Meet the 2015 Chevrolet Express: a compact utility van entering an increasingly-crowded space consisting of the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV200. Now look closely: does the City Express look like a product engineered and designed by General Motors?
If you answered “no”, then you’re absolutely correct. The City Express is, in fact, a rebadged Nissan NV200, and is a Nissan in pretty much everything but name. It won’t have such GM niceties as OnStar, it won’t have the MyLink infotainment system, and it certainly won’t drive like a Chevrolet. But it will fill a gaping hole in Chevy’s product lineup.
The compact utility van is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) — a combination that further gives away the City Express’ non-GM roots. The powertrain combo is rated at 131 horsepower (98 kW) and 139 pound-feet of torque (188 Nm), which gets sent to the front wheels, and GM is quick to point out that all 3,200 Chevy dealerships are capable of servicing the van. A MacPherson-strut suspension is out front, and a multi-leaf rear suspension harkens back pickup trucks. All that makes for an estimated payload capacity of 1,500 pounds.
Since the City Express will be doing a significant amount of hauling, its cargo area was designed to be spacious right off the bat, with 4’6″ of space from side wall to side wall — which is enough to load a standard 40″ x 40″ pallet flat on the floor. The space from the rear doors to the back of the front seats measures in at 6’10”, and folding the passenger seat increases that to 9’8″. Further optimizing cargo space are flat rear wheel housings. So, load ‘er up, and send ‘er off for quick (express) urban (city) deliveries, boys!
The new compact van will be available in LS and LT trim levels and joins the full-size Express. Pricing will be announced later. In the meantime, you’ll find us patiently waiting for a compact van that’s designed, engineered, and manufactured by The General.