Chevy Aveo5 Review

2009 Chevy Aveo5 2LT is taken out by MPGomatic for an extended test drive.

Aveo Racing Camaro Turbo SS

You can really hear the turbo spool up!

Chevy Spark at Detroit 2009

While details remain sparse, General Motors rolled out its three-door Beat Concept from the 2007 New York Auto Show, promising that a version of the car will be produced beginning in 2010 for foreign markets, and for the US in 2011. Oddly, unlike the three-door sub-Aveo sized hatch that rolled on to this morning's main stage, the production Spark figures to be a five-door hatchback capable of delivering 40 miles-per-gallon in the city. Officials indicate that a production version of the Spark will roll out at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and AB readers have already seen development prototypes running around.


Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part III.

Chevy AveoShould I give it garage space?

Chevrolet may have inspired more songs than any other car make, but it seems very unlikely that an Aveo will ever act as a muse to an aspiring songwriter.

While there is nothing downright bad about it, there is a huge list of things that just aren't quite right about it. Neither engine really shifts it, and the drive is uninspiring, to say the least, but that's just the start of it. Throw in the rather tight rear accommodation and the lack of refinement, and you're looking at a car that already feels behind the times before it's even gone on sale.

Rating 2 stars

When you consider that, for much the same money as a basic Aveo, you could buy something like a Skoda Fabia, a Kia Rio or even a Vauxhall Corsa, it's not hard to see that there are plenty of better ways to spend your money than on an Aveo. Perhaps more than anything, the Aveo serves only to show just how far the budget end of the market has moved on.

If the final price turns out to be a good deal cheaper than first estimates, perhaps that might change. But, even with an estimated starting price of £7500 - which is low in anyone's book - it's hard to overlook the Aveo's shortcomings.


Model: Chevrolet Aveo 1.2 S
On sale: May 2008
Price: £7500 (estimated)
Engine: 1206cc four cylinder petrol
Power: 84bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque: 70lb ft @ 3800rpm
Performance: 0-62mph in 13.0 seconds, 107mph top speed
Fuel economy: 51.4mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 132g.km

Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part I.
Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part II.

Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part II.

Chevy AveoDoes it do the job?

With the likes of Hyundai and Kia now offering some seriously good cars at the budget end of the market, the Aveo has to be exceptional to stand out. Simply having a low price is no longer good enough.

And, at least on first impression, the Aveo looks perfectly reasonable. It may not be the most stylish shape on the streets, but it's certainly presentable, and things like some dashes of chrome, body-coloured door handles and the 'air intakes' ahead of the wing mirrors go some way to smartening up its basic shape.

There's even something of an Audi-esque look to new grille, but that's as far as the Audi comparison goes. Inside, it's only too obvious that this is a car at the budget end of the market. Everything from the dash to the door trims seems built from cheap, hard plastics - well built, admittedly, but still far from attractive.

At least, the controls are all easy to use and there's a decent amount of room in the front seats, so you're not short-changed there. Head- and legroom are both fine, and even though you sit quite high and the steering wheel adjusts for height only, the driving position is good.

Climb into the back, though, and the news isn't so good. Behind a six-foot driver, room in the back is quite cramped, and another six-footer will have their knees firmly embedded in the back of the front seat and their head rubbing the roof lining. A family with two young kids might not worry too much, but once those same kids hit their late teens, they won't be happy in the back of an Aveo.

Likewise, although the boot is a decent size, taking advantage of the full space on offer is not easy. While the rear seat back is split 60/40, the base is in one piece and awkward to tumble and roll up against the front seat because, firstly, you need to release the central rear seat belt and, secondly, you need to slide the front seats forward a little.

Again, when you come to drive the Aveo, it's a case of disappointment. True, it's not downright bad, but it's certainly a long way from enjoyable. For a start, neither of the engines gives it much in the way of performance.

While that perhaps comes as no great surprise in the 1.2, what is a surprise is that the 1.4 felt no quicker, despite having quite an advantage in power and torque on paper. What's more, the 1.4 also suffered from a slower gearchange and a firmer ride, so if we were making a choice between the two, we'd save our pennies and go for the smaller-engined car.

However, that's not to say even that version is without its shortcomings. On the contrary, like the 1.4, it suffers from an awful lot of poorly controlled body roll in corners. But, more than that, its steering has no feel and there's too much noise at motorway speeds.

You might argue that you expect to cut a few corners when you buy a budget car, but the truth is that you can spend similarly small amounts of money on other cars and not have to make such sacrifices.

Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part I.
Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part III.

Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part I.

Here's Fifth Gear Chevrolet Aveo First Drive by Andy Pringle.
Chevy AveoWhat is it?

The Aveo may not be a familiar name to us Brits, but the car that now carries that name is not totally new. You see, what has happened here is that Chevrolet is now doing a Vauxhall and giving its cars the same name right across Europe. So, just as we now drive a Corsa and not a Nova, so in the future we'll drive an Aveo rather than a Kalos.

Yes, that's right, for all the company's talk of a 'new car', the Aveo is basically a heavily facelifted Chevrolet Kalos - and that started life in the UK as a Daewoo. So, the Aveo isn't strictly a new car at all.

On the other hand, there are certainly plenty of new bits, not least of which is the new nose, which is our first sight of the new global look for the company's cars, with a horizontally split grille. Beyond that, there's also a new engine - the 84bhp 1.2-litre petrol unit - that promises more power and better economy than the old 1.2. Perhaps most significantly, though, the Aveo is the first modern Chevy to be built in Europe, at a plant in Warsaw, Poland.

At launch, there will be a choice of just two petrol engines, a 101bhp 1.4 joining the new 1.2, and Chevrolet is expected to offer three trim levels, the basic S, followed by the LS and LT, the last of which is available only with an automatic gearbox.

Prices are yet to be confirmed, but the company estimates the range will cost from about £7500 to £11,000 when the first cars reach UK showrooms in May. For the first month, only five-door models will be on sale, but they'll be joined in the following month by the three-door version that was unveiled at the Geneva Show earlier this year.
Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part II.
Chevy Aveo First Drive from Fifth Gear. Part III.

Chevrolet Aveo 5th Gear Extended Review

Chevy Aveo
In continuation of the subject Chevrolet Aveo Fifth Gear Review I present this post with extended description of the Aveo features.
3 stars

It's not ugly by any standards but it does look dated. The front holds similarities to the 2003 face lifted Fiat Punto which, although good looking at the time, only serves to show how behind the Aveo is with its styling.

Nothing to write home about really, as once you get past the masses of body roll, the car feels numb and lifeless. It lacks feeling through the steering wheel which makes driving around twisty B roads a disappointing experience.

Again, not a strong point, but it depends how far you intend to go. The ride is noticeably hard - more so on the 1.4's larger wheels - and the interior is not somewhere you'd want to spend much time. However, road and wind noise are not too much of a problem, so the cabin is relatively quiet.

Despite the materials, the Aveo has actually been well put together and feels fairly solid. Plus there's no history of unreliability so durability shouldn't be an issue with this car.

Neither of the engines provides much in the way of performance - the 1.4 not feeling much quicker than the 1.2 despite all the figures suggesting otherwise. Once you get going, the 1.2 is noisy at motorway speeds.

Space is plentiful in the front; both head and legroom are good. However, the rear seats are a different story, as anyone over six foot will struggle to get comfortable and with a tall adult in the driver's seat, anyone sat behind will have little, if any, legroom.

There's no mistaking that this car is cheap, and according to the figures, all of the manual models will achieve over 47mpg (some over 50mpg). Road tax is average however, as the range sits in VED band C, costing around £120 per year.

There isn't a shortage of equipment with the Aveo: the £8,845 mid spec LS comes with items like air con, electric rear windows, electric and heated door mirrors, 15-inch wheels and trip computer. However, to get the top LT spec, you'll have to have the larger engine which has a starting price of over £9k. Plus, the Aveo won't be on the desirability radar so residuals are likely to be poor.

Most of the problem stems from poor sounding speakers rather than the stereo itself, which is easy to use and does everything you would expect. Sat nav is not available even as an option.

All models are capable of under 140g/km except the automatic version, which produces 152g/km CO2. There is no diesel option available, which is a shame as a small unit could offer even better fuel economy and CO2 - plus it might benefit performance too.