Thanks to GM Canada , we recently enjoyed a weekend with the new Chevrolet Orlando . Looking for an affordable compact vehicle that still has room for all your stuff? Read on to see why we think this one should be on your short list!
2012 Chevrolet Orlando- test drive!
By: Sara Hodge
When GM contacted me to let me know I would be given a Chevrolet Orlando to test drive during the weekend I was attending Blissdom Canada , I was thrilled, but I have to admit I was also somewhat concerned. I knew from seeing ads on TV that Orlando is compact and Blissdom, afterall, is a conference where you can count on leaving with copious amounts of samples from a slew of generous sponsors.
In addition to the stuff I knew I’d be lugging home, I also had my suitcase, laptop, several pairs of shoes (what?), my baby, and all of the usual baby related paraphernalia that is needed for a two night stay. The baby stuff alone had me thinking it would be an iffy time to be testing a small vehicle, but I was curious.
Could the Orlando really live up to its’ “Pack More In. Way More.” slogan? If there was ever an occasion to find out, it was now, and if there was ever a suitable tester, it was me. My family, who often refer to my minivan as a “purse on wheels” can attest to that.
A few days later a sleek, white Orlando arrived in my driveway, ready to rock. I was in the process of getting all my Blissdom packing done when it came and the pile by the front door was looking ominous. Looking at the Orlando from the outside, I was sure I was going to have to leave some things behind. THIS vehicle seats 7 people? As gorgeous and luxurious as it looks, it’s still a compact car.
I was impressed and pleasantly surprised though, to discover I had nothing to worry about. The interior of the Orlando was deceivingly roomy. Not only did all of my stuff fit into it on the way TO Blissdom (baby and ridiculous amounts of baby-related stuff, like a stroller, included), it even fit on the way back, when I had a LOT more cargo.
Touted as having generous load space, the Orlando doesn’t dissapoint. But it has so many other great qualities, all of which I enjoyed to the max while testing it out. Heated seats come to mind first (I may or may not have taken a few extra trips around the block just to prolong the experience), but I also loved the satellite radio, sporty stance, and the clever hidden storage area located behind the audio panel- a handy and discreet little spot perfect for an MP3 player or change purse.
Most impressive was the fuel mileage- I was shocked at how little (less than 1/4 tank) fuel I used, considering I live an hour from the destination and spent over half an hour stuck in stopped traffic on the way there. And that’s including the trip home, too. Nice! After that, I wasn’t surprised to learn that Orlando delivers the best seven passenger fuel efficiency for non-hybrid vehicles.
As you would expect from a Chevrolet, the Orlando also handles beautifully and offers a quiet, comfortable ride. Well, sort of quiet- it depends on whether or not the baby stays asleep while driving! It also has a long list of security features, including cornering brake control, StabiliTrak, traction control, six standard airbags, power rear child security door locks, child-view mirror (love that!), standard OnStar with six months of Directions and Connections service and more.
If you had asked me after driving the Orlando how much I thought it would cost, I would have guessed high 20’s. It was another pleasant surprise to learn that MSRP starts at just $19,995 in Canada. That and the other features I loved about it definitely makes this vehicle a top contender on my want list. If you’re in the market for a family vehicle and have a long list of desirable features, be sure to give Orlando a try!
To learn more about Orlando and how to schedule your own test drive, check out GM Canada’s Chevrolet Orlando overview page here
A Chevrolet Orlando was provided to us for one week for the purpose of this review. Views and opinions are our own.