissan NV200. For Chevrolet, it's a departure from large utilitarian cargo vans like the Express. It's a small work van for the city, designed to haul medium-size loads and return better fuel economy.
For some van shoppers, the City Express' smaller dimensions will be an advantage. When you're darting from job site to job site or delivering goods in a crowded city, and agility is a top priority, the City Express starts to make a good deal of sense. Its standard four-cylinder engine returns 25 mpg combined, according to the EPA.
That four-cylinder engine isn't all that powerful, however. Even a few hundred extra pounds of cargo can make this van seriously sluggish. And while the City Express has a decent amount of cargo space when you judge it by the numbers, plumbers and contractors planning on hauling long sections of pipe or pieces of wood will need to attach exterior mounts or opt for a bigger van.
The small commercial van market has been expanding the past few years, and you now have a handful of models from which to pick. Of course, you can cross-shop the nearly identical 2015 Nissan NV200 (since that's what the Chevy is based on), but for more refinement and versatility, we recommend the 2015 Ford Transit Connect. The Transit Connect offers multiple body lengths, a peppy turbocharged engine and higher-quality cabin materials. The 2015 Ram ProMaster City may also be worth a look for its excellent cargo space and payload capacity. If you've got some modest small-business needs, though, the 2015 Chevrolet City Express is definitely worth a look.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2015 Chevrolet City Express is a compact cargo van that comes in two basic trim levels: LS and LT.
Standard equipment on the LS trim includes 15-inch steel wheels, 40/60-split rear cargo doors, sliding rear side doors, power front windows, cloth and vinyl upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a fold-flat passenger seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, air-conditioning and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. Cruise control is available as a stand-alone option for the LS.
The LT includes all of the above plus power door locks, heated power mirrors, keyless entry, an additional rear 12-volt power outlet and rear parking sensors.
Optional on both the LS and LT are two Glass packages and an Appearance package. The Glass packages add rear privacy glass to the rear- and passenger-side windows, as well as a rearview mirror and rear defroster. The Appearance package adds wheel covers, a chrome grille and body-color bumpers, mirrors and door handles.
For the LT, the Technology package adds a 5.8-inch touchscreen display (a Nissan system, not Chevrolet MyLink), a navigation system, satellite radio, a USB audio jack, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a rearview camera.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2015 Chevrolet City Express comes standard with a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that produces 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 25 mpg combined (24 city/26 highway).
During Edmunds testing, the Nissan NV200 that the City Express is based on went from zero to 60 mph in 10.0 seconds. That is quite a long time, even for a cargo van. Maximum payload for the City Express is 1,500 pounds.
Standard safety equipment on the Chevrolet City Express includes antilock brakes (front disc/rear drum), traction and stability control, side curtain airbags and front seat side-impact airbags. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are optional.
During Edmunds testing, the Nissan NV200 that the Chevrolet City Express is based on came to a stop from 60 mph in 138 feet, which is a long distance.
Interior Design and Special Features
As with most cargo vans, the 2015 Chevrolet City Express is designed with utility in mind. There are lots of tie-down points, and on the LT trim level there's an additional 12-volt power outlet in the back. There are several standard integrated mounting points to allow for the installation of racks and shelves.
The passenger-side seat has an underseat storage tray, and the seatback can be folded down to increase cargo space or serve as a flat work table, whether for using a laptop to track paperwork or catching a quick lunch. The steering wheel doesn't telescope, which might make it more difficult to find a comfortable driving position. But one nod to modern tech is the available infotainment system sourced from Nissan, which includes a user-friendly 5.8-inch color touchscreen.
Cargo capacity in the City Express tops out at 122.7 cubic feet, with a maximum payload of 1,500 pounds. For comparison, the long-wheelbase Ford Transit Connect provides 130.6 cubic feet of space and a 1,620-pound payload, while the Ram ProMaster City offers 131.7 cubic feet and a 1,883-pound capacity. The Nissan NV200 is the same as the Chevy.
The 2015 Chevrolet City Express' advantage is its agile nature and maneuverability. Where larger cargo vans such as the standard Express can feel like a lumbering truck-based brick, the City Express is nimble around city streets and easy to park, and it has a small turning circle. It feels secure in everyday cornering, and its ability to get in and out of tight spaces makes it very practical.
The small four-cylinder engine in the City Express isn't very powerful, though, and once you fill up the back with work equipment it is downright sluggish. Luckily, the benefit of carrying some cargo is that the Express will quiet down a bit. When empty, the cargo hold tends to amplify and echo quite a bit of road noise.
Edmunds Insurance Estimator
This is the estimated average annual insurance premium being charged in your state. The premium has been determined based on annual premium data for defined coverages (liability, comprehensive and collision) from a major insurer.
While this information is specific to vehicle make, model, model year and body type, your personal information is not taken into consideration and could greatly alter the actual premium quoted by an insurer. Factors that will affect your rate include your age, marital status, credit history, driving record, and the garaging address of your vehicle.
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