Chev Orlando

Chevrolet's new Orlando

Chevrolet has moved into the MPV market with the 7-seater Orlando which can be construed as the replacement for the Opel Zafira, although GM does not entirely rule out the possibility of the actual Opel version reappearing some years hence.

Bearing the largest GM ‘bowtie’ insignia of any of the marque’s vehicles, the Orlando stands high, wide and, if not handsome, certainly imposing with this backed up by a well planned and eye-pleasing interior layout and design.

The front seats are chunky and comfortable with an armrest on the driver’s seat, and the second row can be ‘tumbled’ forward to reveal two full sized seats in the third row. Leg room for the front passenger and driver is 1 034 mm while for second row passengers leg room of 917 mm puts Orlando among the most spacious in class. Headroom at the front is 1 020 mm and for the second row, 98 3mm, while passengers in the third row enjoy 945 mm of headspace, one of the best in its class even with Orlando’s sweeping exterior roofline.

Locally, there are two levels of specification – the LS with cloth seats and the LT with leather seats and some chrome dressing splashed across the interior and exterior.

There is a ‘secret’ compartment behind the front fascia of the audio and within easy reach of the both the driver and passenger. This feature is revealed by easily flipping up the face of the audio. It is large enough for such items as an MP3 player, sunglasses and wallets.

Within the space itself there is also a standard auxiliary jack and optional USB port for MP3 or iPod connectivity, depending on the trim level.

Standard items on the LS trim level include alloy wheels, power steering, height and depth adjustable steering wheel, air-conditioner; power side mirrors, rear park assist, cruise control, a full suite of electronic driver aids including anti-lock braking, Electronic Stability Programme, Traction Control, and Brake Assist.

The Orlando is based on the Cruze platform and gets the same 1,8-litre petrol engine fitted to that sedan – with the final drive ratio adjusted to suit the additional weight of the Orlando. Offering 104 kW and 176 Nm the normally aspirated 1.8 is adequate for the style of the vehicle. It would be nice to see the 2,0-litre diesel as an option! Both models have a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Pricing includes a 5-year/120 000 km warranty and Roadside Assistance, as well as 3-year/60 000 km service plan.

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