All new 7-seat compact Chevrolet MPV joins GMSA line-up
Functionality and bold styling add excitement to MPV segment
Comprehensive specification list delivers excellent value proposition
Flexible interior layout for optimised practicality
Excellent safety features
Choice of two specification levels
Latest addition to the iconic Chevrolet family
First ever Chevrolet MPV to target European product preferences
Chevrolet’s exciting new Orlando makes a bold and refreshing statement in the important MPV sector in South Africa. Styled and engineered to target the European market preferences that are prevalent in South Africa the Orlando breaks with convention. MPV at heart but Crossover vehicle in style, the Orlando rewrites the rules for a historically conservative market segment with its stand-out-from-the-crowd looks.
The brand DNA is unmistakeably Chevrolet with the distinctive split radiator grille and bow-tie badge defining the front view. This is artfully blended into the crossover inspired silhouette with its bold side-on view accented by prominent wheel arches and low roofline. The ‘body, wheel out’ creates an overall appearance that introduces a degree of swagger to the MPV segment. A challenge to “match me if you can.”
Based on a show concept vehicle first presented by Chevrolet on the International Motor Show circuit in 2008, the Orlando embodies the values and practicality associated with a contemporary family car. It combines 7-seater practicality with a generous load carrying capacity linked to exceptional interior flexibility that allows the vehicle to be configured in a wide range of passenger versus load variations.
The interior design of the Orlando draws on numerous Chevrolet design cues. Amongst these are the sporty Corvette inspired dual cockpit layout and blue ambient back-lighting for the centre console. Both distinctive and functional, the interior layout provides for excellent ergonomics with all major controls well placed within intuitive reach of the driver.
A further functional element of the interior design is the ‘theatre-style’ seating arrangement for the three rows of seats. This maximises interior space utilisation to provide comfortable accommodation for seven passengers together with a generous load carrying area.
The ‘theatre-style’ seating draws this description from the configuration of the three rows of seats in a raised tier format. Despite the sleek roofline of the Orlando the design team has succeeded in creating sufficient interior headroom to allow the second and third rows of seats to be raised to allow the occupants of these seats to enjoy enhanced forward and sideways views. This is achieved without any compromise to headroom, in fact the headroom in the third row of seats in the Orlando exceeds that of a number of its competitors.
The second and third rows of seats can be folded down independently to allow for a multitude of interior layouts with a completely flat load area. The second row of seats has a fold-and-tumble facility for the two outer seats for ease of access for access to the third row of seats.
With the rear of the vehicle configured for maximum load carrying capacity the Orlando offers one of the most voluminous capacities in the monocab MPV class. With both the second and third rows of seats folded down the capacity of the Orlando is a cavernous 1 499 litres. Loaded to the window line the capacity is 856 litres.
When it comes to family vehicles there is always a demand for storage space for any number of odds and ends that are a part of any family journey be it a local commute or a long distance holiday journey. The original concept version of the Orlando grabbed the attention of motor show attendees with its wide ranging and innovative provision of additional interior storage spaces.
This has been carried over into the production version with a number of compartments of varying sizes and shapes placed throughout the interior to accommodate the most expansive of storage needs for small items.
Included are the mandatory cup and coin holders for the front seat occupants as well as document and bottle holders incorporated into the front and rear door side panels. A number of individual compartments are placed in the cargo area as well.
Perhaps the most ingenious of the storage areas is the one placed behind the facia of the audio system, easily accessible to both driver and front seat passenger. First seen as a gimmick on the original concept car, the Chevrolet interior design team have been able to integrate this feature into the production model as a functional, reasonably large, storage area revealed by flipping up the face of the audio system.
This area is large enough for items such as an MP3 player, sunglasses, or a wallet. Placed in this storage area is an auxiliary jack for MP3 or iPod connectivity.
Occupant safety is a prime consideration in any vehicle built for today’s motoring environment. When it comes to vehicles designed for family transport the expectations are at the highest level. To this end the Orlando designers have paid close attention to the detail in the safety specification and employed the latest technologies available to provide an excellent level occupant protection.
The Orlando body has been designed around a passenger safety cell philosophy with high strength steel used in all areas where high body strength is required. Effective protection is provided by what can best be described as a passenger safety cage to cover the incidence of front, side-on and rear collisions.
Aside from the use of high-strength materials, the basic design incorporates crumple zones to absorb the initial impact and strategically placed chassis members designed to effectively dissipate impact energy through the body structure. Six airbags provide comprehensive supplementary restraint protection.
A challenge often faced by responders to an emergency situation involving a motor vehicle is gaining access to the occupants when the doors are locked, a common occurrence in a security minded society. The Orlando provides a solution to the problem by employing crash sensor technology that releases the door locks automatically when a heavy impact is detected.
The Orlando is based on the hugely successful Cruze platform and shares a number of the attributes of that platform including excellent ride and handling characteristics and a rewarding driving experience. The front suspension is by means of a McPherson strut layout with the rear using the same advanced compound crank (torsion beam) formula as the Cruze.
The suspension has been optimised to provide the best solution between ride comfort and agility – typically opposing forces when it comes to suspension tuning. The Orlando suspension team has made use of hydraulic bushings – typically found only on more expensive high-end vehicles – to assist in isolating noise and vibration from the front suspension. The compound crank system used at the rear provides an effective compromise between effective suspension control and weight and space efficiencies. This system is also easily tuned to accommodate differing vehicle weights associated with different specification levels or engine choices.
The Orlando is offered at launch powered by a 1.8 litre fuel-efficient 16-valve petrol engine with multi-point fuel injection – the same unit used in the Cruze. This engine produces maximum power of 104 kW @ 6200 r/min and peak torque of 176 Nm @ 3800 r/min. Drive is via a 5-speed manual transmission to the front wheels. This engine delivers fuel economy measured by GM engineers of 7,2 l/100 km for combined cycle operation with emissions of 171g/km.
Two specification levels are available, LS and LT, both formulated around the latest global Chevrolet trim levels. Both offer a comprehensive list of standard features and exceptional value. 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 ABS, Electronic Stability Programme, Traction Control, and Brake Assist.
In all areas the Orlando has been engineered to provide a safety reserve. From the basic design to the implementation of a full range of electronic driver aids the Orlando will deliver on the promise of the safest passage possible. This, combined with its innovative packaging and exceptional interior flexibility, make it a highly desirable MPV.
Model Line-up and pricing:
Orlando 1.8 LS MT R254,400
Orlando 1.8 LT MT R295,000