By Trevor Dorchies
The compact work van segment is now a thing and is growing at an exponential rate with popular examples including the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and Ram ProMaster City. The latest contender to join the ranks comes in the form of the 2015 Chevrolet City Express in close partnership with Nissan. We think this partnership is a good thing as the Nissan NV200 is a favorite of the editorial staff when it comes time to move anything from furniture to a motorcycle. Chevy and Nissan's ability to work with one another is a win for all involved as the NV200 is a solid contender in a crowded segment. Now it's the all-new City Express' turn to carve out its own piece of the segment pie.
If your business has been using the Chevrolet Express or GMC Savana, but you're looking for a more efficient (i.e. smaller) alternative, the new City Express would like a few words. A low loading floor makes piling bulky items in easier, too.
Like the Nissan NV200, if you spend a lot of time on the highway, going above 70 mph is a chore for the City Express. Minus the Golden Bowtie badges, there isn't a whole lot else that separates the two examples from either brand.
The 2015 Chevrolet City Express is all new for the latest model year.
Driving Impressions Being that it's essentially a Nissan NV200 work van with a Chevy badge up front, the City Express shares identical driving characteristics and cargo dimensions. The ride is composed, whether...... you're navigating tight alleyways or cruising down the highway. Just don't crest 70 mph as the City Express (like the NV200) doesn't have much more to offer after that. Its 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder engine is rated at 131 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque, so you're not going to win a drag race, but you will save money at the pump. This engine drives power to the front wheels courtesy of a continuously variable automatic transmission.
With 122.7 cubic feet of cargo room, there's more than enough room for shelving, for large and bulky items, or for a standard-size wood pallet to sprawl out across the floor.
Many City Express customers will be spending a better portion of their day on the road, so having amenities like an available 5.8-inch infotainment and navigation screen, Sirius XM radio, and Bluetooth connectivity make the day go by faster.
Like many work vans before it, the new City Express features a driver's seat that's perched high up for better outward visibility. The driver's seat also boasts a 6-way adjustment function, while the lumbar support can be manually adjusted. Outboard vinyl wear patches help to slow down daily wear-and-tear, while the rest of the interior features plastic surfaces that are easy to clean when necessary. The center console can store a laptop, features a pencil tray, and a sliding drawer is situated under the front passenger's seat for even more storage.Exterior
There isn't a whole lot of difference between the 2015 City Express and the 2015 Nissan NV200 minus the badging and nose styling. Other than that, the new City Express comes in familiar Chevy trim levels including the LS and LT. Both trim levels offer an appearance package which features body-color front and rear bumpers, outside heated mirrors, and door handles. Other features included in this package are 15-inch wheel covers and a chrome grille with black accents. Opting to go with the LT trim also brings a passenger-side sliding door with tinted glass.
A vinyl floor and rear cargo mat, solid rear doors, a locking glovebox, and a driver information screen showing fuel range, oil life, average speed, tire pressure monitoring, and tachometer are all standard features on the 2015 City Express.
Bluetooth, cruise control, a rear window defogger, and rear park assist are all optionally available. The rear park assist doesn't include a backup camera, though, and is only available on the LT model.
A 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder engine rated at 131 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque sends power to the front wheels with help from a continuously variable automatic transmission. This combination is good for an EPA rating of 24 city/26 highway/25 combined mpg. It's also enough muscle to pull around the van's weight of 4,751 pounds. In the real world, we find the City Express to be comfortable for daily use, but there's not much more you can squeeze out of it once you've hit 70 mph. Traction control and antilock, front disc/rear drum brakes bring the City Express down to a halt in a controlled manner.
2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder engine
131 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
139 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/26 mpg
On the LS trim, you can get into a City Express for a starting price of about $23,000, and that includes a $995 destination charge. The 2015 Chevrolet City Express LT starts at around $24,500 including the destination fee. With all of the boxes checked on a fully-loaded City Express LT, you're looking at a bill of just over $26,000. That's not bad when you compare it to the Ford Transit Connect, which has a price range that starts a tick over $23,300 and can climb over the $30,000 mark. Like the Transit Connect, the Ram ProMaster City has a higher entry price (just over $24,000) but the fully-loaded model stops short of the $30,000 figure. The Nissan NV200 starts at around $20,000 while a nicely equipped SV model will top out around $25,000. Over time, we predict that the City Express will hold its value quite well.