In recent years, small, fuel-efficient cars have come back into favor due to higher fuel prices and changing consumer tastes. Within this market segment, one of the more popular choices has been the Chevrolet Aveo. Classified by the EPA as a subcompact, the Aveo debuted in 2004 and has been a surprise hit for Chevrolet.
The Chevy Aveo is representative of a new generation of inexpensive small cars that sacrifice little in terms of features or comfort, especially in light of what similar offerings used to be like in earlier decades. One could also call it the result of globalization — the Aveo is built in Korea by Daewoo, which is now owned by General Motors.
Chevrolet’s target buyer is young and looking for his or her first new car. To help attract said customer, the Aveo comes equipped with youth-oriented features such as an MP3-enabled audio system, faux carbon-fiber trim and bright color choices. Budget-minded shoppers will likely be drawn to its impressively low price and solid fuel economy ratings. However, shoppers in this subcompact segment are advised to study up on all of their options. There are more choices than before, and sometimes purchasing a slightly used but superior model for the same price as a new but less desirable one makes the most sense.
Current Chevrolet Aveo
The Chevy Aveo is available as a subcompact sedan or four-door hatchback called the Aveo5. In terms of size, it’s shorter in length and taller than Chevy’s second-least-expensive automotive offering, the Cobalt. The Aveo’s tall profile isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing when viewed from the outside, but it certainly pays dividends in terms of providing useful amounts of headroom and legroom. To our eyes, the sedan is the classier-looking of the two models, but it lacks the cargo-carrying versatility of the hatchback.
Three trim levels are offered: Special Value, LS and LT. Special Value is offered on the Aveo5 only and is sparsely equipped, as it comes with 14-inch steel wheels, manual mirrors and windows, manual locks, side airbags and a radio with four speakers. The LS adds air-conditioning and carpeted floor mats, as well as desired options such as cruise control, a sunroof, antilock brakes, power windows, keyless entry, a CD/MP3 player and 15-inch alloy wheels. The LT trim is available on the sedan only and includes most of the LS model’s options as standard and can be ordered with leatherette seating and an upgraded audio system.
The Aveo’s small interior provides a commanding view for all passengers, and a fully reclining front passenger seat and a 60/40-split folding rear seat expand the Aveo’s interior cargo capacity, enabling long items, such as skis, to be carried between the trunk and passenger compartment. The sedan’s trunk offers 12.4 cubic feet of storage space. The Aveo5 also has a fold-down rear seat and it can carry up to 42 cubic feet of cargo.
For power, both versions of the Chevy Aveo rely on a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 108 horsepower and 104 pound-feet of torque (slightly changed from before). A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and there’s also an optional four-speed automatic.
In Chevrolet Aveo reviews, our editors have found it to be a viable option for this vehicle class. Its strengths include a low price, nimble handling, ample headroom and logical control layout. Downsides include mediocre acceleration and, on manual transmission-equipped cars, a floppy gearshifter and overly wide gear spacing. Usually, we encourage subcompact car buyers to get a manual transmission to maximize acceleration, but in the Aveo’s case, the automatic is the better bet.
Used Chevrolet Aveo Models
The Aveo debuted in 2004 and apart from the subsequent minor face-lifts that occurred for the sedan in ’07 and the hatchback in ’09, hasn’t changed much through the years. All were powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 that made 103 hp and 107 lb-ft initially, and for ’09 107 hp and 106 lb-ft) that sends power to the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Manual transmission gear ratios were altered for 2010 for improved fuel economy. Used car shoppers will want to look at 2006 and later Aveos as they have additional features, such as side airbags, alloy wheels and cruise control.
*Post credit goes to edmunds.com*