What’s the lowdown with the Chevrolet Orlando?
In the UK, the Chevrolet moniker often conjures up images of warmed over Daewoo’s. GM hopes to change that perception with offerings like the Orlando which will be based on the Vauxhall Astra’s architecture. The Orlando is a mini-MPV that can be had in three trim levels LS, LT and LTZ. There are also three engine options available including a 1.8-litre petrol and two versions of the 2.0-litre diesel making 139 and 161bhp respectively. The diesel engine is well refined even if its performance doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of Ferrari owners.
Nowadays, fuel economy figures are equally as important as performance. Mileage ratings for the petrol top out at 40.4mpg in optimal conditions. The average driver will likely never achieve these circumstances since the gutless 1.8-litre requires flogging to manoeuvre through traffic. The oil burner can achieve a noteworthy 58.7mpg, making it the power plant of choice for the fuel conscious buyer. The diesel is easy on the environment as well, emitting around 130g/km of carbon dioxide.
The driving position in the Chevrolet Orlando offers plenty of adjustment and forward visibility is adequate, but rear visibility is below par due to the awkward rear pillars and side windows. In other words, it may be wise to order the optional reverse parking sensors so you don’t occidentally reverse over the family dos while rushing the kids to football.
The worth of an MPV is decided by its seating arrangement and the Orlando has a few tricks up its sleeve to help it stay competitive. The Chevrolet has five permanent seats in addition to two tucked away under the boot floor, ready to spring to life on a whim. The first two rows of fixed seats are durable and offer ample leg room. The folding seats are as usual, not fit for use by fully-grown humans. There is no shortage of storage compartments with cubbies situated in the centre console, rear luggage area, in the roof and front and rear doors. The secret stowage space concealed behind the dashboard of the audio system has aux/mp3 sockets inside, but can double as the perfect place to keep your secret sweet stash hidden from thieves. If you’re planning a holiday or a trip to Tesco’s Extra, there is amble boot space, even if the wheel arches interfere to some degree.
The Chevrolet Orlando may be named after a city in the United States, but the build quality is up to European standards. The fit and finish is respectable and the standard equipment is comprehensive. The Chevrolet Orlando is 4.65m in length and features assertive styling – at least for an MPV. The front end fascia snarls at oncoming traffic with an angular grill topped with a hefty Chevrolet bowtie. The tail end makes a lasting impression as well with huge split-zone rear lamps and yet another sizeable bowtie appended to the back hatch. The interior is nothing fancy but it gets the job done without being offensive or drawing too much criticism. The only distraction is the large, clumsy gear knob. All trim levels of the Chevrolet Orlando come equipped with electronic stability control, six air bags, air conditioning and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors.
Chevrolet has a lot to prove in the UK market after years of sub-par offerings. The Orlando is a step in the right direction with its excellent value and build quality. In addition to winning over the European market, the Chevrolet Orlando just might achieve the unthinkable – make driving of an MPV cool.
What do you think of the Chevrolet Orlando?
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