Chevrolet Orlando 2.0 VCDi LTZ

Chevrolet’s compact Multi-Purpose-Vehicle (MPV) brings a touch of pizzazz to the sector.

It adopts a daring look with its squat roofline and crossover inspired profile, while keeping the distinct Chevrolet ‘face’ portrayed by the divided radiator grille and bow-tie emblem.

Based on the show car concept first seen back in 2008, the Orlando is an honest family car for 2013, combining seven-seat practicality, interior elasticity and liberal load space.

There’s no question that the Chevy offers an invigorating alternative to many of the MPVs presently on the market. The sturdy projecting wheel-arches enhance a ‘body in, wheel out’ appearance, while at the same time ensuring an agile stance.

But, design is nothing without well-thought-out functionality, so the ‘theatre-style’ seating configuration of the Orlando’s three rows of seats, and the abundant storage solutions will grab your attention if you’re a family motorist.

The interior seating is referred to as ‘theatre-style’ because, regardless of the sweeping roof-line, designers have succeeded in raising the second and third rows which allow your passengers to get an even better view, both forwards and to the side – and without compromising head-room.

Numerous seating arrangements are possible with either the second or third rows folded independently or together to make a flat load area. The second seat tier also has a roll-and-fold facility to allow easy access into, and out of, the third row.

And when the time comes to shifting large loads of cargo, the Chevrolet’s boot is one of the most capacious in the compact MPV class, with 1,499 litres available when both rows of seats are collapsed.

Being based on Chevrolet’s successful and award winning Cruze saloon, already proven to offer excellent ride, handling and safety, the Orlando gives a rewarding drive. It pulls well with its 2.0-litre, 161bhp diesel engine, on test here. Maximum speed when mated, as my car was, to a six speed manual transmission, is 121mph – and zero to 62mph comes in a reasonable 10 seconds. Emissions and fuel economy are competitive at 139g/km and up to 53.3mpg.

The MPV is also comfortable, and it soaks up road surface imperfections admirably. But sit in the cabin for a long journey and you can’t help noticing a few cheap and flimsy areas here and there.

Of course, safety is always a chief consideration for this category of car, and in the Orlando you’ll be reassured. Its body structure is constructed of high strength steel to form a passenger safety cage, providing protection in the event of a collision to the front, rear and side. Should the worst happen, you’ll also be shielded by six airbags – twin front, side and curtain.

This Chevy is an undeniably practical and safe vehicle to transport your family around in – and you’ll be able to buy a brand new Orlando, in top of the range LTZ guise, for under £22,000.

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Max speed: 121 mph
0-62 mph: 10.0 secs
Combined mpg: 53.3
Engine: 1998cc, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, turbo diesel
Max. power (bhp): 161
Max. torque (lb/ft): 265
CO2: 139 g/km
Price: £21,990
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√ Reasonably priced
√ Handling
√ Efficiency
√ Load space
X Some cheap materials
X No USB port

By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist
Twitter @carwriteups

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