Chevrolet Orlando

The Essentials

  • Price from £17,620
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 47.1mpg
  • What is it? An affordable way into a seven-seater, but not without compromise

Great

  • There's space for seven at an attractive purchase price
  • '5-Year Promise' includes servicing, warranty and roadside assistance as standard
  • Even entry-level cars are decently equipped

Gripes

  • It's not very versatile for an MPV
  • Weak resale values mean long-term ownership is costly
  • The petrol engine is weedy and the ride in all models is jiggly
  • Drive

    It steers nicely enough for an MPV but the ride is jiggly and you'll want to pay more to get the stronger engines

  • Inside

    Hard plastics mean it feels cheap and the dash layout isn't great either

  • Safety

    Good Euro NCAP crash test performance but no airbags for the rearmost passengers

  • Reliability

    It's too early to say for this relatively new car but Chevvy's history isn't brilliant

  • Space

    Roomy seating but not versatile enough when it comes to repurposing the space

  • Standard and extras

    Pretty good, though you have to buy the diesel model before you can order heated seats, leather and sat nav

  • What's it like to drive?

    The 1.8-litre petrol is pretty gutless and it's noisy when you rev it, which you have to for decent pace; a sixth gear would help on motorways. So it's really a choice between the two 2.0-litre diesels. The 128bhp version is punchy enough if you give it some welly, while the 161bhp version is stronger and comes as a manual or automatic. The diesels are a bit rattly when pushed hard but they're impressively quiet when cruising. The Orlando's door mirrors create quite a lot of wind noise at motorway speeds, though.

    Body sway is well controlled so you don't have to worry about your little ones getting queasy, although they might complain about the jiggly ride on poorer surfaces. The steering gives a good sense of contact with the road although it can be a bit heavy in slower manoeuvres.

  • What's it like inside?

    Some of the cabin plastics look at bit cheap and the dash controls aren't particularly intuitive. However, there's plenty of adjustment to the steering wheel and seat height, although it's harder to find a comfortable back position as you have to pull a lever and shift your weight to set it. The view over the shoulder is limited.

    As for space, there's loads of room in the first two rows, while kids and smaller adults will be comfortable enough in the third. However, the Orlando isn't especially versatile: the middle-row seats recline but they don't slide to allow you to apportion legroom between the middle and rearmost passegers, and you can't tumble the middle seats forward (for access to the rearmost seats) if the front seats are set back to accommodate six-footers. The seat-belt buckles each side of the centre rear seat are too close together to allow a child seat or booster to be fitted here.

    Entry-level LS models come with air-con, electric windows and door mirrors, remote locking and three 12v sockets; upgrade to LT and you get parking sensors, alloy wheels and climate control, while LTZ adds cruise control plus automatic lights and wipers. Buyers of diesel LTZ cars can specify a Premium pack including sat nav.

  • How reliable is it?

    The cabin feels sturdy enough but Chevrolet has had very mixed results in reliability surveys, and the brand came bottom in the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey. A five-year servicing, warranty and roadside assistance package brings some peace of mind, however. Every Orlando comes with stability control and six airbags, and the car scored the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, with 95% for adults and a less impressive 79% for children. However, it's disappointing that there are no airbags for the rearmost seats. Deadlocks and an immobiliser help protect against theft.

  • Should I buy one?

    Don't be deceived by the Orlando's attractive purchase price, even though it includes the five-year after-care package, because you'll make a big loss when it comes to sell the car on, due to weak resale values. Average economy is reasonable but nothing special. Meanwhile, other MPVs are more practical and better to drive.