Sometimes when the weekly review vehicle arrives in my driveway I just sit and scratch my head and wonder why it is in the press fleet. Case in point, the new 2015 Chevrolet City Express. Similar to the Ram Promaster City Wagon we reviewed recently, automakers are addressing the urban utility van segment, which apparently was underserved.
At first glance I thought the Chevy City Express looked very familiar and what do you know – it begins life as a Nissan NV200 like the NYC Taxi we had last year. Chevrolet adds it’s fascia and packaging but underneath it is pretty much all Nissan. It is not unheard of for automakers to source vehicles from other brands as Chevy has been partnering with Isuzu for years along with Daewoo and other nameplates. Now they are purchasing some Nissan iron.
The 2015 City Express is designed for the small business or fleet purchaser in need of economical, space-saving microvans and these can be outfitted in a host of forms. The tester that arrived in our driveway looked like a plumber’s rig complete with roof rack up top and storage bins inside. The rear is accessed via sliding side doors for additional space savings or a 60/40-split rear door that opens 90 or 180 degrees depending on needs and space allowed.
As with the NYC Taxi, this City Express is powered by a 131hp 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels and is mated to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT gearbox. Fuel economy is rated at 24 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
Chevy dresses the little van in LS and LT trim levels with ours arriving in the latter. Amenities are fairly basic, but with the elimination of any side or rear windows in this model the rear vision camera was a blessing. This vehicle also included the technology package, adding navigation and satellite radio, along with Bluetooth connectivity. But this was the first Chevy (GM) branded vehicle in quite some time that did not arrive with OnStar. In fact, the rearview mirror was deleted and the visors did not have vanity mirrors so needless to say my wife was none too happy running around in this thing. Oh, and it did have power windows and locks as well as remote keyless entry and a radio.
There is a full host of safety equipment included in the Chevrolet City Express; including side impact and head curtain airbags, along with vehicle stability enhancement, rear park assist, and tire pressure monitor system.
The van is quite configurable and offers quite a bit of cargo space inside–122.7 cubic feet to be exact. It can carry payloads up to 1,500 pounds and the cargo area is 6’10” long and 4’6” wide. The front passenger seat can fold flat into a work table (or lunch table) as well. There are some 20 integrated cargo-mounting points throughout the interior as well as six floor-mounted D-rings and six roof rack mounting points.
Pricing for the 2015 Chevrolet City Express begins at $22,950 with our LT tester arriving with a final sticker of $25,810.