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?
The Aveo replaces the old Giugiaro-designed Kalos supermini. It comes initially in five-door form (a three-door is due later in the year), with all-new 1.2 or 1.4-litre petrol engines under the bonnet.
What’s it like?
As the first small car to be born as a Chevrolet (rather than a re-badged Daewoo), the Aveo certainly doesn’t hide its badge under a bushel. In fact, the enormous cross-beam split grille seems almost out of place with the rather more delicate styling of the rest of the car - even if it is in keeping with the styling of the rest of the Chevrolet range. It looks especially awkward with the large UK number plate bolted onto the bottom half of the grille.
The cabin design is modern, with a good-quality bespoke stereo and plenty of space, although some of the cabin materials don’t feel up to scratch.
The driving position isn’t exactly perfect, either - the gearshift feels too close to the driver’s seat, and there’s not quite enough space in the footwell for your left foot. Not major issues, but it puts the Aveo on the back foot.
On the road, the Aveo is again caught off guard with a rubbery gearshift, heavy low-speed steering and a dead-feeling brake pedal conspiring to dispel your confidence in the car. The lively, revvy 98bhp 1.4 does go someway to make up for this, though.
Should I buy one?
Chevrolet expects to sell 6000 units in the UK annually, so plenty of people probably will. And with plenty of standard equipment (air-con, electric windows, heated mirrors, wheel-mounted stereo controls to name but the highlights) and a price that’s nearer the bottom of the supermini market than the top, you can understand why. Just don’t expect top-drawer dynamic sophistication.