Chevrolet Mexico's New Compact Van Has Charmed Me

Illustration for article titled Chevrolet Mexico's New Compact Van Has Charmed Me
Photo: Chevrolet

Chevy is redesigning its car-based pickup, the Tornado. The coupe-ute is reportedly getting bigger, according to Motorpasion. For Tornado fans, this is kind of a bust. But in a strange balancing of the scales, another commercial Chevy is getting smaller. There’s a new Tornado Van coming, and it rocks.

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Chevy Mexico announced its new compact van, which will come to market later this year as a 2022 model. It’s full specs and pricing are still unknown, and so is the exact date of availability. If I’m being honest, I don’t need to know.

The only thing that matters to me now are the Tornado Van’s crank windows.

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Photo: Chevrolet

Look at that glorious door panel. There’s nothing to snag or sag. Nothing that time will undo, or grime will overtake. It’s just a grey nothingness, a stoic, dependable tabula rasa. Something like a concrete wall upon which weary BMW owners can rest, and forget the traumas of saggy door cards and busted automatic window regulators.

The rest of the cabin seems just as efficient and well-thought out. Granted, it might be a little crowded in there, but this cockpit knows its purpose. Two passengers max. One drink each. A plastic shifter to prolong the life thereof. And an infotainment panel with a USB port but no screen. The cubby just above that radio panel seems perfect for smartphones the pilot or copilot may plug in.

This is some Dacia-level genius right here. This is no nonsense. This is the most utility for the least amount of money.

And I haven’t even talked about the few specs Chevy Mexico shared so far. We know that the 2022 Tornado Van will have a 1.5 liter engine, presumably a four-cylinder, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. It’ll come with 14-inch wheels and ABS brakes. It uses McPherson struts up front for suspension, while the back looks like it’s on a leaf spring setup.

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Photo: Chevrolet

The cargo section has similar wall panels to those in the cabin, and there’s a metal divider in the photos Chevy showed off. I do wonder about its headliner and seat color though, since grey seems a more sensible option for a commercial car. But the beige lightens the interior so I’m not complaining.

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I won’t speculate about its exact dimensions or wheelbase but Chevy Mexico stated this is its official entry into the compact van segment. Judging by its narrow front doors, I would say this is likely smaller than the Ford Transit Connect, and likely comparable to something like the Nissan NV200. The Tornado van just looks like a van, a proud little van, and not like a car.

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Photo: Chevrolet

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

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