The Chevrolet Orlando – What You Need to Know
The Chevrolet Orlando is classified by the company as an “MPV”, but most of us would simply call it a crossover, a compact SUV, or even a small minivan. It’s intended to be a practical vehicle that balances people-moving capabilities with fuel economy.
With this MPV, you’ll get 5 doors (counting the rear hatch as a door, in traditional fashion) and 7 seats. The three rows of seating fold down, allowing you to choose between extra seating or cargo capacity. Various combinations of seating arrangements are possible, making an amazing 16 different possible combinations to compromise between seating and storage capacity.
Despite resembling an SUV, the Orlando is actually based on the Chevy Cruze chassis, and is only stretched out two inches to accommodate the additional seating. Since it’s based on a car platform, the Orlando drives a lot like a regular sedan, aside from the additional body roll created by a raised center of gravity. This also means parking is much easier than you might expect, and Chevrolet’s Park Assist option makes parallel parking a breeze.
With the right combination of engine and transmission options, you can expect up to 39 miles per gallon for a gasoline engine, or up to 47 miles per gallon for the diesel. Bearing in mind this is still a small vehicle, for something that can seat seven, these numbers are still very impressive.
To achieve its goal of being an economic vehicle, multiple engine options are available. None of these choices are going to lay down astonishing power, but the Orlando isn’t intended to appeal to the sports car market as a priority. A 1.8 liter 138 horsepower four cylinder is standard, with an optional upgrade to a 2.4 liter Ecotec model which creates 174 horsepower. You can also get a 2.0 liter diesel model, which increases fuel economy and produces slightly cleaner emissions.
Depending on your engine choice, you’ll get either a five or six speed manual gear box, with an optional six speed automatic (at the price of slightly reduced fuel economy). Other options to choose from include OnStar for immediate assistance in the event of an accident or breakdown. OnStar also allows you to track and remotely disable your vehicle should a theft occur.
Entertainment options include MP3 playback with Bluetooth capability, allowing you to access your phone’s music library or streaming audio services like Pandora. SeriusXM is available as well, allowing you to listen to satellite radio without messing with your phone.
The Chevrolet Orlando was revealed as a concept vehicle back in 2008, originally intended for the US market. Those plans didn’t quite work out for Chevrolet though, so the Orlando is currently only available in Europe and Canada, and is imported into those countries after leaving the assembly plant in South Korea. No official announcements have been made regarding the possibility of this vehicle eventually being sold in the United States, but the option doesn’t seem to be entirely off the table.
For the Canadian market, you can snag one of these MPVs for just over $21,000 if you’re interested in the lowest trim level. For another thousand dollars, you can get a few appearance upgrades throughout the interior and exterior. If you want to go all out, for just over $27,000 you can get remote start, power heated seats, 18” wheels, an electronic parking aid, and a few other trim enhancements. Buyers get a standard five year warranty, including maintenance, protection from manufacturing defects, and even roadside assistance.
Overall, the Chevrolet Orlando provides a great balance between affordability, capacity, economy, and general practicality – even if it’s not the most sporty or luxurious vehicle around.