For the last year I’ve been traveling with my husband and two sons.
Non-stop.

Every morning they were there when I woke up, every meal we ate together and every evening theirs were the last voices I heard before I fell asleep.

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Depending on the day people either hear this and think :

That woman is so lucky to have that amount of time
together with her family,” or “That woman is insane.”

Either way, I get it.

I’ve had both of those thoughts at various moments too.

I’m a soloist by nature. While I am completely functional
in a room full of people, I’m completely fine if I’ve only got myself for
company.

And so it’s probably no surprise that when the chance
comes to take a solo roadtrip my gut response is a “hell yeah.”

Last weekend I did just that.

I was testing out the Chevy Orlando.

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I drove the “Velvet
Red” family vehicle around the city for a few days and then threw a bag in the
back and set out for Ottawa. I was speaking at the Social Capital Media
Conference there and that meant 5 hours of time with just me and my Chevy.  When I wasn’t in the vehicle I was either
learning from leaders like Martin Waxman and more or lounging
in my deluxe digs at the Ottawa Marriott hotel.

But mostly, I was in the car.

When it’s just you and the car you need to make friends
quickly.

I named him Orlando, made it clear that I preferred when he stayed within the
speed limit,thanked him for holding my can of coke and set off.

What I liked: 

* I filled up in Toronto (about $50) and didn’t need to
do it again until it was time to come home. 
(Chevrolet says that this car has the best highway fuel efficiency of any seven-seater)

* The car has pick up but it’s surprisingly quiet. I
liked that I could listen to my Sirius XM Sattelite radio Oprah musings without
having to battle engine noise (don’t judge!;)) 

* I wasn’t smitten with the boxy exterior, but inside it
meant a roomy ride without feeling too wide or unwieldy.

* OnStar  on board
means you can’t get lost and you’ve got someone with you even when you’re
driving solo, if you need them

* Split fold-down seating in both the second and third
rows means even hockey sticks could come along for a ride easily.You could easily become the most favoured mom on the block for car-pool! (ok, pros and cons there…) 

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* The Steering wheel offers up Bluetooth hands-free
connectivity which means, if I wanted to, I could answer and end calls safely through the steering
controls .  There’s also
volume control and radio station control right there at your fingertips.

 

What I’d change:

* The up front storage compartment under the radio is so
well hidden I didn’t find it until the ride home.

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That’s where the usb plug is
(a plus) but when the compartment is open I can’t operate the volume dials on
the radio well. There is a volume control on the steering wheel that helps.

* The driver’s seat wasn’t totally comfortable. Granted I
was on my tush for 5 hours at a time but I think it would be worth upgrading to
a leather package for added comfort.

* The trunk space is tiny unless the third row seating is
down.  I think this is a great car for a
family of four who occasionally has to pick up other kids or carry a lot of
stuff rather than a family of 7. 

 Overall, the car held up well.

And after a weekend away, I was even better.

What is it about being out on an open highway and behind
the wheel that brings you closer to who you are?

Just the facts:

Car: 2012 Chevrolet Orlando

Fuel Efficiency: 174 hp 2.4L ECOTEC 4-cylinder engine

MSRP:Starts at $19,945

 


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