Chevrolet Research Click to hide
Chevrolet is entering the surprisingly-hot small cargo van segment with the new City Express. Arriving this fall, the City Express is small enough so that it can comfortably fit into a parking space, but large enough to haul big loads. It is also expected to be more fuel efficient than many larger vans on the market.
One important thing to note is that the City Express is essentially a rebadged Nissan NV200, just with slightly different styling in the front and back ends. This was made possible by a partnership between Nissan and General Motors. Buyers of the City Express can expect to see the same setup under the hood as in the NV200, namely an underpowered 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out a meager 131 horsepower. The NV200 achieves 24/25 mpg, better than its primary competitor, the Ford Transit Connect.
The City Express has almost seven feet of room in the back when all but the front seats are folded down, less than offered by the Transit Connect. The car comes with tons of tie downs, as well as lots of nooks and crannies that maximize space. A fold down rear passenger seats converts to a flat work space, and there is a drawer under the driver's seat that also acts as a workplace. Cupholders in the dashboard and between the seats provide extra convenience.
Who It's For
The City Express may be a viable alternative to large SUVs. Its height and relatively narrow body maximizes space and makes efficient use of space. Small business owners may find good use of this vehicle and appreciate its good fuel economy. Delivery and taxi services will also find this car an attractive option. But for the everyday consumer with families and moderate hauling needs? It may not be the right vehicle.
The Chevrolet City Express comes with few standard technologies, so the upper LT trim may be the best way to go.
- Standard on base model: vinyl flooring, solid rear doors, power windows, 40/60 split rear sliding cargo doors, 12-volt power outlet
- LT trim: remote keyless entry, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, cruise control, backup sensors
- Optional Technology package with 5.8-inch diagonal touchscreen, navigation, Bluetooth, rear camera, three-month SiriusXM trial
What We Think
While it may provide decent utility and good fuel economy, it is hard for us to get excited about a rebadged van. While the van may be seen as well-rounded, we also think the City Express may fall into the trap of the middle player. It is not quite big enough for the largest jobs yet not small and nimble enough to provide adequate power. Its decent fuel economy will likely be a draw, however.
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