General Motors will be introducing its newest and latest submission to the minivan segment.
Called the Chevrolet Orlando, it’s a South Korean sourced MPV that was launched in European dealerships not too long ago. General Motors was considering on bringing the Orlando here to the States, but then they reconsidered and changed it to Canada only instead.
A 2.4L Ecotec four banger provides power for all of the models with direct injection for a result of 174hp. A six-speed automatic or manual can be mated to the four pot for a fuel economy cycle of 35.1 mpg highway and 23.3 mpg city for the manual and 34 mpg highway and 22.2 mpg city for the automatic.
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“The new Orlando builds on the transformation of Chevrolet’s fuel efficient and versatile product portfolio, offering a family-friendly vehicle in a key segment in the Canadian market,” said president and managing director of General Motors of Canada, Kevin Williams. “With its expected segment-leading fuel efficiency and standard 7-passenger seating, Orlando should be a popular choice with Canadian families.”
2011 Chevrolet Orlando:
2012 Chevrolet Orlando Redefines Family Transportation
- The Chevrolet Orlando is a true family vehicle, combining 7-seater practicality and interior flexibility with striking crossover style design.
- Refined and fuel efficient performance thanks to its 2.4 litre direct injected engine and 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
- Expected to deliver best seven passenger fuel efficiency for non-hybrid vehicles
- MSRP starts at $19,995 in Canada
|Ecotec 2.4L VVT DI||Six-speed manual||Six-speed automatic|
2012 Chevrolet Orlando Redefines Family Transportation
The all-new 2012 Chevrolet Orlando, like other Chevrolet models recently launched in various market segments, doesn’t follow convention. Orlando’s design – part MPV, part crossover – breaks the rules of a historically conservative segment; it makes a statement and stands out from the crowd. Pricing on the 2012 Chevrolet Orlando begins at an MSRP of $19,995 for the LS model, $22,295 for the LT and $29,735 for the well equipped LTZ model.
Orlando demonstrates how innovative design can transform the once ordinary confines of the family vehicle to create a totally different experience for driver and passengers alike. That is made clear by a quick look at some of the vital statistics, starting with overall length. Orlando is remarkably compact for a vehicle that can transport up to seven people in comfort and it continues the transformation underway at Chevrolet, reaffirming the commitment to building refined, fuel-efficient vehicles using small-displacement, four-cylinder engines. It is expected to deliver the best fuel efficiency of any non-hybrid 7 passenger vehicle – including 10.1 L/100km in the city and 6.7 L/100km on the highway.
Chevrolet’s new compact MPV brings flare to the segment by adopting a bolder look with its low roofline and crossover inspired silhouette, while retaining the distinctive and recognizable Chevrolet front grille depicted by the split radiator grille and bow-tie badge.
Based on the show car concept first seen in 2008, the Chevrolet Orlando is nevertheless a true family car for the times, combining 7-seater practicality, interior flexibility and generous load space.
Orlando offers a refreshing alternative to many of the family vans and crossovers currently on the market. The distinctly recognizable Chevrolet front grille is complemented by a profile characterized by the low swept roofline and the muscular, protruding wheel-arches, housing 16 or 18 inch wheels. The wheel arches enhance a ‘body in, wheel out’ appearance while at the same time ensuring Orlando keeps its agile, sporting stance.
While the exterior of the new Chevrolet Orlando is sure to attract plenty of attention, the interior also features many of the latest design cues from Chevrolet such as the Corvette-inspired dual cockpit and ambient blue backlighting to the centre console. The interior has three rows of “theatre style” seating and, despite the sweeping roof-line, designers have succeeded in raising the second and third rows to allow the Orlando’s occupants to get an even better view both forwards and to the side without compromising headroom. In fact, headroom in the third row of seats in the Orlando is superior to a number of competitor MPVs.
Numerous seating configurations are possible with either second or third rows folded independently or together to make a completely flat load area. The second row also has a tumble-fold feature for both the left and right-hand outer seats to allow easy access for passengers into and out of the third row. When the time comes to hauling large loads of cargo, Orlando’s cargo area is one of the most voluminous in the segment with 1,594 litres available when both rows of seats are folded behind the first row.
Any hard-working family car needs plenty of storage space for all the bits and pieces that collect inside. Like the original concept car, the final production version of the Orlando obliges with a range of compartments of different shapes and sizes and different locations, including two large cup holders in the center console, map and bottle holders integrated into the front and rear doors and a number of individual compartments in the cargo area. However, perhaps the most ingenious is a storage area hidden behind the front fascia of the audio system, within easy reach of the both the driver and passenger. Seen originally on the Orlando concept car, designers have been able to integrate a usefully large area which is revealed by flipping up the face of the audio system, large enough for such items as an MP3 player, sunglasses and wallets. Within the space itself, there is a standard auxiliary jack and optional USB port for MP3 or iPod connectivity, depending on the trim level.
Efficient Ecotec Engine and Six-Speed Transmissions
Just as Orlando is amazingly space efficient, its award-winning 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine is also impressively fuel efficient – in fact, it has an expected best fuel efficiency of any non-hybrid seven-seater on the market. A pair of six-speed transmissions – a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic – match the standard 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 engine rated at 174 horsepower. The six-speed manual transmission delivers 6.7 L/100 km on the highway and 10.1 L/100 km in the city while the 6-speed automatic delivers 6.9 L/100 km on the highway and 10.6 L/100 km in the city.
Shifts within the automatic transmission are accomplished by applying and disengaging clutches simultaneously, which provides a more direct feel for the driver, compared to “freewheeling” gear change mechanisms. On the road, a wide selection of shift patterns is adapted to the styles and habits of the driver, anticipating when maximum acceleration or maximum efficiency is required. The electronic control also adapts to the prevailing road conditions, reducing gear shifting when climbing or descending and using engine braking assistance during down changes.
The six-speed automatic also features ActiveSelect manual control, which allows sequential driver gear selection via the shift lever. The transmission also has neutral gear disengagement at idle, which reduces vibration and improves fuel efficiency.
Ride and Handling
Based off Chevrolet’s successful and award winning Cruze sedan, already proven to offer excellent ride and handling, Orlando drivers are assured of a safe, yet involving and rewarding drive. The Orlando’s well proven set up utilizes McPherson struts for the front suspension and compound crank axle for the rear.
Emulating the successful Chevrolet Cruze, the Orlando’s chassis has been tuned to provide the ideal compromise between ride comfort and agility. McPherson struts used for the front suspension use hydraulic bushings which are often found in more expensive vehicles, and provide increased ride isolation for passengers and controlled absorption of variable road surfaces.
The advanced compound crank (torsion beam) system at the rear is used as it offers the perfect compromise between suspension control combined with savings in weight and space. A torsion beam system can also be easily tuned to accommodate the different vehicle and engine weights.
Safety and Security
Orlando’s chassis and body structure have also been engineered with high reserves of safety as a key consideration. Sixteen-inch ventilated front disc brakes are fitted across the range, with sixteen-inch solid discs at the rear and with electronic ABS acting on all wheels. All chassis also benefit from electronic brake force distribution, a system which governs the amount of braking at each wheel to ensure the shortest stopping distances, traction control for when road conditions are wet or slippery, electronic stability control and hydraulic brake assist.
Safety for the vehicle’s occupants is always of paramount consideration in this vehicle segment, and the Orlando provides a comprehensive list of safety and security features, including: Panic brake assist and cornering brake control, StabiliTrak, traction control, six standard airbags, head restraints for all seating positions, pedal release system, power rear child security door locks, child-view mirror, standard OnStar with six months of Directions and Connections service, and Euro NCAP 5 star rating (one of the top scoring cars in Europe for 2011).
Most of Orlando’s body structure is constructed of high strength steel to form an effective passenger safety cage providing protection in the event of a collision to the front, rear and side of the car. Should a collision occur, Orlando’s occupants will be protected by six airbags – twin front, side and curtain.
One of the biggest challenges often faced by emergency services when assisting at the scene of an incident is helping the occupants of vehicles when the doors are locked. However, this is not a scenario that Orlando owners will be faced with; Orlando is fitted with crash sensor technology, where the doors unlock automatically on detection of an impact.
Finally, like most Chevrolet vehicles, Orlando is available with OnStar that includes Automatic Crash Response and its latest enhancement, Injury Severity Prediction. This feature helps OnStar advisors alert first responders when a vehicle crash is likely to have caused serious injury to the occupants. With Automatic Crash Response, OnStar uses data from a collection of built-in vehicle sensors that can signal an advisor for help if the vehicle is involved in a moderate to severe frontal, rear or side-impact crash, regardless of whether an air bag deploys.
The Chevrolet Orlando is produced at General Motor’s South Korea manufacturing facilities and arrives in Chevrolet dealers across Canada in October 2011.
– By: Chris Chin