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.

1 comment:

my blog said...

well aveo will face some tough competition.