From £10,570
Value-packed, comfortable, and interesting, but lacks driver involvement

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Aveo
A five-year warranty, good equipment levels and handsome looks compensate for a lack of driver involvement

The Chevrolet Aveo is a well-executed, competitively priced supermini which majors on refinement rather than driver involvement

  • First Drive

    Chevrolet Sonic RS

    The luke-warm Chevrolet Sonic RS is a nod towards a hot hatch for the American market. It may get a European launch, but is unlikely to bother the class-best
  • First Drive

    Chevrolet Aveo 1.2 LT

    The Chevrolet Aveo marks a big step forward for the brand, although this petrol version isn't as appealing as the diesel equivalent

What is it?

Chevrolet’s all-new Aveo is its latest entry to the ever evolving B segment. It’s set to undercut the cheap and cheerful Hyundai i20, while packing an impressive amount of standard kit.

It’s also the fourth all-new model to be produced for Chevrolet UK by the newly renamed GM Korea, finally free from the shackles of Daewoo nomenclature.

Chevy’s aim is to differentiate its cars from sister Vauxhall without being forced downmarket, so the Aveo mustn’t be a Corsa by another name on the cheap.

In fact, it uses GM’s Gamma II platform that will underpin the next Corsa, and the 1.2-litre engine tested here is an evolution of its sister car’s powerplant, with a lighter cylinder block and improved cooling.

What’s it like?

On winding roads, the Aveo is certainly no Fiesta chaser. Rather, its strength lies in refinement. The irregularities we could find on Swiss roads yielded a satisfyingly distant bump, but little more, although British roads might erode that talent.

The hydraulic steering brings reasonable feel, weight and feedback, but might be on the heavy side for some during car park shimmies. Vocal (but not coarse) at high revs, the 1.2 petrol engine isn’t embarrassed here, and doesn’t intrude at motorway speeds in fifth. Gear changes are pleasant when not rushed, and brakes are effective following a little dead travel.

Bold styling dominates the Aveo’s look, inside and out. It has a compact sturdiness not dissimilar to the VW Polo, albeit with rising lines on the flanks to add some dynamism. The split front grille clearly relates the car to stable mates such as the Spark and Cruze, but twin headlamps on each side lend the Aveo character of its own. Only the heavy-set rump and fiddly rear light clusters disrupt what is a generally composed look.

Like the Vauxhall Astra, the Aveo’s interior benefits from Insignia switchgear, combined with original touches, including a compact motorbike-style binnacle that houses an analogue tachometer and digital speedo. Its elaborate plastic housing might raise some eyebrows, but you can’t dispute the instrument clarity. Sturdy, textured surfaces dominate the dash, while much of the remaining interior plastic is on the scratchy side.

The seats are sculpted but soft, and leave the driver slightly perched. One six-footer behind another found their knees marginally pushing into those soft seats, but headroom was plentiful. Boot space satisfies the class average at 290 litres.

Standard equipment includes six airbags, cruise control, iPod connectivity and rear spoiler, and air-conditioning might even make the final spec list by the car’s September launch. Either way, it’s an impressive haul of gear.

Should I buy one?

The five-year warranty and healthy basic spec alone will tempt buyers with a £10k limit, but add the Aveo’s (mostly) compelling style and the impressive level of comfort it offers, and it’s a supermini that’s well worth considering.

A lack of driver involvement won’t worry the bulk of potential owners, but a nearly new Fiesta can offer much more excitement if you’re prepared to play second fiddle on the V5.

Chevrolet Aveo 1.2LS

Price: from £9750 (est); Top speed: 106mph; 0-62mph: 13.4sec; Economy: 51.4mpg (combined); CO2: 129g/km; Kerb weight: 1070kg; Engine type, cc: 4 cyls, 1229cc, petrol; Power: 85bhp at 5600rpm; Torque: 85lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
14

25 May 2011

Hmmmm, a 3 door version with a "breathed over" 1.4/1.6 petrol engine and some nice alloys could be the new Saxo.

I kinda like the looks at the front.

The dash, I'm not so sure....

Where has all Japanese design went to?

25 May 2011

On static appeal alone this car will sell well. Both interior and exterior styling are attractive enough to stand out (to my eyes far better than the bland i20) and the Hyundai rivalling warranty will get various demographic groups in to the show room. Even the very heavy Vauxhall link, which I don't doubt the salesmen will use to their advantage, will work for some.

The fact it drives averagely will matter little to this cars target audience.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

25 May 2011

Not being a walking databank, I'm not sure of the origins of the engine, and while the write-up reads fairly well, a 1.2 with 85bhp and 129 CO² is not exactly cutting edge. Do they still have access to Fiat parts? A 105hp twinair would make it an interesting lukewarm runaround

25 May 2011

I really like the look of it, and can actually imagine this selling well amongst especially young guys.

There arent really many "Masculine" and agressive looking small cars with a bit of attitude. Most look very feminine and soft so this is a nice change in this market. Also the Chevy Brand image will help to sell in this regard. Much cooler to say, Ive got a Chevy, than one of the Korean/Japanse brands.

I approve.

26 May 2011

[quote fhp11]

I really like the look of it, and can actually imagine this selling well amongst especially young guys.

There arent really many "Masculine" and agressive looking small cars with a bit of attitude. Most look very feminine and soft so this is a nice change in this market. Also the Chevy Brand image will help to sell in this regard. Much cooler to say, Ive got a Chevy, than one of the Korean/Japanse brands.

I approve.

[/quote] Value-packed, comfortable, and interesting, but lacks driver involvement, no doubt many others will approve too. Driver involvement is hardly a must for a Chevvy driver, unless you're called Rob Huff, or Alain menu.

26 May 2011

I am afriad 'driver involvement' is the one thing an Aveo buyer doesn't want. He/she wants an effortless, easy to use machine that is comfortable enough for a stress free commute. And low on driver involvement doesn't necessarily equates to poor handling finesse. Shame about that hydraualic power steering.

26 May 2011

[quote Fifteen]I am afriad 'driver involvement' is the one thing an Aveo buyer doesn't want.[/quote]

I always think I am not bothered about driver involvement in a car........then i drive something with this "in the mix" (i10, Mondeo etc) and its great to feel the car alive in your hands, in fact it makes you feel alive too.

Aveo drivers of old might not want this feature but this new fresh model should have some driver involvement to go with its aggressive new looks.

Not sure that korean built Chevy`s will ever be cool though.

26 May 2011

Not sure that korean built Chevy`s will ever be cool though.

with enough marketing millions behind them they will have a chance, although the brand does start off with a disadvantage in the UK.

31 May 2011

Think this is a fine looking car like how the revamped Mitsu Colt should have looked . I am not too mad about the bicycle housing on over the steering wheel do have been in the spark and it just seemed at odds with the rest off the car but I suppose you would get used to it .

31 May 2011

[quote FastRenaultFan]

Think this is a fine looking car like how the revamped Mitsu Colt should have looked . I am not too mad about the bicycle housing on over the steering wheel do have been in the spark and it just seemed at odds with the rest off the car but I suppose you would get used to it .

[/quote]

I agree. I think the exterior looks interesting, but I don't like the motorcycle style instrument console in the Spark, and I think its rather unimaginative to use it again here.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run