Cars - Chevrolet

Road tests and reviews of the latest Chevrolet models available in South Africa

2016 Chevrolet Orlando

2016 Chevrolet Orlando

By Franky Johnson

Chevrolet’s 2016 Orlando makes a bold and refreshing new statement in the MPV sector in South Africa. Styled and engineered to target the European market preferences that are prevalent in South Africa the Orlando breaks with convention.

The brand DNA is unmistakeably Chevrolet with the distinctive split radiator grille and bow-tie badge defining the front view. This is artfully blended into the crossover inspired silhouette with its bold side-on view accented by prominent wheel arches and low roofline. The ‘body, wheel out’ creates an overall appearance that introduces a degree of swagger to the MPV segment.

The interior design of the Orlando draws on numerous Chevrolet design cues. Amongst these are the sporty Corvette inspired dual cockpit layout and blue ambient back-lighting for the centre console. Both distinctive and functional, the interior layout provides for excellent ergonomics with all major controls well placed within intuitive reach of the driver.

A further functional element of the interior design is the ‘theatre-style’ seating arrangement for the three rows of seats. This maximises interior space utilisation to provide comfortable accommodation for seven passengers together with a generous load carrying area.

The second and third rows of seats can be folded down independently to allow for a multitude of interior layouts with a completely flat load area. The second row of seats has a fold-and-tumble facility for the two outer seats for ease of access for access to the third row of seats.

With the rear of the vehicle configured for maximum load carrying capacity the Orlando offers one of the most voluminous capacities in the monocab MPV class. With both the second and third rows of seats folded down the capacity of the Orlando is a cavernous 1 499 litres. Loaded to the window line the capacity is 856 litres.

When it comes to family vehicles there is always a demand for storage space for any number of odds and ends that are a part of any family journey be it a local commute or a long distance holiday journey. The original concept version of the Orlando grabbed the attention of motor show attendees with its wide ranging and innovative provision of additional interior storage spaces.

Included are the mandatory cup and coin holders for the front seat occupants as well as document and bottle holders incorporated into the front and rear door side panels. A number of individual compartments are placed in the cargo area as well.

Perhaps the most ingenious of the storage areas is the one placed behind the facia of the audio system, easily accessible to both driver and front seat passenger. First seen as a gimmick on the original concept car, the Chevrolet interior design team have been able to integrate this feature into the production model as a functional, reasonably large, storage area revealed by flipping up the face of the audio system.

This area is large enough for items such as an MP3 player, sunglasses, or a wallet. Placed in this storage area is an auxiliary jack for MP3 or iPod connectivity.

Occupant safety is a prime consideration in any vehicle built for today’s motoring environment. When it comes to vehicles designed for family transport the expectations are at the highest level. To this end the Orlando designers have paid close attention to the detail in the safety specification and employed the latest technologies available to provide an excellent level occupant protection.

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