From taxi to van to car in a beat

General Motors offers a neat and versatile package in the Chevrolet Orlando.

General Motor’s (GM) small, multi-purpose vehicle manages to be a little van, seven-seater bus and car all in one. This, all in a neat, versatile package which you can change around in a beat.

The Orlando, as it is known, indeed makes a great taxi and van! Think of it as an upmarket Avanza. It is slightly wider and longer than the Avanza and feels much more solid.

In South Africa, we only have one model. But GM chose it well. It is a 1.8 litre petrol manual with standard, but good hard working trim and a good specification level.

The vehicle has 16 different seating combinations.

This means you really can fit seven adults into the Orlando or when in van mode to suit your business’s needs, a driver and a jumbo load.

Passengers will find that the inside of the Orlando is surprisingly roomy with more than enough leg- and headroom.

However, headroom in the third row is limited.

The load volume at the back is between 100 litres and 800 litres depending on how you fold the seats. Fold down the rear seats and you have a 1 499 litre load space.

The cabin feels like a car, with neat finishes and a plethora of map pockets, armrests with cup-holder, and quite a few nooks and crannies to keep things in.

Power windows for driver and front passenger are standard as is a good sound system, cruise control and power-steering.

The interior is upmarket compared to the cheaper Avanza and is pleasantly finished reminding one of the Cruze, its sedan sibling. The Orlando does not lack safety and security systems. It comes with an anti-theft alarm and immobiliser.

An “electronic stability control” system provides traction control to help avert slides, by automatically applying corrective braking to appropriate wheels to help you quickly regain control. It also has ABS and electronic brake distribution with an additional brake-assist system.

Driving the Orlando is easy and pleasant. All round visibility is surprisingly good and it handles well in the context of an MPV. Road-holding is above par for this category.

GM claims 7.2 litres/100 km, but work on 8 litres in general and around 6 litres on the open road, which is very acceptable.

The price starts at R287 000 and you get real value for money.

The Warranty & Roadside Assistance package is 5 years/120 000 km. The service plan is for 3 years /60 000 km.

Also look at the Toyota Avanza 1.3 starting at R190 000, Suzuki Ertiga 1.4 starting at around R160 000, VW Caddy 1.6 from R190 000 or the Nissan NV200 1.6 Combi from R254 800.

Chevrolet Orlando, General Motor (GM), motoring, Nissan NV200, Suzuki Ertiga, Toyota Avanza, VW Caddy, Wallace du Plessis

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