Chevy Orlando Coming to U.S. in 2011

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Chevy’s answer to the Mazda5 and Kia Rondo is coming to the U.S. in two years. The Orlando is a compact minivan based on the Chevy Cruze compact car, which debuts next year in the U.S. The show car is powered by a small diesel engine, but expect the U.S. version to get the same 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will power the Cruze. Chevy says that engine will deliver better fuel economy than its current Cobalt, which gets 37 mpg on the highway.

Moving a heavier vehicle like this small van will likely impact fuel economy versus the same engine in the Cruze. However, the sales success of the Mazda5 in the past year proves there is a market for these vehicles in the U.S. If gas heads back toward $4 a gallon, there could be a much bigger group of potential buyers.

More photos and info on the Orlando

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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