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When I was recently given the opportunity to drive the 7-seater Chevrolet Orlando for a few days I was a little nervous. I live & work in the city where parking is limited, and street parking often requires parallel parking. How on earth was I going to handle a big car like an Orlando?
So there I was, all 5’3” of me nervously, walking up to the Orlando and suddenly I realized that this car is hardly bigger than my own. In fact I learned that it is built on the same platform as the very popular sedan Chevy Cruze. I put the key in the ignition, opened the sunroof, turned on the XM Satellite radio, and off I went straight to try it out on the highway. I was shocked! I could not believe that a 7-seater could drive like a car; with pep and easy manoeuvring taking corners very well.
Once I got to work, I decided to face one of my biggest challenges, reversing into a parking space. I’m not the best parker to begin with and reversing into a spot is not at all a strength, but I decided for this review I had to go for it. And, thanks to the rear sensor in the car, I was successful on my first attempt! I could not believe how easy it was in the Orlando, and the sensor made sure that I did not get too close to the wall. Let’s just say,when I got out of the car, I was walking tall with a big smile of pride on my face.
Now, let’s get back to the 7 seats. The Orlando gives you the flexibility to use all 7 seats, or if you need extra storage space in the back only 6 seats, or only 5 seats. One of the challenges in my current compact SUV is the lack of trunk space. If I put my giant UppaBaby Vista stroller in the trunk, I can fit very little else! Not practical when travelling/shopping. In the Orlando, I could fit my stroller plus tons of bags, perfect for the shopping momma! I also loved the fact that I could put the rear seats down with one hand while holding my toddler on my hip with the other.
Allow me to list some of the features that I loved about the Orlando:
Heated seats: Perfect for cold days, or for when my back is hurting
Mommy Mirror: Like having eyes in the back of your head! Lets you keep tabs on what the kids are doing behind you without having to turn around!
Theatre style seating: Makes sure those sitting in the back don’t feel claustrophobic and can help with carsickness too!
Secret Storage: Lift up the faceplate of the radio and you will find a USB port and a secure spot to keep all your chords and iPods. Perfect for the Momma who doesn’t want to carry everything in her purse.
Bluetooth enabled: Let’s you call your dear husband to tell him “that thing you forgot” all while keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Storage: Thirsty? There are spots for water bottles within the car doors as well as between the seats. Hungry? Your kids have compartments in the back where you can keep their snacks!
Latch system enabled: The second row seats come equipped with the LATCH system which allowed my husband to install the car seat in less than five minutes.
Driver Seat Position: So easy to change the driver seat position with one electronic lever. The seat even raised quite high, which was great for someone short like me!
Sunroof: Vitamin D is in short supply, which makes me LOVE the sunroof, though I would have liked to have it bigger. I especially loved that you could control the amount of tilt when letting air in.
Child Locks: With one push of a button you can lock the all the doors or lock all the windows. Very important when you have little ones in the back who also like to push buttons.
XM Satellite Radio: Sometimes I get bored of the same old songs on the radio, nice to be able to pick a station based on the genre that I like and enjoy. I especially love Retro 80’s!
Steering Wheel Controls: Love that you can the control Bluetooth, music stations, volume and more all from your steering wheel. Convenient and safe!
I truly felt when driving the Orlando that Chevrolet must have listened to the needs and wants of parents, because they really hit all key elements that a momma on the go is looking for.
The only negative experience for me was having to give the Orlando back 🙁
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