Test Drive:  2012 Chevrolet Orlando 2LT car test drives reviews chevrolet
Test Drive:  2012 Chevrolet Orlando 2LT car test drives reviews chevrolet
Test Drive:  2012 Chevrolet Orlando 2LT car test drives reviews chevrolet
2012 Chevrolet Orlando 2LT. Click image to enlarge

Moving inside, the styling is a little more imaginative, with a dramatic, curving high-gloss plastic insert splitting the dash and radio controls integrated into a covered hidden compartment that also houses the USB and auxiliary-in ports. However, it was a split decision in our family: while I found it a comfortable and inviting interior, my wife hated the large swath of dash and thought the stereo and HVAC controls seemed cheap compared to some its competitors.

No one took issue with the requisite storage options for the organized or not so organized owners: cupholders, pockets, that hidden cubby hole, and a variety of trunk spaces depending on which seats are needed. Space behind the 3rd row was limited to purses, gym bags or laptops bags, but dropping the back row opened up plenty of space for any typical and large shopping trips. There aren’t many things I would buy that would require both rows of rear seats folded down or be too much for its 1,594 litres of maximum interior volume, which is not quite class best, but sufficient nonetheless.

I doubt many families will be able to sacrifice enough to stick with the base model at $19,995, giving up air conditioning and most power features that most will deem necessary when shopping for a new car. The 1LT, at $22,295, is likely where most people will start, bringing into play A/C, cruise control, power heated mirrors, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, driver armrest and a centre console with a couple of those necessary cupholders and storage areas.

The model we drove, an Orlando 2LT, was well equipped with A/C, Bluetooth connectivity, tinted glass, fog lights, 16-inch alloys, power windows, doors, mirrors and locks, cruise control, satellite radio as part of the $24,835 price. The six-spd automatic transmission ($1450), power sunroof ($1100), power/heated front seats ($880), and rear park assist ($365) quickly drove the price up to $28,730 and destination charge and a/c tax tipped it just over the $30K barrier. This vehicle seems to be a much better value if you can avoid the sunroof and automatic transmission. But if you need the automatic, and want the perks, spring for the LTZ and you get most of the above-mentioned features as part of the $28,495 price, essentially trading the sunroof for 18-inch alloys and some shiny chrome bits and nice interior mood lighting. Leather seats and a navigation system are standalone options, with the nav system ringing in at two grand, versus a Garmin or TomTom for a couple hundred… not the best value, but it’s there if integrated electronics mean that much to you.

About Jonathan Yarkony

Jonathan Yarkony is the Senior Editor for Autos.ca, a Brampton-based automotive writer with eight years of experience evaluating cars and an AJAC member.