By on September 9, 2008

As the U.S. struggles to adjust to fuel prices that the rest of the world has been living with for years, European cars offer the most obvious template for model-line reform. Flexible, fuel-efficient vehicles have thrived on the continent for decades, and the European’s have gotten good at squeezing space for a whole family from compact platforms. So when GM first started showing images of its new Cruze compact, this blogger bemoaned that “while the old Chevy Cruze (Suzuki Ignis) was a tall, flexible wagon, the new model sports a long front overhang and a tight greenhouse.” Long, low and wide, the new Cruze felt like downsized Americana (we don’t need no headroom or no stinkim’ hatchback), rather than a platform built for utility and flexibility. Well, my worries were mistplaced (sorta). GM is showing pictures of its Orlando concept, a three-row MPV based on the Cruze platform and aimed squarely at the Mazda5 and Euro-proven Ford Focus C-Max, headed stateside in 2010. Jalopnik notes that there aren’t currently a huge range of small, fuel-efficient family haulers for sale in the states, but this simply proves that (for once) the General may actually be ahead of the curve. There are likely  shortcomings, including an emphasis on “American” styling that appears to sacrifice space and visibility for the tight greenhouse that is so fashionable here. Still, by leveraging platforms and offering fuel-sipping transport for large families, GM only improves its chances of success. And no, I’m not kidding. Now, get ready for some major brandgineering….

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10 Comments on “Orlando: The Cruze To Wait For?...”

  • avatar

    With styling and an interior like the Orlando features, what exactly is the point of the rest of GM’s brands here outside of Cadillac?

  • avatar

    All of the good car names are gone.

  • avatar

    All of the good car names are gone.

    Orlando makes me think of Florida which makes me think of tropical fruit like oranges….and lemons. Not a real good car name.


  • avatar

    It’s actually not a horrible looking ride. It’s one of the few instances where the “signature” grill doesn’t look completely revolting (it’s still not wonderful, but at least here it seems to work more or less).

    Being based on the Cruze platform it would seem to slot in approximately where the HHR sits now, sans the retro metal. Maybe they should go with that and just call it the HHR (the retro seems to be getting a bit old, but the HHR name doesn’t sound so bad really).

  • avatar

    The General seems to have a penchant for a sort of bulging “beer gut” front end look on its mommy mobiles. Fugly.

  • avatar

    The Orlando, huh?

    Does it KNOCK THREE TIMES in the morning when you start it?

    TIE A YELLOW RIBBON to hold the muffler on . . .

    It’s funny how these things just DAWN on me.

    I’ll be here til Thursday, tip your waitress & try the veal.

  • avatar

    Whadda mean Cruze platform? Don`t play around, just say what is it based on- german Opel or korean Daewoo? Who did the job, strong and precise fritz hands or meticulous and well organized korean ones?

  • avatar

    This is yet another big GM PR campaign for a new vehicle that won’t live up to all the hype. The concept car will look great in the shows and then the bean counters will cut away all that’s decent about it for production. What we’ll get is another underwhelming non-descript Cavalier/Cobalt like econo-box.

  • avatar

    The Orlando is evidence of the bloom that the General will experience in the magickal year two-zero-one-zero, where all digital renderings will be realized on the showroom floor.

  • avatar

    They will be showing it at the Paris motor show so does this mean that they will try to sell American build cars under the renamed Daewoo brand in Europe?

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