The latest entry into the growing commercial vehicle segment is from Chevrolet with its new City Express Van. It will be introduced during the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Based off a shared platform with the Nissan NV200, the City Express will slot into the small-van market (think Ford Transit Connect) specifically designed for small businesses and companies in need of efficient, maneuverable cargo-haulers that will get strong fuel economy.
The City Express will be the smallest player in GM's fleet and commercial portfolio. It has a 115-inch wheelbase, yet offers almost 125 cubic feet of cargo capacity (that's more than a Suburban), and 1,500 pounds of payload (that's more than some half-ton pickups). Similar to its Nissan NV200 twin, the City Express cargo area will be very flexible, allowing owners to customize the interior walls with shelving, storage bins, hangers and just about any other industry-specific convenience you can imagine.
Mechanically the City Express has a naturally low center of gravity. It uses a MacPherson strut front suspension, a live tag axle and leaf springs in back, electric power assisted steering and front disc brakes (the rears are drums).
The City Express' powertrain uses a Nissan-sourced DOHC 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder that produces 131 horsepower and 139 pounds-feet of torque; it is mated to the most recent version of Nissan's continuously variable transmission. The little van also offers 60/40 swing-out doors (both of which open 180 degrees), a fold-down passenger seat for a flat workspace, standard floor mats, six floor tiedowns, power windows and door locks, and much more.
Pricing has not been announced but City Express will offer two trim levels, the LS and LT, and will have many premium packaging features that include navigation, satellite radio, a backup camera option and six standard airbags. The little Chevy van will have a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, five-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and Chevy's Complete Car two-year/24,000-mile free scheduled maintenance.
To download and read the 2015 Chevy City Express press release, click here.