Chevrolet Orlando review
The Chevrolet Orlando is the maker's first MPV designed to compete in the British MPV market, and it offers great value for money
Chevrolet has come a long way in recent years, and the Chevrolet Orlando is the firm's first stab at an MPV for the UK market. It looks to have produced quite the unsung hero, too. By undercutting rivals like the Ford C-MAX, Renault Scenic and Citroen C4 Picasso, Chevrolet has produced a solid, bargain alternative to more common European MPVs. With solid styling, great practicality and a torquey diesel engine, the Orlando should be a concrete contender on any MPV shortlist.
Our choice: Chevrolet Orlando 2.0 VCDi (130) LT
The Chevrolet Orlando offers something very different in terms of styling. Its bold appearance has a retro appeal, and looks every bit as stylish as some more conservative rivals. Up front there is a huge grille and oversized Chevy badge, so there is no mistaking the heritage of this MPV. Follow the lines down the side and towards the rear and the chunky styling remains, with black trim and aluminium style scuff plates. The only thing that lets the Orlando down is its back end, with a small rear window and oversized lights. Inside, the Orlando has a classy cabin with chrome detailing and black inserts – gone are the days of cheap trim and flimsy plastics – this Chevy feels as well put together as a Ford C-MAX, and much better than a Renault Scenic.
You don’t expect a seven-seat MPV to handle like a race car, and very few people in the market for one will care how quickly it gets from 0-62mph. But Chevy have made a good attempt to cater for those who do. The 2.0-litre diesel has plenty of grunt and is quiet and refined at motorway speeds. The torquey 128bhp engine is good for 0-62mph in just under 10 seconds and the slightly stiff suspension means the Orlando is composed through the bends. However, this does result in a firmer ride than rivals like the Citroen C4 Picasso and bigger bumps can send vibrations resonating through the cabin. The 1.8 litre petrol motor is slow and thirsty, so is best avoided.
Due to its boxy lines, practicality is where the Chevy Orlando truly shines. Fold down the rear seats and you’ve got a huge 1,499-litre load space. However, with all three rows of seats in place, luggage room all but disappears, leaving just 89 litres to play with. Headroom in the rearmost seats is limited, but access is relatively easy, shaming rivals like the Citroen C4 Picasso. The Chevrolet has lots of neat little touches, including an extra rear view mirror to keep an eye on back seat passengers, as well as a cubbyhole behind the front of the stereo for an MP3 player.
The only feasible engine in an MPV is a diesel, and the Orlando is no exception. The 2.0-litre, 128bhp oil-burner manages a very respectable 47.1mpg whilst emitting 159g/km of CO2. Although the Orlando isn't quite as clean as rivals like the Citroen C4 Picasso and Ford C-MAX, it is quicker and packs plenty of grunt, which is an important factor when carrying a full load. The Orlando makes up for slightly slack green credentials with a bargain list price – the base spec diesel is around £4,000 less than the equivalent Ford C-MAX. What's more, owners can remain worry free for five years, as they will be covered by Chevrolet’s fixed-price servicing and 100,000 mile/five year warranty.