Chevrolet Orlando LTZ 2.0 VCDi: Road test review

Chevrolet Orlando LTZ 2.0 VCDi
The Orlando is Chevrolet's quirky seven-seat answer to rivals such as the Ford Grand C-MAX and Renault Grand Scenic.

From the latest version of the Chevrolet split grille to the squared-off tail, the Orlando is distinctive, but should it be given serious consideration against the Ford and Renault?
I spent a week with the range-topping £23,725 (as tested) LTZ 2.0 VCDi to find out.

The Orlando's styling is distinctive rather than attractive. I'm sure that there is a hint of Chrysler PT Cruiser Americana in the Orlando's styling.

Overall, I liked the front and rear styling best, although I'm not too sure about the massive family grille and bow tie badge. Still, you couldn't mistake this car for any rival.

Chevrolet Orlando LTZ 2.0 VCDi
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Chevrolet Orlando LTZ 2.0 VCDi: Road test review

At the back of the Orlando, the wraparound roof line and high-set rear light clusters are standout features.

Our test car was fitted with the most powerful engine available in the Orlando, the 165bhp 2.0-litre diesel. There is no fancy green tech in the Orlando and as such emissions of just 186g/km and 40.4mpg fuel consumption figures aren't amazing.

The Orlando's thick rear roof pillars and small window mean rear visibility is poor, so the standard rear parking sensors were a necessity for tight spaces. The steering is over-light and lacks feel.

Firm suspension means the Orlando corners better than you'd expect, body control and grip are good too. The Chevrolet's ride is generally hard but composed, however you are always aware of road imperfections as the suspension sends large shudders into the cabin. The 18-inch alloys, which are part of the Executive pack fitted to this test car, amplify this and are best avoided.

Considering the £20,000+ list price, build quality is disappointing; it feels noticeably cheaper than German or Japanese rivals. From a distance the interior design looks smart with its gloss black trim and chrome detail.

Chevrolet Orlando LTZ 2.0 VCDi
While the build quality seems robust, the metallic plastics around the instruments and centre console look and feel cheap. I also think that the gloss black interior trim will scratch easily and wonder what it will look like after a few months of everyday use.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine is smooth and flexible. It gives its best in the mid-range, with a massive 360Nm of torque available from just 2,000 rpm.

Smooth though the five-speed auto was, I can't help feeling that a manual version would be more satisfying; 60mph comes up in 9.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 121mph.

The driving position is fine. Legroom in the front and back of the Orlando is more than adequate, but the furthest two seats are really only suitable for children and shorter people. This is because of the lack of rear head and legroom.

It's also worth considering how small the boot area is with the seats in place. Thankfully the seats fold flat into the floor easily, giving up to 1,487 litres depending on how you configure the seats.

Our test car was in range-topping LTZ trim with the optional Executive pack which includes full-leather trim, heated front seats and satellite navigation.

The standard CD stereo is good quality, but the navigation system is at best average as the maps are hard to read.

To sum up, if you need a seven-seater with plenty of kit and that's reasonable to drive, then the Orlando is definitely worth a look. The only reasons why I can't recommend it fully are because of the unknown long term residuals and how the interior would stand up to regular family use.

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