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The Top Gear car review: Chevrolet Orlando
For:One of the cheapest seven-seaters about, comfortable, good diesel engine
Against:You’d rather have a Ford C-Max. Budget image
2.0 VCDi LS 5dr
There are a few cheaper seven-seaters than this Chevy Orlando, an all-new MPV with three rows of seats and fuss-free functionality. Yes, it looks...
What we say:
When it comes to value, the Orlando is right up there with the best of them
What is it?
As MPVs go, the Orlando defines cheap and cheerful. It’s not the most dynamically accomplished or desirable people carrier, but it’s certainly one of the most affordable ways into seven-seat family motoring. It’s comfortable and spacious, and Chevy’s Five-Year Promise means you’re sorted for aftercare for the first half a decade and 100,000 miles of ownership, which is hard to knock.
Given the choice, you’d still have a Ford C-Max or Citroen C4 Picasso, but the Orlando has the value edge.
Steer clear of the entry-level 1.8-litre petrol engine. It hasn’t got anywhere near enough muscle to shift the Orlando at a reasonable pace, it’s not particularly cheap to run and you’ll never sell it on a few years down the line. The 2.0-litre VCDi diesels are a far better bet. They come in 128 and 161bhp guise and, though the latter is the one to have, the lower-powered engine holds its own well enough, even if it is a little lacking in oomph further down the rev range. The diesels are far less stressed and more refined than the petrol, too.
The ride is, for the most part, pretty comfortable but the Chevy doesn’t handle rough surfaces as well as its rivals and feels unsettled at times. There’s less body roll than you’d expect from a big-budget MPV and the steering has more life in it than you’d think, but it’s too heavy at low speed, which makes parking trickier than it needs to be.
On the inside
The first two rows of seats are more than spacious enough, but the back pair aren’t much good for anyone outside their teens. Getting into the back isn’t as easy as it is in the class- topping MPVs either, because the seats don’t fold down individually – they’re on a less practical 60/40 split.
It’s comfortable enough up front and visibility is pretty good, but again, the quality of the materials and the general ambience in the cabin is somewhat low rent compared to your better quality Zafiras and C-Maxes. The headrests tuck in automatically when you fold the seats down, though, which is handy.
Chevy’s aftersales package is impressive. The Five-Year Promise includes warranty, roadside assistance and free servicing for that period – not bad at all. Trouble is, the Orlando’s budget status and the lack of any real cachet for the Chevrolet badge in the UK means it won’t hold its value well.
Still, you’re paying less for the Orlando than you would for most rivals in the first place, so it averages out. Expect a so-so 38.7mpg and 172g/km from the 1.8 petrol engine and a better but still not revolutionary 47.1mpg with 159g/km from both of the 2.0-litre diesels.
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