Thursday, November 17, 2011

My thoughts of the 2012 Chevrolet Orlando

2012 Chevrolet Orlando
The first time I was introduced to the Chevrolet Orlando was when GM released the concept version of this vehicle. At the time I was quite impressed I thought it was a very unique looking vehicle and when I heard GM had approved the Orlando for production I was pleasantly surprised. The first thing that impressed me about the Orlando was its exterior styling the rear of the vehicle featured some very nice touches. The one part of the Orlando concept I liked the most was the design of the rear tail lights there placement and look suited the rear styling of the vehicle. The front end featured uniquely designed head lights which went a long way in helping to give the Orlando a sporty look something were not use to seeing from GM. It seemed like the Chevrolet Orlando would be the next vehicle to represent a new direction for GM and I was quite optimistic about the future of this vehicle thinking it may be a great success for a company who had recently fallen on hard times. Part of the problem with GM in the past was the fact that they built cars that simply couldn’t compete against their competition. When I was much younger I actually use to refer to them as the auto maker who followed their own path, only making the cars they wanted to make a car company that didn’t take the competition very seriously. Eventually this led to declining sales since other auto makers where doing a better job of providing customers with vehicles they actually wanted to drive. 

Chevrolet Orlando Concept
To me the success of a company such as GM is very important to me since I live in a town where their vehicles are manufactured. And when I first saw the Orlando concept I believed it represented a new direction for GM I thought this vehicle could be a great success, I was just hoping that the production version of the Orlando turned out as well as the concept did. Eventually GM did release a few shots of the production version and like many people I was actually surprised and disappointed that GM took what was a great looking vehicle and turned it into something so dull and boring. In my opinion it looks like GM is still not willing to take any chances when it comes to the design of its vehicles. I really don’t think it makes any sense for a car company to bring a vehicle to market that already looks aged. In recent years other companies such as Hyundai and even Kia have been doing an amazing job of bringing to market unique car designs that attract younger buyers. When you look at the 2012 Chevrolet Orlando and compare it to the competition you will see that other manufactures offer buyers some very unique looking vehicles to choose from. Take a look at the Orlando’s closest competition the 2012 Mazda 5 and you will see a much better looking vehicle that is very sporty and much more enjoyable to drive. In my opinion the Chevrolet Orlando doesn’t have much character at all and its rental car looks don’t make me want to rush out and purchase one. I really wonder what GM was thinking and why they made the decision to take what was an amazing concept and then turn it into something so uninteresting and boring. They had a great opportunity here to bring to market a vehicle that would appeal to a younger audience but just like in the past they tend to only create vehicles that are geared toward the older crowd. With so many new and more interesting vehicles being released by it's competitors the Orlando could suffer from poor sales. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

2012 Mazda 5                            Ford C-Max 
I am sure many people will agree that the 2012 Chevrolet Orlando is a step in the right direction for GM they just need to be more willing to take some chance and create interesting vehicles that can compete against companies like Kia and Hyundai. It seems like when it comes to GM their designs are very basic and plain when the majority of car buyers are looking to purchase a vehicle that stands out that makes them feel good when their behind the wheel. And sure GM`s interiors have come a long way and I am actually impressed with the fit and finish found inside their current vehicles. To me the most useful feature found inside the 2012 Orlando is the unique in dash flip up storage compartment which was mainly created for you to store your smart phone or other devices. But that`s really the only feature found in the Orlando that impresses me, my main issue with this vehicle is its design which I believe
can still be improved. If the Orlando is actually a success that means with-in the next 3-4 years it will be due for a refresh which means many of the issues I have with the looks of the new Orlando can be addressed. Now I am sure the Orlando is a decent vehicle but I do have a few suggestions for GM when it comes time to for a few updates. The first thing I would do is apply the rear design from the concept to the production version of the Orlando which would help to create a vehicle that is much more visually appealing. Next I would rework the front end to include a front head light design similar to the ones found on the Orlando concept. Now the last thing I would suggest for GM to do is stop being so afraid of the word “mini-van” and to just add side sliding doors to the Chevrolet Orlando so it can compete against offerings from other car makers. To me it looks like GM has the capabilities of releasing vehicles that appeal to the masses and it seems like their concept design department is doing a great job of creating interesting designs but sadly many of their ideas are not making it into production. As you can see I haven`t totally given up on GM just yet I just hope the next time they show us a concept vehicle that they do a better job when it comes time to putting that vehicle into production.

Below you will find examples of concept cars that GM did a great job of coverting into production vehicles:

2010 Chevrolet Camaro

2012 Chevrolet Sonic

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