The Citroen C4 Picasso and Ford CMAX rival brings bold and brash American styling to the family car sector.
With an impressive specification list in three trim levels and a choice of a trio of engines – two of them diesels – the Orlando sees Chevy enter a new market in the UK.
The manufacturer’s top brass admit it’s a key one for dealers too and a sector that they believe the Orlando is perfect for.
‘This is an important market for us to get into,’ said Wayne Brannon, Chevrolet Europe vice president. ‘With six key models launches in the next 12 months we plan to double our growth in the next five to six years.
‘Orlando is a car that gets the job done for families that want it to do a job with no fuss. It shows Chevrolet is on the right track.’
Car Dealer tried the new MPV at the European launch in Valencia this week. It’s an impressive step for the brand and is a competent car on the road.
We tried both the high-powered 2.0-litre diesel engine which produces 163bhp (there’s a lower powered 130bhp option too) and also the 140bhp 1.8-litre petrol.
The diesel is the pick of the two. It’s refined, quiet and with the automatic gearbox very smooth to boot – it’s pretty nippy for the size of the car too.
The petrol is a bit lacklustre, in comparison, but the manual five-speed gearbox is precise and has a satisfying throw to it. Woolly steering lets the car down a little though and we did find the ride a bit too hard on Spanish roads. That doesn’t bode well for its performance on UK roads.
Kit is impressive with the top of the range LTZ models getting a choice of all three engines, 17-inch alloys, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, as well as power folding mirrors.
That’s on top of the standard equipment which includes air con, electric windows, remote central locking, six airbags and tinted windows.
Performance for the preferred diesel engine isn’t bad. It’ll do 60mph in 10.6 seconds, a top speed of 111mph while returning 40mpg with emissions of 186g/km.
Those seven seats are practical and the rear-most pair fold flat into the boot when you’re not using them leaving an impressive amount of luggage space.
We think the biggest stumbling block will be the pricing though. The range matches rivals like the Ford CMAX on cost, with the top of the range Orlando diesel auto retailing at £23,195 – the equivalent Ford is £23,245.
It’s certainly a bold move taking on the Blue Oval in the pricing stakes and one which we’re unsure will pay off. Perhaps the marque’s Five Year Promise offer will be enough to tip the balance in the Chevrolet dealer’s favour? We’ll have to wait until the Spring to find out…