By on August 25, 2010

Having recently invested in an all-new global compact car, the Cruze, it was inevitable that Chevrolet would eventually come out with an MPV based on the Cruze’s underpinnings. When the unavoidable people-mover debuted at the 2008 Paris Auto Show as the severely handsome Orlando Concept, its clean yet distinctive look certainly got our attention. And with initial plans calling for US production (Hamtramck), it seemed that The General really was ready to put up to seven Americans in a compact-car-based vehicle. But after we called the Orlando “The Cruze To Wait For,” GM entered bailout hell and the Orlando was canceled and uncanceled for the US market with every new executive that passed through the RenCen.Now, with the first images of the production Orlando hitting the web, the post-concept reality of Chevy’s “Delta MPV7” reflects its troubled development.

The very European-looking concept has been softened into what looks more like a US-market crossover (i.e. something you might spot in Orlando)… but it’s going to be made by Daewoo in South Korea, and is focused on the European market. And based on the current plans, Americans looking for this kind of car from GM will have to spring for a GMC Granite “Urban Utility Vehicle.” Because apparently GM’s product planners think Europeans are into generic, American-named people movers, while Americans are looking for over-the-top designs and an upmarket brand from their fuel-efficient kiddy haulers. On the other hand, as little sense as that premise makes, the production look of the Chevy Orlando won’t exactly inspire anyone to contradict it.

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25 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Getting To Orlando Edition...”

  • avatar

    My heart sank when I saw the comparison (boy did they sure manage to F— up the production design…) Those taillights look better on the Ford Galaxy and should have stayed there… and the wheels … did they have a bunch left over from the HHR that they had to get rid of, or what… How disappointing.

    Looks to be a European model (based on rear-bumper lights and front side blinkers) I’ll have to keep my eye on my local Opel dealer to see if this abomination shows up there … (stopped in there last week and have to say that about half the models on the floor were appealing … would have liked to see an Insignia, but didn’t.

  • avatar

    Well, if an American really wants an Orlando they could just purchase one from Canada (and get screwed on MSRP and destination charge WRT exchange rate just like us), unless GM has changed their mind about selling it here.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Nope, doesn’t work that way down here. Canadians can import American cars, but Americans can’t import Canadian (or anywhere else’s) cars. De facto protectionism: protecting people from cars they might like.

  • avatar

    Wow, what a letdown. Production version looks like the concept’s dorky little brother. With that said, Chevy still needs something like this in the lineup, how can they NOT bring this here.? Big mistake.

  • avatar

    I’m not let down by the changes. Larger windows are a plus for me.

    I do hope they end up offering it here. If the Granite does well, Chevy dealers will ask for it. And if they have to ask for it, they might even do a decent job selling it.

    • 0 avatar

      I honestly don’t see what everyone is complaining about. The differences between the prototype and the production version of this are much less radical than with the Volt. I don’t see how this thing was going to win with the crowd on this website regardless what they did with it.

      Now, as far as offering this in the U.S., while this will carry seven passengers I don’t see the point of offering this and the Equinox, and since the Equinox is doing well in the market why muddy the waters? I’m of the opinion that there are too many nameplates in the Chevrolet lineup, both with the cars and the trucks.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. It’s nowhere near as drastic a change as Concept Volt to Production Volt, and it’s still better looking than either the nagare-Mazda5 or the Kia Rondo, which is no longer even on Kia’s USA website.

      Why won’t Chevy make sense: The Cruze replaces the Cobalt, and the Orlando should replace the HHR. As it is, they’re repeating the mistake they made with the Lambda crossovers – no Chevy version.

    • 0 avatar

      Except there is a Chevrolet Lambda offering, the Traverse. I can see the cheesy commercial with Howie Long and the little red head girl saying “I’M A BIG GIRL!”


  • avatar

    Whoever was tasked to bring this vehicle into production should be fired. How could they Fcuk-up such a cool design and make it look so boring … and what’s up with the HHR wheels. And while the Ford Galaxy’s taillights look goon on the Ford Galaxy, they should have stayed there…

    Is this an export vehicle? (Look at the rear bumper and euro-style fog and reverse lamps in the center of the bumper, as well as the side blinkers.)

    If t

    • 0 avatar

      Guessing the HHR wheels were regurgitated because Government Motors doesn’t have the scratch to invest in a new design.

      If it does come to the states it’ll be another in a long string of non-American Government Motors vehicles to grace our shores to appease the “Murican” car fans.

  • avatar

    Adding it to Chevy’s Euro line-up probably has a lot to do with the desperate need to replace this abomination with something halfway credible. (I bet that production Orlando’s not looking so bad now you’ve seen the majestically awful Tacuma)

    Still doesn’t explain why they’re not adding it to the line up there though. Weird.

    As for the concept vs production thing, as the alt text says it’s a very old story (i.e. this is almost always what happens: exciting concept becomes drab production car) and to be honest I’ve seen worse.

  • avatar

    What purpose does this serve? Doesn’t Chevy (nee: Chevrolet) have a compact CUV/SUV in the Equinox? I’m trying to understand what the draw is to offering a new model and having to pour R&D costs into it and also having to try to make it different enough not to cannibalize sales from other vehicles. Wouldn’t they be better served using the money, that would otherwise be spent on a new product launch and the R&D costs associated with supersizing the Cruze (figuratively speaking), to improve the Equinox and creat more options for customers to choose from? If the Equinox (is that even the model that Chevrolet uses or is it the Terrain) doesn’t already allow for 7 passengers couldn’t they slightly modify the frame to allow for an extra bench? I know having short wheel base models and long wheel base models is nothing new.

    I’m trying to understand the logic. Is this an engineering issue or are they simply trying to throw products at people and hope one of the sticks?

    I’ll freely admit that for a long time I was not a GM person and preferred Fords and Hondas, but I’ve come around to the point where I want to try judging a car based on its merits instead of the emblem on the front as both GM products that I’ve had have been fun cars.

  • avatar

    I understand most of the rear changes, but I don’t know why they changed the front, especially since the current Chevy design language seems to be closer to the concept then the production (it already looks old, no? Kinda remind of the old Colbalt?).

    This thing looks very Kia Rondo.

    Anyway, it will be nice to see this in Canada, if that rumour is true. It should sell decently, as long as the hipster crowd that buys these things in lou of minivans will not turn up their noses to a Chevrolet. Might be easier considering the ugliness of the next Mazda 5.

  • avatar

    I like the larger rear window. Aside from that, congratulations on taking a crisp, distinctive design and watering it down to dullsville. Long live GM…er, Daewoo.

  • avatar

    Look at Ford with the Escape and Edge…heck, even the Mike Rowe ads show a lady cross-shopping them (bad marketing move, IMO).

    I suppose this will be the answer to the Edge, which GM doesn’t have at the moment (right?). Even though it’ll probably cannibalize some of the Equinox, I bet it results in a net improvement in total sales…these days, that sounds like what most companies are looking for–cannibalization be damned.

  • avatar

    It went from “almost manly” to “infantile goof mobile”.
    Did Asians design it?

  • avatar

    I see no difference, except for the “audi ricer bead” driving lights. Basically the design was unchanged. Is it going to displace HHR? Depends on the SIZE of this thing (for some reason the commentariat wants to compare it with Equinox, and I am wondering if they smoke the same stuff that made them compare Scion xB 1G and Ford Flex).

    • 0 avatar

      Pete, click on the thumbnail with the four pictures to see the enlarged version, then it’s more apparent. Headlights and grill are rounder, tail lights shaped different (possibly inspired by the Aztek), they added a crease to the A-pillar, removed the crease below the taillight that runs to the wheel arch, rear hatch and bumper are different. Look at the front wheel arch on the prototype. It’s way oversized, and it wraps around the front of the car almost to grill. I’ve never seen that before, and apparently it’s too much for the GM brass. It’s a lot of little stuff, but it all adds up. And not in a good way.

  • avatar

    I don’t see much of a difference between the concept and the production model. And the design itself is fine. You’re not going to get a sports car from something that’s going to serve purpose as a minivan. The revised rear window is going to provide better visibility. Those headlights and fog/driving lights on the concept car would never make it into production. What are they, anyway? LED’s? Other than that, the ride height is the same, as are the dimensions. Wheels? I think they look fine, less busy than the concept. Besides, that’s probably a base model being shown. As is typical, the base model doesn’t have privacy glass either. No chrome dual exhaust on the production model? So what?

    But again, if you’re looking for a bling-mobile, you probably aren’t shopping for this car. I would argue that most who criticize this car aren’t part of the target market to begin with, and are better served by a two-door something, or a jeep something, or something else not meant to grow the schlong or carry kids.

    Frankly, I’m happy GM is finally going to offer something in this class. However, not bringing it to the US as a Chevy, is just plain dumb.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Today I was starting to forget specifically why I hate GM so much. Thanks for reminding me, GM.

  • avatar

    First company to sell a 35 mpg seven seater for under $30,000 in the US will sell me a car. Until then, we will live with 5 seater used cars. I wanted to give my money to Chevrolet for the Orlando, now I shall just keep it!

  • avatar

    That grille treatment is tired and dated. It’s just like the grille on the Malibu, Equinox, Silverado, Cruze, Aveo, Impala, Colorado, Escalade, TrailBlazer, Tahoe, Uplander, Volt, Kodiak.. I think it’s been on or is currently on almost all Chevys.
    And could they make the ‘bowtie’ emblems a little.. no alot.. OK, if they could just remove it all together, it would be a marked improvement and I could see myself driving one. No, seriously.
    That huge gold bowtie has probably killed off more sales.. It shouts “Hey everybody, I’m a Chevy” as if you couldn’t you tell.

  • avatar

    It’s worth noting that the photography has an effect on the way the cars look, too.

    The prototype was shot from a very low angle, making it look significantly more aggressive; the production version was shot from closer to ‘normal point of view’, which makes it look both less aggressive and more ‘normal’, since we generally don’t see cars from a crawling perspective. There’s also probably a difference in lens angle.

    There are differences, yeah, but if you shot the prototype the way the production car was shot, and vice versa, I’m guessing that the differences would be much less apparent.

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