by James Allen
The Chevrolet City Express is a small commercial van that is focused on providing a practical and high value offering to those who need serious cargo carrying capability in a compact package. Underneath the Chevy badge you will find a Nissan NV200 and for 2017, no significant changes have been introduced.
The Spartan interior is covered in hard-wearing plastic and wear-resistant cloth upholstery. This is in line with this segments other offerings and the high ride-height and logical control layout give the little van a purposeful and pleasant feel. There are not a lot of standard options to distract the driver although the City Express does offer a few upgrades especially in the higher LT trim level.
The cargo van is the sole body style and upfront there are two seats with the passenger seat offering a fold-flat feature and a storage tray underneath. General oddments space is good although what most shoppers will be interested in is the cargo area. The low floor, dual rear doors and sliding side door make loading bulky items a cinch and there are a number of mounting points to secure things in place too. Its load capacity of 1500 pounds is right on par with the rest of the class.
Available only with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine which produces 131 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque the City Express is a steady steer. Drive is to the front wheels and the standard CVT transmission is smooth in operation helping the Chevy achieve decent consumption figures. Performance is adequate rather than sporty and the City Express feels nippy at lower speeds.
That said, a full load can have a noticeably detrimental effect on acceleration and braking and getting up to highway speeds requires some commitment.
The Chevrolet City Express comes in two basic trim levels. There is only one engine and transmission option and the cargo van body style is the only one available.
The base LS comes with power windows, tire pressure monitor, traction control, a brace of airbags, single zone air-conditioning, 2-speaker audio system with CD player, 12-volt auxiliary power outlet and a set of rear cargo hooks. An Appearance Package adds body-color bumpers, outside mirrors and door handles as well as a chrome grille and 15-inch wheel covers.
The LT trim level adds rear park assist, cruise control, power adjustable, heated outside mirrors, Bluetooth and 2 auxiliary power outlets.A Technology Package is reserved solely for the LT and includes a USB Port, rear vision camera, Sirius satellite radio and a Color Connected Radio with touchscreen Navigation.
The Appearance Package on the LT offers 15-inch aluminum wheels while a number of individual optional items are available too. Some of these include security screen windows, rear vision camera and custom cloth seat trim. Safety items are limited to airbags and crumple zones.
The Chevrolet City Express continues unchanged for 2017 and offers fuss-free cargo carrying capability as long as the load is not too big and the distances not too far. Features such as available navigation system and rear vision camera help modernize the experience although this does not extend to the safety features list which is decidedly sparse.