The city of Orlando, Florida is stuffed to the gills with family vacation destinations. Theme parks are among the top attractions, including Universal Studios, Disney World, and Legoland, to name a few. With so many fun hotspots crammed into one place, the pull of Orlando extends well beyond the borders of the U.S. In fact, Orlando is such an attractive family destination that Chevrolet even named its Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) – the Chevrolet Orlando – after it.
It’s highly likely many are drawing a blank on the Chevrolet Orlando. The vehicle was never actually sold in the U.S., instead being sold in various international markets since 2011. In Europe, GM sold the Chevrolet Orlando between 2011 and 2014, and between 2011 and 2015 in Canada. The Orlando reached the Chinese market last year with the introduction of the all-new, second-generation model.
The first-gen Chevrolet Orlando was derived from the GM Delta II platform that also underpins the first-gen Chevrolet Cruze. It offered three rows of seating as a means to offer an inexpensive family car with seating for more than 5 passengers, something that the second-generation Chevrolet Equinox did not offer at the time due to the lack of a third row.
The second-generation Chevrolet Orlando made its debut last year on August 31st at the Chengdu Motor Show, marking the first time the nameplate became available in the Chinese market. The second-gen vehicle moved over to the GM D2 platform shared with the second-gen Chevy Cruze, offering a 2-3-2 seating configuration, as well as a sporty-looking Redline trim level.
|Engine||1.35L turbocharged three-cylinder|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual, six-speed automatic|
|Overall Length (in)||184.4|
|Overall Width (in)||71.1|
We find it fascinating that Chevrolet would sell a vehicle in markets outside the United States with a name derived from a U.S. city. What’s even more interesting is that the Orlando name carries such strong connotations outside U.S. borders. But it makes sense given the Chevrolet Orlando’s focus on family transportation.
Of course, the Orlando isn’t the only example of GM being inspired by an American city to name a Chevrolet vehicle. The Chevrolet Malibu name is inspired by the city of Malibu, California; besides being sold in North America, the vehicle is also sold in South Korea and China, and previously in Europe, Russia, and Australia (as a Holden).
All that goes to show just how pervasive American culture is internationally, and that city names can make for excellent nameplates.