Chevrolet’s new Orlando model has an unconventional appearance, which the carmaker hopes will attract customers in Europe's medium minivan segment. The Orlando features a sweeping roofline that makes it look almost like a crossover.
At the minivan's press launch, Federico Sanguinetti, CEO of Chevrolet Italy, said that the Orlando offers the “driving dynamics of a passenger car, the look of an SUV and the versatility and cargo space of a minivan.”
This minivan is aimed at consumers who want to downsize from a seven-seat large minivan to a medium minivan, which provides five seats for adults and two more seats for children in a third row.
The Orlando’s pricing is very attractive. It is about 15% less expensive than rivals -- such as the Ford Grand C-Max or Opel/Vauxhall Zafira – that are offered with the same standard equipment.
Chevrolet claims that its 1,500 liters of cargo space is one of the most generous in the segment. Chevrolet based the Orlando on GM's global Delta II architecture that was also used to underpin the Opel/Vauxhall Astra and Chevrolet Cruze compact cars.
According to Chevrolet Europe Managing Director Wayne Brannon, the brand seeks to boost its European presence by 2016 to account for two thirds of the market segment. Brannon adds that the Orlando will play a major role in achieving this goal. Currently, the brand covers a quarter of the market segment.
Just beneath the hood, customer can choose three fuel efficient engines from Chevrolet. Two of them are diesel-powered with the third being gasoline powered. The gasoline engine has 1.8 liters and can deliver power at 6,200 rpm of 141 hp with maximum torque of 176 Nm coming in at 3,800 rpm.
Maximum speed offered by the engine has been measured at 185 kph with CO2 emissions at 172 g/km and fuel consumption being at 7.3 liters for every 100 kilometers. The two diesel engines meanwhile are both the 2.0-liter 4-valve cylinder type and have a rail injection fuel system.
While they may have similar displacements, the two diesel engines have been tuned to ensure that they have different power outputs and unique drive characteristics. The first engine can deliver 163 hp of power at 3,800 rpm with maximum torque at 2,000 rpm of 360 Nm.
Maximum speed for this engine is 195 kph. The second engine meanwhile has less power at 130 hp and maximum torque at 315 Nm, at the same speeds. Maximum speed is 180 kph. However the two have the same CO2 emissions at 159 g/km with fuel economy also the same at 6 liters/100 km. Regardless of what engine is chosen, they all have 4-cylinder units that are transversely mounted and have double overhead camshafts.
The engines also have 16 valves and have a multi-point fuel injection for the gasoline engine and the common rail technology for the diesel option. In addition, all the three engines offered for the Chevrolet Orlando have an alloy head and a cast-iron cylinder block.
The choices are not limited to the engine as customers also have the option to select between three different trim levels. This will be offered once the Chevrolet Orlando starts being on sale. The launch of the Chevrolet Orlando will also celebrate a change in Chevrolet Europe as it will be using the same trim names used worldwide. Customers can therefore hope to see the LS, LT, and LTZ trims become the standard.
Cars will also have on its exterior a trim badge but this is limited only to those on sale in right-hand drive markets, another first for Chevrolet Europe. Regardless of what model they want, customers are ensured that they get the standard items plus a high level of equipment like the six airbags, power mirrors, and electronic stability control.
This is equipped even in the entry level LS. The LT variants meanwhile, which are considered to be at the mid-range, have extra features like the audio controls mounted on the steering wheel and the parking sensors. The LTZ has the electronic cruise control, the auto dipping rear view mirror, and the alloy 17-inch wheels.
The Orlando is mainly based on the brand’s award-winning and highly successful Cruze sedan. As such, customers can expect excellent handling and ride in addition to having a safe and rewarding drive. The Chevrolet Orlando also manages to use the McPherson struts on its front suspension and even the compound crank axle on the rear.
Following the success of the Cruze, the chassis of the Chevrolet Orlando was tuned in a manner that it balances agility and ride comfort. Going back to the McPherson struts used on its front suspension, it has the hydraulic bushings that are only seen in more high-end vehicles. Passengers also benefit from the enhanced ride isolation and the controlled absorption regardless of the road surface.