With many car manufacturers falling by the wayside, Chevrolet, whose future was hanging in the balance not too long ago, is bouncing back with World Championship Touring Car wins and a whole new range of models. Focusing on more family-orientated vehicles, the manufacturer has introduced two models capable of carrying seven people with the Orlando and the Capitva.
With striking, futuristic looks, the Chevrolet-Orlando is a typical seven-seater that is not only usable for carrying around family and friends, but it has a good-sized boot and is as versatile as a van. It has a flat loading space and multiple storage bins, you'll never be found wanting. There are three rows of seats which have good leg and headroom, and despite its large size, it is designed to look like a car from the front. The driver has great visibility from a large windscreen and thanks to a superb-looking dashboard, the dual cockpit is superb for both the driver and passengers.
The Chevrolet Orlando steering wheel has controls for the MP3 player and with piano-black inserts, it makes Chevrolet a serious contender next to German rivals VW or Audi. With a range of ways to fold the seats down flat, the rear of the Orlando allows you to carry golf clubs, bags, shopping and large bulky items, thanks to the large rear door and unimpeded interior. It's safe, too, with six airbags, dual ISOFIX systems for child seats, curtain airbags and traction control as standard fitment. A 1.8-litre petrol or a 2.0-litre diesel helps this 7-seat MPV move swiftly amongst traffic and thanks to the low centre of gravity, the handling is quite good. Prices start from £16,000, which is a bargain.
***The Chevrolet Orlando***
The SUV-crossover Captiva not only looks great but it delivers in terms of performance, handling and versatility. Priced at £19,000 for the entry-level model, it's not cheap but what it does have are stylish looks, a myriad of options and is a healthy competitor to the usual European manufacturers Citroen, Ford or VW. Although there are options, the standard fitment of electric mirrors, sunroof and windows, alloy wheels, air conditioning, leather upholstery and sporty body kit is fitted as standard, so any add-ons will just be purely down to your preference.
As with the Orlando, safety is one of the prime focuses with the Chevrolet-Captiva. It has ISOFIX child seat fixings, a four-star EURO NCAP safety rating and curtain, driver and passenger airbags. It is sprightly in its performance, getting to 60mph in just over 11 seconds yet can achieve almost 40mpg.
***The Chevrolet Captiva***
The super economical diesel engine fares well in the road tax stakes, by only pumping out 191g/km of CO2, which is good for a car of this size and weight. With many Chevy garages cropping up in the UK, servicing is cheap and there are plenty of places to choose from. Overall, this 7-seat People Carrier is a strong contender for a SUV-styled 7 seater and is up against some big competition with the Ford S-Max and the VW Touran, but it doesn't embarrass itself.