Chevrolet replaces the Kalos with a neat supermini that looks more expensive than it actually is.

What is it?

Forget the Chevrolet tag, the Aveo isn’t the latest US muscle car or huge pick-up, but a replacement for the Kalos, the supermini Chevrolet inherited from Daewoo. While still aimed at the value conscious consumer, and still made in Korea, the Aveo aims to lift the appeal of the Chevrolet brand, appearing considerably more expensive than it is, with standard body colour bumpers, mesh grille inserts and chunky projector fog lights.

Big wrap around headlamps and detailed rear lights add to the impression that you’ve spent some money on options, when really it’s Chevrolet that’s laid down the cash during the car’s development.

What’s it like?

It’s the same inside – they’ve spent the money where it counts. You can overlook the cheapy indicator and wiper stalks for classy details such as upmarket integrated stereo. Go up to LT trim and you get a climate control interface that wouldn’t look out of place in a Golf.

Although it’s a Korean car, it feels much more European than its predecessor – the handbrake’s a perfect example, a chunky cylindrical affair rather than the archetypal Korean cranked lever, usually made from one piece of cheap plastic.

It doesn’t drive as well as it looks though, suffering from not a lot of grip, a dull steering system and in the 1.2 we tried, a noisy engine. It booms and vibrates over 3500rpm at motorway speeds and the seats aren’t quite supportive enough.

Should I buy one?

If you’re looking for a car that doesn’t cost the earth, but equally, one doesn’t advertise your frugalness, and are prepared to look beyond only average driving characteristics, then yes.

Dan Stevens

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roadrat 10 June 2010

Re: Chevrolet Aveo 1.2 S 5dr

Bought one of these 8 mths ago. Heavily discounted new pre-reg. Saved £2000 off list price. Some cars are good, some are very good. Not all cars are fun to drive.

This car is fun. It puts a smile on my face when I drive it. You can just potter around and it will feel docile. But if you give it a good thrashing and work the engine hard you can make decent progress. It reaches the "edge" of it's handling sooner than some superminis. But because of this it is great fun!

So you choose. Spend twice as much for something with handling that will be ok on a race track but boring on the road. Or buy a Chevy (sorry Chevrolet!).