By on April 26, 2012

Back when we reviewed the Chevrolet Orlando, we noted that it had trouble catching up to its chief rivals, the Mazda5 and the Kia Rondo. No longer.

March was the best month for the Orlando, with the Chevrolet MPV nipping at the heels of the Honda Odyssey. Chevrolet sold 759 Orlandos, compared to 774 Odysseys. Unfortunately, both have a long way to go to catch the segment leader, the Dodge Grand Caravan, which sold 4531 units in March alone. The Grand Caravan’s full-size dimensions and Orlando-sized pricetag (starting at $19,995) make it an irresistible proposition for many Canadian families.

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23 Comments on “Chevrolet Orlando Finally Becomes Top Small Minivan In Canada...”


  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Not to mention that the Caravan is assembled in Ontario, but the Orlando is from Korea. Canadians tend to be quite loyal about buying cars made in Canada.

    I see the Orlando in the UK has a 2 liter diesel option. That might do well in Canada since in most places, diesel is chepaer than gas.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I know that’s true for me; upon finding out that my last purchase wasn’t an Oshawa product, it was “aw damn it!”

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      That does not seem to bother many Canadians, who snap up Hyundais and Kias like they are going out of style, despite the fact that neither company contributed a dime to the Canadian economy.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        We’re also very very cheap. We squeeze that loonie until the Queen hollers.

        Legacy of lower disposable income. With the rise of the west, I think that’s changing.

  • avatar
    mospeada

    How did we get to the point that “small minivan” makes any sort of sense at all?

    • 0 avatar
      MZ3AUTOXR

      Before I our third child came along, a Mazda5 was something that would have beem an option. In fact, when we bought the Mazda6 Wagon, it was on the table, but I chose the wagon.

      The small minivans offer better gas mileage than a full size minivan and there is enough space for two kid’s worth of stuff for most families.

    • 0 avatar
      Contrarian

      Think of it as a tall sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      M0L0TOV

      Just as much as there is a compact SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      The original Mopar minivan, was just that. It was 2 feet shorter than its later replacements, but we could still fit all of the kids in it.

      When the kids got bigger the larger size was useful, but after they got drivers licenses and their own cars, we wished there was a true minivan available.

      For some reason the Mazda 5 does not seem to have nearly as much useable interior space as the old Mopar did. We wound up buying a RAV4 to replace the last not so minivan.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        Wasn’t the original Caravan wider than the Mazda 5? That would explain the space difference.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Schwartz

        “Wasn’t the original Caravan wider than the Mazda 5? That would explain the space difference.”

        Maybe. It may also have been taller, and the roof was flat all the way to the back which was squared off. But there was more cargo and passenger space. I recall actually fitting four adults and 3 kids into the van back then. 2 adults in front, two car seats in the middle and two adults and a child in the back. Not for a road trip, but I don’t think you could do that in the Mazda.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        No, the 5 is definitely a 6 seater max, and then, only for local as the back two seats take up some room.

        That’s why we have the Odyessey (well, that and because my father in law essentially swapped it even up for the Mazda 6 Wagon, which he then used to trade in for another Odyssey.)

        No way a Mazda 5 works with more than two kids.

  • avatar
    Dirk Stigler

    I’m guessing it has something to do with “mini”vans today being larger and heavier than full size vans of the mid-1980s. The Orlando is near the dimensions of the original Caravan.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      You got that right! My 2001 Odyssey is 400 lbs. HEAVIER than the 1971 LTD Brougham 4-door hardtop that was in our family for 30 years. And the 3.5l engine in the Honda produces approximately the same net horsepower as the 6.6l engine did in the LTD, and gets 60% better fuel economy as well.

      I still can’t believe my eyes every time I see what is now labeled a Civic. It’s larger than the gen 1 & 2 Accords . . .

      • 0 avatar
        philadlj

        My ’09 Civic is only 8″ shorter and about 100lbs. lighter than my ’91 Accord…and an ’09 Accord was just WAY too big for my needs.

        Though the comparison is nowhere near as ridiculous as comparing an ’86 Taurus to a new one; another example of a nameplate moving up a size segment.

        The Accord has actually occupied three sizes – compact until ’89; midsize until ’08; and now full-size.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    What makes this car a minivan anyways? How do you distinguish between a minivan and a CUV? This car doesn’t even have sliding doors? How could it qualify as a minivan?

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Not sure what the official definition is, but to me a minivan has removable/foldable seats to provide a large, low, flat loading surface. Anything else is a wagon or a hatchback. A CUV is a less efficiently packaged wagon or hatch with more “Presence” and bigger wheels.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    I saw one on the road for the first time the other day and I thought it was actually not a bad looking vehicle. I could see this doing fairly well up here in the GWN.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’ve often wished for a true replacement for the original T-115 Chrysler minivan, this looks awfully close. Too bad we don’t get them in the US.

    @mospeada “How did we get to the point that “small minivan” makes any sort of sense at all?”

    The things we call minivans today rival the size of (and some are bigger than) the cargo vans of the 1970’s. That is how we got to the point of needing a small minivan.

    An Orlando or Mazda 5 really IS a minivan. Those other things are at least an oxymoron. We haven’t developed a word for the maxi-minivans.

  • avatar

    The Chevrolet Orlando? Is that Tony Orlando’s little brother?

  • avatar
    carbiz

    I really want to like this thing, but I just can’t do it. It’s too expensive ($27k when nicely equipped) and too vanilla looking. I’m thinking of getting a new(er) vehicle and had hoped the Orlando would look better in person. It does not.
    So, either a slightly used HHR (love the fold flat seats and the 6’2″ of flat floor space in the back – great little camper!) or wait and see what the new Colorado replacement looks like.
    I know these things are popular in Europe, but why did GM have to follow Mazda off a cliff, styling-wise? The Mazda 5 is just too ungainly looking to look at directly during daylight hours.

  • avatar
    MusicMachine

    They should have called it a Chevy Ontario.


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