From £17,695
Rugged compact seven-seat MPV would make for an easy and willing family wagon

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Orlando
The Orlando marks a see-change in how Chevys are regarded

Any rivals who take the Chevrolet Orlando for granted may be in for a shock

  • First Drive

    Chevrolet Orlando 2.0 VCDi

    A striking-looking new seven-seater with dynamics and refinement to match. And in 128bhp diesel form, good value, too.
  • First Drive

    Chevrolet Orlando 2.0 VCDi

    Rugged compact seven-seat MPV would make for an easy and willing family wagon
30 November 2010

What is it?

This is Chevrolet’s entry into the hard-fought European market for compact seven-seat MPVs. Or, to look at it another way, it’s a Korean-designed and Korean-built Astra-based people carrier.

Although its boxy, faux-SUV styling suggests otherwise, the Orlando is just 4.6m long. Inside it has seatbelts for seven, with the third row made up of two individual seats that can be folded flat into the floor.

The middle bench seat has a 40/20 split fold and an adjustable backrest angle. With the back of the bench folded flat, the Orlando offers a virtually flat load bay through to the front seats, though it’s not very deep.

There’s a choice of three engines, when the Orlando goes on sale next spring. The entry-level unit is a 139bhp 1.8 petrol, followed by a de-tuned 128bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel and the full-fat, 161bhp, 2.0-litre turbo diesel.

The petrol engine gets a five-speed manual ‘box, the diesel a six-speed. A six-speed auto’ is also optional on the diesel.

Prices start at £16,395 for the 1.8 Orlando in base LS spec (which includes air-con, six airbags, remote locking and an adjustable steering wheel). The entry diesel model costs £17,695. The range-topper diesel auto’ LTZ Executive (which gets sat-nav, leather and heated seats) costs £23,195.

What’s it like?

Although the Orlando is based on the same Delta platform as the Astra, it feels a size bigger. The cockpit is roomy, with plenty of shoulder space and the steeply sloping centre console presents the controls at very useable angle. The gear lever and handbrake are also particularly well-placed.

Aside from the ubiquitous mega-cupholders between the front seats there’s a small console bin and the very clever cubbyhole hidden behind the stereo’s fascia, which pivots up and over for access.

Middle row passengers get decent knee and headroom, while the third row has headroom for adults but child-only legroom. Plastic quality in the cockpit is pretty good, but rather more prosaic in the cabin and boot.

Overall, though, the Orlando feels robustly and honestly constructed. Inside, it doesn’t disguise its role as a family workhorse, even if the exterior – with its eye-catching grille design and brash detailing – suggests something more engaging.

Although the Orlando is hardly about pure driving pleasure, the range contains a big surprise. The 1.8 petrol unit is quite smooth and decently refined, but would probably be marginal will a full compliment of passengers. The 1.4-litre petrol turbo due later next year will be a better bet.

However, potential Orlando buyers should look no further than the 2.0-litre diesel engine, especially when hooked up to the six-speed autobox.

This engine – in stark contrast to the unit fitted to the Insignia - is refined, punchy and smooth and well matched to the slick six-speed manual. But it’s also particularly impressive in conjunction with the autobox.

According to Orlando vehicle line director Wilhelm Reinheimer, this ‘Family Z’ engine is a Korean design, based on an old Euro IV-compatible unit, but extensively re-engineered. He also says that the Korean expertise with automatic transmissions is the reason for the unusually slick pairing of a diesel and torque converter auto.

Otherwise, the Orlando has a quiet cabin and it runs straight and true at motorway speeds. It’s not exactly a driver’s car, but it resists body roll well even if the steering loses weight and feel on longer bends.

On the Spanish test roads it also rode well, though poor surfaces were mostly absent. The severe Spanish anti-speeding ridges did, though, resound through the structure, so we’d have to reserve judgment until we get the car on UK roads.

Should I buy one?

If you prefer the unconventional looks of Orlando compared to the sloping-nose conventionality of the opposition, the Chevy offers significant advantage for the private buyer.

Chevy’s ‘5-year Promise’ gives you five years’ warranty, servicing and roadside assistance. You are even insured against the car failing its first and second MOTs.

In diesel auto form, the Orlando is particularly easy and willing and it would make a very relaxing and useful family wagon. However, base diesel form, especially with 5-year back-up plan, offers a tempting mix for the private buyer.

Chevrolet Orlando 2.0 VDCI Auto LT

Price: £20,395; Top Speed: 111mph; 0-62mph: 10.6sec; Economy: 40.4mpg (combined); CO2: 186g/km; Kerb weight: 1659kg: Engine: 4 cyls, in line, 1998cc, turbo diesel; Power: 161bhp at 3800rpm; Torque: 266lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox: Six speed auto

Join the debate

Comments
16

1 December 2010

I don't want to keep moaning but, externally, this thing makes the new Sharan/Alhambra look positively stylish. The difference between concept and production is astonishing and utterly disappointing. Also, that interior- the seats, the leather, the folding arrangement and mechanisms, the plastics...all looks identical to the interior on my Craptiva. The fact that kids will not be able to see a thing from the rearmost seats renders them useless as most kids would refuse to use them after their first experience.

I had the 2.0 diesel in my Craptiva- it was a dog. Hilton recommends it in his review. I guess that means it has been significantly improved?

With my recent experience of a 7 seat Chevy, I would recommend just about anything else before this.

1 December 2010

[quote supermanuel]I don't want to keep moaning but, externally, this thing makes the new Sharan/Alhambra look positively stylish[/quote]

Indeed - has a face only a mother could love!

1 December 2010

The message you are replying to: Re: Chevrolet Orlando 2.0 VCDi

Compose
Preview
supermanuel wrote the following post at Dec 01, 2010 9:14 PM:

I don't want to keep moaning but, externally, this thing makes the new Sharan/Alhambra look positively stylish. The difference between concept and production is astonishing and utterly disappointing. Also, that interior- the seats, the leather, the folding arrangement and mechanisms, the plastics...all looks identical to the interior on my Craptiva. The fact that kids will not be able to see a thing from the rearmost seats renders them useless as most kids would refuse to use them after their first experience.

I had the 2.0 diesel in my Craptiva- it was a dog. Hilton recommends it in his review. I guess that means it has been significantly improved?

With my recent experience of a 7 seat Chevy, I would recommend just about anything else before this.


Highlight required text and click quote.

I think it looks good maybe not as good as the concept do . But it looks simple clean and butch . I don,t think it makes the Sharan or Alhambra stylish . I think the interior looks very stylish and off a decent quality . Maybe you should try one off these out before being so harsh on it . I am sure it is a lot better than your Captiva that Chevy have improved snce then . I do agree with you on the rear seats do the windows there are tiny which is a pity they should be bigger . Maybe some kids don,t mind it do may be they prefer watching a dvd or playing there DS during the drive .

As for the diesel it must be a bit better . Any chance off you test driving one off these just to see how much more off an improvement over your Craptiva this is and then coming back and telling us iff you think there is not much a little or a good bit . Maybe it looks a lot better in the metal too .

1 December 2010

[quote FastRenaultFan]As for the diesel it must be a bit better . [/quote] Chaps, the engine is virtually new. Believe me, it is very good indeed. Much better than the European unit in the Insignia.

1 December 2010

Centre console is a little bit panamera....not such a bad thing.

The exterior looks a little bit Lego.

The brand needs a more definative face/grill/logo, its a bit blah, blah, blah.

Ok for the Soccer Mum's I suppose.


1 December 2010

Compose
Preview

HiltonH wrote the following post at Dec 01, 2010 10:46 PM:

[quote FastRenaultFan]As for the diesel it must be a bit better . [/quote] Chaps, the engine is virtually new. Believe me, it is very good indeed. Much better than the European unit in the Insignia.

Aww thats good to hear . Is it a Chevy unit or is an Opel /Vauxhall designed and built unit do you know . Do you think it will be used in the Insignia too .

1 December 2010

[quote FastRenaultFan]Aww thats good to hear . Is it a Chevy unit or is an Opel /Vauxhall designed and built unit do you know . Do you think it will be used in the Insignia too . [/quote] As I said in the piece... 'According to Orlando vehicle line director Wilhelm Reinheimer, this ‘Family Z’ engine is a Korean design, based on an old Euro IV-compatible unit, but extensively re-engineered.' It really should go in the Insignia. It would transform it.

2 December 2010

HiltonH wrote the following post at Dec 01, 2010 11:47 PM:

[quote FastRenaultFan]Aww thats good to hear . Is it a Chevy unit or is an Opel /Vauxhall designed and built unit do you know . Do you think it will be used in the Insignia too . [/quote] As I said in the piece... 'According to Orlando vehicle line director Wilhelm Reinheimer, this ‘Family Z’ engine is a Korean design, based on an old Euro IV-compatible unit, but extensively re-engineered.' It really should go in the Insignia. It would transform it.


Aww very good yes you did indeed I did not fully read it the first time mostly checked the pictures but did read it again a second time after asking the Question and seen that thanks do . The Korean,s really are getting very good at all this . Yes I am sure it would maybe it will but I suppose thats between Chevy and Opel /Vauxhall too sort out .

2 December 2010

I personally like the way it looks.

Its not a car that I would be interested in, But I'd much rather the Chevy than say a Zafira, Scenic et al. Not to mention it will be well equipped and competitively priced.

2 December 2010

The styling doesn't make me swoon but it is appealing enough and a welcome alternative to the standard monobox midi MPV. I do have this perception that the Korean Chevrolets are gradually getting better. The main issue for buyers, I think, is whether you want to buy a new Orlando or a six month old Zafira from a main dealer and I suspect a lot of people see the latter as a safer choice.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run