Used 2016 Chevrolet City Express Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2016 Chevrolet City Express is an affordably priced, bare-bones utility van that's economical to run and easy to maneuver. If you don't need maximum capacity or a powerful engine, it's worth considering for your business.
What's new for 2016
Introduced just last year, the 2016 Chevrolet City Express offers big utility in a compact package. As its name indicates, this is a small cargo van built to scoot through city streets with far more ease than a full-size Chevy Express van. With two seats up front and a wide open cargo bay in back, it can swallow awkward loads with ease and keep them dry and secure in any kind of weather.
The City Express won't replace the utility of the full-size Chevrolet Express van, but it's an attractive option for smaller businesses or people who don't need to haul long or heavy cargo. The City Express has a total cargo capacity of 122.7 cubic feet and a payload limit of 1,500 pounds. But it also has a small 2.0-liter engine, so the weight of your cargo will have dramatic effects on the performance of this van.
The Chevrolet City Express is a no-frills cargo van designed for small businesses.
Small utility-type vans like the City Express have been gaining in popularity, so there are actually a few options to consider if this is something that fits your needs. If you're looking for a model with a little more refinement and flexibility, the 2016 Ford Transit Connect is a good vehicle to consider. You can get it as a two-, five- or seven-passenger van and have the option of a turbocharged engine. If you're looking for more power and utility, the slightly larger 2016 Ram ProMaster City could be worth checking out. And lastly, there is also the nearly identical, slightly less expensive Nissan NV200, which is what the City Express is based on. We'll leave it to you to pick your favorite twin. There is a lot you can accomplish with a minivan of this type, and the 2016 Chevrolet City Express is one that may fit your needs perfectly.
Trim levels & features
The 2016 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 upholstery, vinyl flooring, 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 and rear parking sensors are available as stand-alone options 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 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.
There are up to 122.7 cubic feet of cargo space in the back of the City Express.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 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 in combined driving (24 city/26 highway).
During Edmunds testing, the City Express went from zero to 60 mph in 10.5 seconds. That's not especially quick, 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 Chevrolet City Express came to a stop from 60 mph in 143 feet, a poor performance for any vehicle.
The cabin of the City Express is built for work and not much else.
The 2016 Chevrolet City Express' advantage is its agile nature and maneuverability. A light steering effort and quick turn-in make it easy to navigate parking lots and tight city streets where driving larger cargo vans, by comparison, can feel like steering a cruise ship. Although its taller profile and higher center of gravity make it more susceptible to crosswinds, it isn't a cause for concern if you aren't frequently traveling windy, open highways.
The City Express' small four-cylinder engine offers the highest city driving fuel efficiency, but it lacks real power. So if the cargo you plan to haul is on the heavy side, you may find the City Express' muscle insufficient for the job.
By that same token, we found driving around with a completely empty cabin had an amplifying effect on the road noise. Having cargo, such as boxes, inside helps with sound-deadening, which is really the purpose of owning a vehicle like this.
The City Express' wide-opening front doors, dual-rear sliding doors and low load floor make ingress/egress a cinch. All in all, this is an affordably priced work van that doesn't try to be much more.
As with most cargo vans, the 2016 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 identical to the Chevy in all measurements.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.