I bought a used 2005 Aveo automatic in 2007 w/ about 25k miles on it to replace my Toyota Echo. It runs (and the mpg was nice), but has large blindspots in the front corners, so watch for pedestrians while turning & is lightweight so the wind blows it around on the highway. In 2009, w/ 45k mi, while replacing tires, found out there was a bent inner tie rod, which requires replacing this whole chassis ($700-900); it caused tires to wear out faster in the front and the car to wobble between 50-65 mph. 62k mi & the clock broke. After only 64k mi & regular maintenance, the engine died. Better replace the timing belt before 60k mi. Too bad it wouldn't have been worth it anyway. Disappointing.
Got me too and from work and on about two small roadtrips a year. Gas mileage was good (average of 27 mpg mixed driving, and on long stretches of highway, I actually got up to 35 mpg). The trunk is fairly sizable - I rarely had problems packing. The small turn radius I was a big fan of. However, everything the Aveo did well, the Toyota Echo did better, and was similarly sized and styled, and it definitely was more reliable than the Aveo.
Definitely should have the inner tie rod be a separate piece like on many cars, especially considering how many Aveos I've heard about bending them. Having it be exclusively attached to the axle made fixing that problem next to impossible at my income (and a car this cheap will probably be found mostly with this income bracket). The interior could have been not so cheaply made, and I definitely think there is a wiring problem with the clock and warning light console. I am immensely disappointed that this car only lived to 64,000 miles.
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