Chevro­let comes up trumps with the Or­lando – a lot of car for your money

It may not be sev­enth heaven, but the Chevro­let Or­lando has plenty of room and lots of things go­ing for it, says Fred­eric Manby.

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FEATURES -

SET­TING: The Camshaft Arms, an early Spring night, and many are gath­ered at the Small­bore Bar. The usual crowd.

“What’s that bus y’re driv­ing?” said the aero­nau­tics chap.

It wasn’t a ques­tion but a mirth­ful barb about the shape of the Chevro­let Or­lando be­ing tested by yours truly.

The Or­lando is the first South Korean car that ac­tu­ally looks like it could be an Amer­i­can Chevro­let as we knew them.

A bus? When I heard that in­dict­ment I could see his point. The front is bluff, with the big yel­low heraldic badge, and the body is sim­i­larly bold. In­side, it seats up to seven peo­ple, with the rear pair of chairs not too cramped for a small­ish adult (yours truly again).

My demon­stra­tor was the top-notch LTZ trim, with the 163ps, 2-litre diesel and a sixspeed au­to­matic gear­box, of which some praise later. Price: £21,195.

The Or­lando cat­a­logue opens at £16,395 for the fivespeed, 141ps, 1.8 petrol LS model.

I am hav­ing one of those “ps days” be­cause most man­u­fac­tur­ers quote ps, the Euro­pean power rat­ing, rather than the proper, im­pe­rial bhp rat­ing used in Bri­tain and in North Amer­ica. The ps rat­ing is a big­ger fig­ure and so looks more pow­er­ful. Di­vide by 1.014 to get brake horse power. Thus 141ps equals 139bhp. There is an equiv­a­lent re­la­tion­ship be­tween new­ton me­tres and lb ft of torque rat­ings.

Back to the Or­lando – pre­sum­ably named in praise of the Florida en­ter­tain­ment cap­i­tal; surely not the pet­food brand? This en­try model is quoted with fig­ures of 38.7 miles a gal­lon, 172g/km of car­bon diox­ide and a 062mph time of 11.2 sec­onds. For some­one not ob­sessed with mpg, it fits the bill nicely, bus or not.

The same LS trim is avail­able with a 130ps, 2-litre diesel, at £17,645. This has six gears and records 47.1mpg, 159g/km and a 0-62mph of 9.9 sec­onds, thanks to its gear­ing and higher torque.

The LTZ au­to­matic comes with the more pow­er­ful 16.7bhp ver­sion of the 2-litre diesel. Its vi­tal stats are 40.4mpg, 186g/km CO2 (mean­ing higher road tax and com­pany car levies) and 062mph in 10.6 sec­onds.

Putting its less than lovely ap­pear­ance on to the back burner (who can say what looks good, and at least it is not over-styled. I cite Mazda’s CX-7) the Or­lando has some points of moot crit­i­cism. The test car was equipped with leather seats but still had that new-car smell of plas­tics or other syn­thet­ics. A bit of leather pol­ish would have en­hanced the ex­pe­ri­ence.

The some­what lump­ish (in my opin­ion) ex­te­rior is backed up by poor rear sus­pen­sion re­fine­ment on what they’d call “ornery” roads in bluecol­lar Amer­ica. There was also some vi­bra­tion through the steer­ing.

Now the bet­ter bits. There is stacks of head­room. The mo­tor and gear­box work to­gether smoothly and felt just as good as, say, a BMW X3. The op­tional nav­i­ga­tion guided me fault­lessly through Lon­don, with a choice of fast, short or eco routes. A flip-up front on the au­dio set re­veals the aux­il­iary ports, with stor­age un­der the flap for your usb or iPod – out of sight, too.

At a steady 70 on the mo­tor­way, the en­gine tachome­ter showed just 1,500 rpm and the mpg read out was in the mid-40s. Drop the cruise con­trol to 60mph, and the econ­omy im­proved to 50mpg. On a week­end in Lon­don, it av­er­aged 22mpg. Back in the sticks, it gave mpg in the mid-30s.

Ver­dict: A lot of car for the money and this diesel mo­tor is a gem.

Length: 183 inches/4.6m. War­ranty: 100,000 miles or five years. Weight as tested: 1659kg. Braked tow­ing weight: 1500kg.

More: 0845 1111 999.

WATCH THIS SPACE: The Or­lando.

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