First DriveThe 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 DriveThe 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?
This is the 1.3-litre diesel version of the all-new Chevrolet Aveo. The petrol model will be the bigger seller but this 94bhp five-speed manual Eco model is expected to do well given its headline figures of 95g/km and 78mpg.
What’s it like?
And in practice the Aveo is just how you would expect it to be – that is, an adequate if uninspiring diesel supermini.
The worst of the road's imperfections are soaked up well, and by class standards the Chevy makes for a comfortable place to cover miles despite some hefty body roll. It's easy to place on the road, visibility is good, and the brakes offer the right balance between response and feel.
The 1.3-litre turbodiesel picks up well enough, but refinement at motorway speeds is quite poor, with engine and tyre noise making for a substantial drone. This is often a forgivable side-effect in small, budget cars but the higher-mileage drivers likely to opt for the diesel may find cabin noise an issue. The cheap-feeling dash and displays could also be something that will sway buyers in favour of the more expensive but better finished and more desirable offerings from VW and Ford.
Should I buy one?
At £12,795 the price is suitably low given that this Aveo 1.3D Eco model only comes in well-specced LT trim. Ultimately, we'd say do your maths carefully before opting for any diesel supermini. It can take many thousands of miles before the economy pays off the higher list price and in this class the petrols are easily the more enjoyable engines to run.
If you must have an mpg-hero then the Chevy is a reasonable choice. It does the job well and offers a practical blend of affordability and usability, even if it lacks polish overall. It's unlikely to be remembered as one of Chevy's greatest moments but it's a competitive car by any relevant standard.
Chevrolet Aveo 1.3D Eco
Price: £12,795; Top speed: 108mph; 0-62mph: 11.7sec; Economy: 78mpg; Co2 95g/km; Kerbweight: 1165kg; Engine type: 1248cc, 4cyl, turbodiesel; Power: 94bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 140lb ft at 1750-2500rpm; Gearbox: five-spd manual