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Ringo64

2012 Chevrolet Orlando

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2012 Chevrolet Orlando

A 7-Seater That Makes The Grass Look Greener

01-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg02-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg03-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg04-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg05-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg06-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg07-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg08-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg

By Dave PankewRSS feed

Posted Aug 18th 2011 11:57AM

00

Comments9

Vital Stats

Engine:

2.4L I4

Power:

174 HP / 171 LB-FT

Transmission:

6-Speed Auto

Drivetrain:

Front-Wheel Drive

Curb Weight:

3,649 LBS

Seating:

2+3+2

Cargo:

56.29 CU-FT (max)

MPG:

22.2 City / 34 HWY (est.)

MSRP:

$19,995 CAD (base)

Let's do a quick recap of famous people, places and things that bear the name Orlando. There is the hunky Hollywood star Orlando Bloom, the not-so-hunky actor Tony Orlando, and there was even a 1992 chick-flick entitled, you guessed it, Orlando. While the name doesn't really imply anything uniquely Canadian, the new 2012 Chevrolet Orlando does because this is one Orlando that's only available in Canada, at least within the confines of North America.

Even though the 2012 Chevrolet Orlando isn't available in the U.S., it has been released worldwide under General Motors' global strategy. The Global Delta platform was designed to be a mass-appeal front-wheel-drive vehicle, and the masses find it appealing if you go by how well the Cruze, which shares the platform, is selling.

Our sources say a U.S. team was involved with the Orlando project at one point, but pulled out last year, leaving nothing behind but the name selection. With the retro-styledChevrolet HHR bowing out, the Orlando is slipping in as an MPV with current styling and contemporary features, and it also adds a third row to accommodate up to seven people. It sounded to us like a win on paper, and then we heard that a base Orlando LS would start at $19,995 CAD!

As a Canadian, let me explain why that's worthy of an exclamation point. At current exchange rates, that equals $20,733 USD. However, Canadians always pay more for vehicles. If we use the departing Chevy HHR as an example, its base price is 8.5% less in the U.S. when the currencies are at par, which lets us guess that, were the seven-seat Orlando sold in the States, it would start at an impressive $18,295 USD.

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When we arrived at a hotel in Toronto for the vehicle launch, there were Orlandos lingering out front in all four trim levels and various colors. The Orlando's broad grille and prominent Chevy bow-tie have this kind of brash statement attached to them, as if to say "We're back," while the aggressive wheels-out, body-in stance appear both contemporary and rugged. The roofline is fairly low, and around back the Orlando's beefy C-pillar and over-sized taillights appear decidedly upscale.

Brand Manager Paul Hewitt gave us all of the basics about this super-functional vehicle, and then spoke about what it's meant for the turn-around of a company that just emerged from an economic dungeon a few short years ago. His brief pointed to an impressive list of features, but price was at the top of our bullet points. Even with a few options, the base model LS quickly exceeds the next trim level up in price. The GM staff expect the $22,295 CAD (estimated $20,399 USD) 1LT trim to be the hottest seller off the dealer floor.

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However, this was a road test, which would cover in the realm of 500 miles in and around the upper-class cottage region of Muskoka. We partnered up and headed out on our journey to leave the city behind in Chevy's new cruiser. Our route was outlined in a guide book, which left us feeling almost naked without navigation since it is only available as an option on the $29,735 CAD (estimated $27,199 USD) top-line Orlando LTZ. Although our Orlando was equipped with OnStar (as every GM product is now), optional navigation was not fitted to any the LTZ Orlandos, so we had to kick it old school with the map and mileage checkpoints.

The weather did not cooperate with driving rain pounding our windshield for most of the journey, but at least it provided a test of how the Orlando performs in the wet. It performed great in the rain with its sure-footed StabiliTrac traction, not once invoking ABS under braking. Steering is fairly direct with adequate feedback, and handling was the same thanks to MacPherson struts and impressive chassis torsional stiffness. The ride itself was smooth, with no tense moments over the winding roads or wallowing in the occasional rough patches we encountered. We found road noise to be very livable, even slightly better than others in the class.

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The dash of the Orlando is very current but utilitarian at the same time. GM interiors can sometimes try too hard to be hip and come off as unusual instead. Not so with the Orlando. It has an import flare to it and large intuitive controls. The stereo is integrated into the dash, even though audiophiles will always criticize OEM designs that prevent future upgrades. But upon closer inspection, the radio not only has the functionality you want like Bluetooth, MP3 and USB playback, but it also has this bat-cave flip face function where you can stow your MP3 players and smart phones. With those items out of the way, not only are distractions avoided, but you don't have to fumble with your iPod anymore since it's controlled from the deck.

Beyond the funky system, the interior's fit and finish is impressive. An array of quality plastics is complemented by some brushed aluminum-look accents in addition to a dramatic piano black insert that stretches from door handle to door handle. The analog cluster is easy to read and lit in a gentle blue tone that compliments the center-mounted cluster, which displays the radio setting along with temperature and time.

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During the long trip, we decided to spend our restless moments in the second- and third-row seating. The theater-style seating has progressively higher platforms so those in the back can stay involved in the conversation (and also be monitored with the flip-down child mirror). Each row is comfortable with ingress and egress past the 60-40 split second row into the 50/50 third row being a snap for a 5'10" adult. Slamming those two rows to the floor is also simple and provides a whack of cargo space equaling 56 cubic feet, or around 1,600 liters as they say in Canada. The 5-door configuration was actually more functional than we expected as the big, wide-swinging doors provide more access to the third row than competitors using sliding doors, but admittedly are not as convenient to open in parking lots or tight spaces.

Under the Orlando's lid is a direct-injected 2.4-liter Ecotec engine that basically gets the job done. At 174 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, the four-cylinder is mated to either a 6-speed manual or optional $1,450 six-speed automatic (standard on the LTZ). While all of our testers were equipped with automatic transmissions, it was tough to say if the auto tranny helped or hurt the Orlando's performance. The engine made more noise than we expected ,but didn't seem to go as fast as all that noise implied. The transmission also held some gears for an extremely long time up hills when we noted the tach was pinned at 5,500 rpm, almost as if it were scared what would happen if it shifted. Although there is a high-torque diesel overseas and a turbo rumored to be on its way, the current Orlando can't be judged on its performance merit – it kind of defeats the purpose of this vehicle.

01-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg02-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg03-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg04-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg05-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg06-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg07-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg08-2012-chevrolet-orlando-fd_thumbnail.jpg

Image Credit: Copyright 2011 Gary Grant / AOL

Category: BudgetCrossoverChevroletFirst DrivesCanada

Tags: 2012 chevrolet orlandochevroletchevyfeaturedfirst driveFirstDriveorlandoorlando first driveorlando review

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Dont love it or hate it but could be a good SUV for chevy. Not really my type of car but thats ok cuz its not marketed twards me.

kinda bland/plane looking to me.

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I've seen pics of this thing before I think...

Looks like it might do well. Are you just happy it's named after a city in FL? lol

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I've seen pics of this thing before I think...

Looks like it might do well. Are you just happy it's named after a city in FL? lol

:rofl:

I dunno about this though in America, for Europe and some other countries all very good news but here it seems a bit small but even for it's size I'm a little concerned about the I4 powering it.

Oh well, we'll see. It's not something I'll be buying so I'm not worried.

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tl;dr is this to replace the Equinox? Or is it a new line?

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tl;dr is this to replace the Equinox? Or is it a new line?

I think new line, because Equinox is a 5 seater and this is a 7 but who knows. Closet thing to it is the Traverse and I don't think people who buy the Traverse will buy this, 2 different vehicles.

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isnt this based of the cruze? thats going to be one cramped ride

Eh for Europe and other places this is how "vans" are so it will do good there but yes it does look really cramped and it is based off of the Delta platform

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I like it. A hell of a lot more appealing than the shit box that is the HHR.

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i say it is going to be under powerd. immagine 7 6foot people cramed in that thing you would be better off walking

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' date='Aug 29 2011, 08:56 PM' post='58784']

I like it. A hell of a lot more appealing than the shit box that is the HHR.

Eh as much as I hate the HHR, I don't know if I like this

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i say it is going to be under powerd. immagine 7 6foot americans cramed in that thing you would be better off walking

Nope. The HHR is underpowered, the L61 and LE5 engines it got weren't tuned to the HHR's increased weight. The HHR was based off the Delta platform, shared with the Saturn Ion and Chevy Cobalt.

Not everything is supposed to be a firebreathing V8. Engines are efficent enough with new fuel injections systems, they can be efficent and powerful.

To boot, the Orlando is supposed to get the 1.4L turbo, and that motor isn't exactly a slouch tuned properly.

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' date='Aug 29 2011, 09:10 PM' post='58789']

Nope. The HHR is underpowered, the L61 and LE5 engines it got weren't tuned to the HHR's increased weight. The HHR was based off the Delta platform, shared with the Saturn Ion and Chevy Cobalt.

Not everything is supposed to be a firebreathing V8. Engines are efficent enough with new fuel injections systems, they can be efficent and powerful.

To boot, the Orlando is supposed to get the 1.4L turbo, and that motor isn't exactly a slouch tuned properly.

but when its fully loaded with 7 say around 160-200 lb people it will be struggling and if you had cargo it would be even worse.

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but when its fully loaded with 7 say around 160-200 lb people it will be struggling and if you had cargo it would be even worse.

Trust me, the outdated LA1 and LZE engines found in your minivans are just as slouchy. :lol:

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' date='Aug 29 2011, 09:18 PM' post='58791']

Trust me, the outdated LA1 and LZE engines found in your minivans are just as slouchy. :lol:

but i bet they have a better powerband and better low end and a better sound.

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but i bet they have a better powerband and better low end and a better sound.

This I would have to agree with

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but i bet they have a better powerband and better low end and a better sound.

NOPE.tiff

The LA1 makes 175HP, 205TQ. You figure...the U-body van weighs around +5,000lbs? Power to weight ratio is piss poor. My Grand Am is LA1 power is slow, imagining that in a minivan...fail.

Same goes for the LZE...around 200HP, 220TQ...but in a 6,000lb van? :lol: yeah right.

I'll take the Orlando, carry just as many people, and get better MPGs in the process.

/arguement

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' date='Aug 29 2011, 09:27 PM' post='58794']

NOPE.tiff

The LA1 makes 175HP, 205TQ. You figure...the U-body van weighs around +5,000lbs? Power to weight ratio is piss poor. My Grand Am is LA1 power is slow, imagining that in a minivan...fail.

Same goes for the LZE...around 200HP, 220TQ...but in a 6,000lb van? :lol: yeah right.

I'll take the Orlando, carry just as many people, and get better MPGs in the process.

/arguement

my vans weigh 4400lbs for the awd one and 4200 for the 06. by the way my la1 is the tuned one with 185 hp and 210 ft pounds. it does preatty good for what it is

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my vans weigh 4400lbs for the awd one and 4200 for the 06. by the way my la1 is the tuned one with 185 hp and 210 ft pounds. it does preatty good for what it is

Still lackluster compared to what it's competition was. Honda, Toyota and Nissan after 03 made any domestic minivan look like a joke, as far as power, mpgs, quality and resale value goes. Ford and Chrysler kept pumping out outdated powerplants with GM.

The Orlando is a well suited replacement for the HHR, and a nice step below the Equinox.

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' date='Aug 29 2011, 09:40 PM' post='58796']

Still lackluster compared to what it's competition was. Honda, Toyota and Nissan after 03 made any domestic minivan look like a joke, as far as power, mpgs, quality and resale value goes. Ford and Chrysler kept pumping out outdated powerplants with GM.

The Orlando is a well suited replacement for the HHR, and a nice step below the Equinox.

ill stick to my montana more roomy and its a pontiac.

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:lol: @ the 16 yo arguing with Chaos!

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:lol: @ the 16 yo arguing with Chaos!

were not arguing we just have different opinions.

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' date='Aug 29 2011, 09:27 PM' post='58794']

NOPE.tiff

The LA1 makes 175HP, 205TQ. You figure...the U-body van weighs around +5,000lbs? Power to weight ratio is piss poor. My Grand Am is LA1 power is slow, imagining that in a minivan...fail.

Same goes for the LZE...around 200HP, 220TQ...but in a 6,000lb van? :lol: yeah right.

I'll take the Orlando, carry just as many people, and get better MPGs in the process.

/arguement

My thing with the 4 bangers are to get anywhere or pass anybody you got to mash the pedal to the floor to get any decent power out of the thing aka get the Revs up and with that you're wasting more gas so it's about the same for me to have a V6 where it has more lower end power and I can comfortably get up to speed to pass or whatever without having to mash the pedal.

When my parents wanted a new car, we test drove the Equinox in the I4 and the Terrain in the I4. I got to test drive both as well but in order to get it up to remotely where I like to drive at I had to keep mashing the pedal and that dramatically reduce MPGs.

It just seemed to me, like oh this has 180hp and 200ish torque, that's not bad at all. Then you get in and drive it and you're like where did all the power go? Then you mash the pedal, the Revs climb then finally 5 seconds later you take off with said torque/hp. That's with all I4's I've driven not just GM models.

These engines as they currently sit just aren't what I'm personally looking for, now if I did all city driving where there was a lot of traffic that wouldn't bother me but I do a lot of highway/city mixture and traffic is a mixture so I'm happy with my V6 and soon V8 which enable me to move around the old slow people who like to chill in the left lane for no reason.

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My thing with the 4 bangers are to get anywhere or pass anybody you got to mash the pedal to the floor to get any decent power out of the thing aka get the Revs up and with that you're wasting more gas so it's about the same for me to have a V6 where it has more lower end power and I can comfortably get up to speed to pass or whatever without having to mash the pedal.

When my parents wanted a new car, we test drove the Equinox in the I4 and the Terrain in the I4. I got to test drive both as well but in order to get it up to remotely where I like to drive at I had to keep mashing the pedal and that dramatically reduce MPGs.

It just seemed to me, like oh this has 180hp and 200ish torque, that's not bad at all. Then you get in and drive it and you're like where did all the power go? Then you mash the pedal, the Revs climb then finally 5 seconds later you take off with said torque/hp. That's with all I4's I've driven not just GM models.

These engines as they currently sit just aren't what I'm personally looking for, now if I did all city driving where there was a lot of traffic that wouldn't bother me but I do a lot of highway/city mixture and traffic is a mixture so I'm happy with my V6 and soon V8 which enable me to move around the old slow people who like to chill in the left lane for no reason.

This. I drive my dads 2010 Equinox and my 1978 Phoenix often. The difference is 4 cylinders and in my dads car I can't pass or pullout of a t intersection as fast because I have to make sure the cars coming are like miles away haha. In my Phoenix I fly out of them when the cars are at maximum 2 car-lengths away. Now, I have a little 305 in a heavy ass Pontiac, but even then the 'giddy-up' it has is way better than my dads Equinox. This is one of the reasons why I prefer V8s or V6s. Not that I hate I4s. (Because I don't lol)

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