From now on, new Chevrolets like the Chevrolet Orlando will not be rebadged Daewoo designs. The Orlando is based on the same platform as the Cruze family car, which, in turn, means that it’s a modified version of the latest Vauxhall Astra’s architecture.
But while European Chevrolets have shorn themselves of their engineering influence from the US, their design is still on the partly American-inspired bold side of things. Those big, filled wheel arches, prominent snout and square-cut rear are more reminiscent of two-box rather than one-box US minivans and Chevrolet says, not unreasonably, that there’s a hint of crossover about the Orlando.
Most of our testers were not impartial to the Orlando’s looks. The Vauxhall Zafira, Renault Grand Scenic and Ford Grand C-Max don’t exactly major in design flair. Whether you like it or not, we’re pleased styling is now higher up Chevrolet’s list of priorities.
The confident styling can make the Orlando appear bigger than it is. At 4.65m in length, it’s one of the larger cars in this medium-size MPV class, certainly, but it’s only 10cm longer than a Ford Grand C-Max or Renault Grand Scenic.
Chevrolet says it has a ‘body in, wheels out’ design philosophy. No arguments here; the arches are prominent and the wheels fill them easily.
To take some of the blockiness of the doors away, they feature a gently rising strake on the bottom half. The window line is quite deep, giving a large glass area. Only the third row seats approach a closed-in feel.
The split-zone rear lamps are massive, with a hint of Ford S-Max about them, while a silver-effect rubbing strip is one of the SUV-inspired design touches. There’s a similar one at the front, too. Both are for effect only. The prominent ‘bow tie’ badge on the even more prominent grille leaves you in no doubt as to who makes this car.