Several front-wheel drive compact vans have hit the market in recent years, including the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV200, as well as the Ram ProMaster City. These moderately sized, car-like haulers have been developed for buyers who would appreciate the cargo space and versatility of a large, typically rear-drive commercial van, but are put off by the bulk and weight of such a vehicle. A growing number of urban dwellers and small business owners seem to be heading in that direction. They’re also attracted by the compact van’s better gas mileage.
Introduced in 2015, Chevrolet’s City Express is actually a near-twin of the Nissan NV200, with seating for the driver and a front passenger only.
What's New for 2017
Little has changed for the 2017 model year, except that Bluetooth connectivity is now available on the base LS.
Choosing Your Chevrolet City Express
The City Express comes in two trim levels: LS and LT. Both use a 2-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, coupled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 24 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway. Not many other vehicles get almost the same gas mileage in both types of driving.
Payload capacity is rated at 1,500 pounds. Cargo volume totals 122.7 cubic feet. That space measures 82 inches between the front seats and the rear doors, and 54 inches between the side walls. The fold-down passenger seat can convert into a work table. Center console storage includes a file folder bin. Six airbags are standard.
All City Express vans have front-wheel drive and a turning circle of 36.7 feet. The two trim levels differ mainly in ancillary equipment and option availability.
Because the monetary difference between the two trim levels is quite minimal, it might be prudent to select an LT, rather than add options to the base LS model. Foremost competition for the City Express may come from the nearly identical Nissan NV200, so it makes sense to cross-shop both models before deciding. Best to try out Ford’s comparable Transit Connect, too.