Cheap cars are becoming all the rage. With many automakers going small to appeal to an audience they've never reached out to. Chevy however, has been building cars that are affordable for many years. Many of them fail against rivals from Japan. So how does the Aveo stack up?
Performance: There's only one engine available and that's a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 108hp. Acceleration is peppy around town. But when you get to highway speeds, the engine struggles to get up to pace. You'll need to work the engine hard to get the most of it. Fuel economy is good, but rivals offer more power and similar fuel consumption.
Ride & Handling: If you're looking for a fun to drive city car, you'd best look elsewhere. The Aveo has numb steering that offers very little feedback. The suspension is set towards comfort, so there's lots of bodyroll in corners. The ride can be a bit bouncy on some road surfaces.
Refinement: The engine feels refined, until pushed hard. Around town, the Aveo feels quiet and comfortable. On the highway, there's lots of wind and road noise that sneaks into the cabin.
Behind the wheel: There's no adjustment for reach, which makes the driving position for some hard to obtain. The seating position is also a let down. You'll feel like you're sitting on the car rather than sitting inside. This will discourage enthuisatic driving. For the price the interior feels well put together. Nothing stands out, or feels special. There are rivals that offer better interiors for the money.
Space & Practicality: For such a small car, there's plenty of leg and headroom for four passengers in the interior. The boot isn't big, but offers enough space for small city runs. There's split folding rear seats to extends cargo space.
Equipment: The term "you get what you pay for" really does define the Aveo. The base trim level feels down right mean. There's no air-conditioning, and many other features that are standard on other rivals. You'll have to step up and pay more to get the extras that should be standard. To get a well equipped Aveo, you'll pay about the same or more than its rivals. Making the Aveo seems somewhat of a let down in value.
Buying & Owning: The Aveo doesn't seem like much of a bargain compared to its rivals. The engine offers decent pace, if you're trips don't evolve going outside of the city. Resale value isn't anything to brag about, but fuel economy is good. It offers plenty of space and feels comfortable when driven in a economical non-sporty manner.
Quality & Reliability: The interior feels worth the asking price. There's nothing special about it, but the materials used look and feel sturdy. Reliability has been good, but there are some reports of engine problems by owners.
Safety & Security: There's available ABS but that option is limited to the top of the range. Now a days vehicles are offering many safety features standard. Leaving the Aveo far behind in the competition. There's a mandated alarm system but little else in terms of security against theft.
Likes: Plenty of space for a small car, decent fuel economy.
Dislikes: Under-powered engine, not as fun to drive as it looks, numb steering and lots of body-roll.
Overall: There are many rivals that offer a blend of everything the Aveo falls short in. The replacement for the Aveo will address everything the Aveo failed to live up to. However, if you need a cheap car that's comfortable and has decent running cost. The Aveo is the car for you. You might want to consider its rivals first.