Chevrolet Orlando MPV
Price £18,050 - £25,650
- Space for seven
- SUV styling
- Powerful and efficient diesel engines
- Flimsy interior
- Petrol version is noisy and slow
- Not much fun to drive
At a glance
"The Chevrolet Orlando offers chunky looks, a comfortable ride and plenty of space, but it's the low price that will attract most buyers."
The Chevrolet Orlando is a seven-seater MPV, which competes with cars such as the Citroen C4 Picasso, Ford C-MAX and Renault Scenic. That said, it has added appeal thanks to its chunky styling that makes it look quite like an SUV.
It gets a spacious cabin, with plenty of storage areas, and a third row of seats that fold into the boot floor when they are not needed. The Orlando has useful family features such as a second mirror up front, for keeping an eye on the kids in the back.
The Orlando's petrol engines feel underpowered and are thirsty on fuel, so we’d recommend going for one of the diesels that are more economical and also better suited to moving the big MPV. The Orlando is more fun to drive than you would expect, with suspension that does a good job of reining in body lean.
The model range starts with the basic Chevrolet Orlando LS and end with the top-spec Chevrolet Orlando LTZ Executive model.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Economy and emissions trail class leaders, but insurance should be cheap
The Chevrolet Orlando is at its most economical when fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and a manual gearbox. Equipped as such, it can return economy of up to 52.3mpg and emissions of 139g/km for road tax that will cost £130 annually. The 1.8-litre petrol is best avoided, because it is both heavy on fuel and slow, but the more modern 1.4-litre petrol gets 44.1mpg and is the pick of the petrol engines. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed auto, although the latter reduces fuel economy by roughly 10mpg.
The Orlando should be cheaper to insure than most of its rivals and it only needs serviced every 20,000 miles. The fact that Chevrolet will stop selling cars in the UK in 2015 shouldn't concern you either, as servicing can be carried out both at Chevrolet and Vauxhall dealers.
Interior & comfort
Supple ride and roomy cabin will appeal to family buyers
In terms of comfort, the diesel engines also makes more sense because they are quieter, although the Chevrolet's upright looks mean there is still some notable wind noise inside. The suspension is also quite firm, so passengers are likely to feel some lumps and bumps.
Opting for the larger 18-inch alloy wheels makes this worse so we would stick to the smaller versions. In general, though, the Orlando is a comfortable place to sit and all the seats offer plenty of space.
Practicality & boot space
Flexible seats are sturdy and offer plenty of space for all seven occupants
As with many seven-seaters when the rearmost seats are up the Chevrolet Orlando's boot is small, at just 79 litres. The seats fold down easily, though, to reveal 1,499 litres of load-lugging capacity.
All the seats in the Orlando offer decent levels of comfort – even the ones in the third row. Unlike in some rivals, the Orlando's middle row of seats doesn’t slide backwards and forwards, but aside from this everything in the car seems to have been designed with the family in mind. That means you get wide door openings and loads of cubbyholes, including a glovebox, decent-sized door bins, two cupholders and a storage area between the middle seats, as well as a concealed space behind the stereo, and two 12v plugs for charging electrical items.
Reliability & safety
Chevrolet only offers a three-year warranty, but safety is top notch
Chevrolet didn’t do particularly well in our 2013 Driver Power survey, in which it finished in 20th position out of 32 rival manufacturers, although that's still better than 2012 when it failed to rank, and 2011 where it came dead last. Chevrolet's warranty, which lasts you for three years or 60,000 miles, can be extended, and covers cars up to 10-years old. It's worth mentioning that the Chevrolet's interior doesn’t feel as well built as rivals such as the Volkswagen Touran.
With a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, safety standards in the Orlando are high and it comes with two ISOFIX mounts for child seats, six airbags, and electronic stability control.
Engines, drive & performance
Economical and powerful diesels make the Orlando an accomplished cruiser
The basic 1.8-litre petrol may be the cheapest engine to buy, but it also feels underpowered and is expensive to run. The more up-to-date 1.4-litre petrol is both faster and more economical, although it costs more initially.
Really though, you should ignore both petrols and opt for one of the diesels that come with either 128bhp or 160bhp. The top-of-the-range version can get from 0-60mph in 10 seconds, but both feel quick enough for the Orlando's purposes.
The Orlando's firm suspension means it is surprisingly resistant to body roll, but also means it is not as comfortable as cars like the Citroen C4 Picasso. Meanwhile, its light steering counts against it in the corners, where it offers very little in terms of driver enjoyment.
Price, value for money & options
Low starting prices undercut key rivals
The Chevrolet Orlando may be thousands of pounds cheaper than some of its rivals, but it will also lose more value by the time you come to sell it on.
Basic Chevrolet Orlando LS models get reasonable levels of equipment including air conditioning, electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors, DAB radio, and auto headlights, but top-of-the-range LTZ Executive models add accessories such as cruise control, auto wipers, climate control, and a leather interior.
What the others say
The new 2.0-litre diesel is surprisingly quiet and refined, and even our 128bhp version has enough grunt to ensure the car rarely feels slow. The 1.8-litre petrol is best avoided, though: it’s underpowered for a model of this size, and becomes noisy and strained on the motorway.
The Orlando – the new kid of the MPV block, complete with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty and attractive ownership benefits – may not have the reputation of rivals such as Ford’s Grand C-Max, Renault’s Grand Scenic, Citroen’s Grand Picasso, but they don’t boast a £16,345 entry level price and the kit levels offered by the new Chevrolet seven-seater.