Chevy’s new City Express to compete with Ford Transit Connect

Updated Feb 16, 2014

Chevrolet’s all-new 2015 City Express, on display this week at the Chicago Auto Show, is designed to match maneuverability and cargo-hauling flexibility with efficiency. Based on the Nissan NV200, the small van is aimed at urban business owners and fleet managers, but it’s clearly taking aim at the Ford Transit Connect in providing value-driven capability with low operating costs.

The City Express goes on sale this fall, offering 122.7 cubic feet of customizable cargo space, a turning diameter of 36.7 feet and an estimated payload capacity of 1,500 pounds.

The City Express also will deliver greater efficiency than full-size vans due to its smaller size and a 2.0L inline-four-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing matched to a continuously variable transmission.

“As the newest member of the Chevrolet Express family of vans, the 2015 City Express offers a smaller, more efficient choice for businesses that don’t need the cargo volume or other capabilities of a full-size van,” says Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet and Commercial. “It is an easy-to-maneuver van that makes the most of its compact dimensions with clever features, allowing business owners to maximize its space – and their resources – with a vehicle sized for their needs.”

RELATED: Ford’s Hottest Trend: Transit Connect Custom Vans

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Designed for function, the City Express’s cargo area accommodates large and bulky items, with 4’6” of space from side wall to side wall – more than enough to load a standard 40” x 48” pallet flat on the floor.

There’s also 6’10” of room from the rear doors to the back of the front seats. With the passenger seat folded, the length grows to 9’8”. The tops of the rear wheel houses are flat to enable tiered storage and to maximize storage space.
“The City Express is engineered to carry what’s important to business owners – and do it with cost-effective efficiency and surprising versatility,” adds Peper.

A Technology package available on LT models includes a 5.8-inch diagonal touch screen, navigation, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio with a three-month trial period, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB input and a rearview camera system.

Bluetooth connectivity is also available on LS models.

Under the hood, the City Express’s dual overhead cam 2.0L inline-four cylinder engine is rated at 131 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque and it features continuously variable valve timing. A continuously variable transmission drives the front wheels, contributing to efficiency by making the most of torque delivery across the rpm band.

Designed to provide a balance of strength and low mass, a body-integral chassis enhances efficiency and the feeling of performance. A MacPherson-strut suspension is located in the front with a truck-style multi-leaf rear suspension. Other chassis features include 15-inch wheels, front disc brakes and efficiency-enhancing electric power steering.

Four-wheel antilock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution are standard, as is an electronic stability control system.

The City Express also comes with six airbags standard: dual-stage frontal airbags, side-impact supplemental airbags and roof-mounted curtain airbags for enhanced side-impact and rollover protection.

The City Express gets Chevrolet’s Complete Care including:  

• Three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty

• Five-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty

• Two-year/24,000-mile scheduled maintenance

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All 3,200 Chevrolet dealerships across the United States can service the City Express.  

The City Express comes in LS and LT trims. Pricing will be announced later. Preliminary specs can be reviews here.

Chevrolet also offers Express full-size cargo vans in half-ton, three-quarter-ton and 1-ton chassis, in regular and extended lengths, and with gas – including CNG-capable – and diesel engines. Cut-away and passenger models are also available.