Seven-seat Chevy gets high class cabin; on sale October 2009
2 October 2008

General Motors’ value brand marches onwards with the Paris show launch of the Chevrolet Orlando, which will replace the defunct Tacuma when it goes on sale next October.

Although billed as a concept, Chevrolet says the production Orlando will be very similar to this show car, which is a runner and has a real, fully functional chassis and drivetrain underneath.

That chassis is GM’s new Delta platform, which is also being used in the Chevrolet Cruze and the new Astra. The Orlando uses a Macpherson strut front/torsion beam rear suspension set up – power is provided by a 2.0-litre diesel, coupled to an automatic gearbox.

The body is much more radical than anything produced so far by Chevrolet Europe, and a long way from the ex-Daewoo Tacuma. Concept car touches such as the Aston-Martin style flush door handles will make production along with the sloping rear roofline, although the one-piece glass roof won’t - it’s too expensive to offer in this class.

The show car’s interior is also nearly production ready – strip out some of the glossier materials and the concept-car roof-lining and you have the real thing, which adopts GM’s new wraparound dash architecture first seen in the Insignia.

The quality is good – much better than you would expect from a value brand – and the Orlando’s cabin gives the perception of a well-made, Germanic car. It's a seven seater and the rear two rows are removable and fold flat – these features will also make production.

And in case you were wondering about the odd name, that’s production ready too; the real thing will be badged Orlando…

Dan Stevens

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