Paris 2010: 2011 Chevrolet Orlando offers frill-free utility

, Posted by Sports Cars Fans at 4:27 PM

2011 Chevrolet Orlando

Chevrolet has debuted its Orlando people mover here at the Paris Motor Show, and while we were originally a bit nonplussed at being promised the car in the U.S. only to have General Motors later recant, we're no longer upset at its absence. Inexpensive and frumpy smallish MPVs still manage to find an audience in many European markets, but having fiddled with the Orlando today, we suspect that it probably wouldn't have fared that well Stateside.

Our first impression is that the Orlando is rather Dodge Journey-esque, albeit a bit smaller (it's Cruze-based, but bigger than it looks). Still, it shares the Dodge's seven-seat configuration and value-oriented bent, though it makes use of a range of smaller, Euro-friendly powerplants, including a 141-horsepower 1.8-liter gasoline four-cylinder and a pair of diesel fours offering 131 hp or 163 hp.

The interior is basic yet functional, with a much better resolved dashboard and center stack than the aforementioned Dodge. That said, the Orlando is built to be an inexpensive offering and it very much feels that way, with a nondescript crossover-like exterior (disappointing after the much better looking concept) and a competent but character-free interior. The three-row stadium seating is a nice touch, but as with most vehicles of this size, the 'way back' will be reserved for short trips, particularly as there's almost zero space for cargo when the rearmost seats are deployed.

Orlando production is slated to begin this month, with the first deliveries slated for early next month.