2008 Chevrolet Aveo Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Chevrolet Aveo Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Aveo Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 103 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Chevrolet Aveo

  • The Chevrolet Aveo has been a popular choice in the past few years thanks to its low price and availability. But recent competition from Honda, Nissan, Scion and Toyota have raised the small-car bar significantly. Consumers are advised to shop carefully and, if possible, look beyond simply price.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low price, ample headroom make the car feel big on the inside, logical control layout.

  • Cons

    Engine lacks both power and fuel efficiency, manual transmission's gearing is too wide, hatchback's dowdy styling.

  • What's New for 2008

    After significant updates to the sedan last year, both 2008 Chevrolet Aveo body styles carry over with virtually no changes.

Full 2008 Chevrolet Aveo Review

What's New for 2008

After significant updates to the sedan last year, both 2008 Chevrolet Aveo body styles carry over with virtually no changes.


Chevrolet doesn't exactly have a glorious history in the subcompact car category. The mere mention of a Chevette is good for an easy laugh. Yet the Chevy lineup must have a low-priced little guy that does its job reliably day-in and day-out without much flash. The 2008 Chevrolet Aveo satisfies this need, but does so with a quality that distances it from the gold bowtie's sketchy subcompact past. The Aveo sedan in particular, which was significantly refreshed last year, gives budget buyers a fuel-efficient car with attractive styling, a nice interior, a useful features list and of course, a low price.

The Aveo is built in South Korea by General Motors' subsidiary Daewoo, the former independent company that disappeared from the United States in 2002 after a rather inauspicious run. As Kia and Hyundai have proven, though, Korean cars improve rapidly with every generation, and the 2008 Chevy Aveo is much better than Daewoo's previous econoboxes.

Of particular note is the sedan model's improved interior and more substantial-looking styling. The 2007-year update is made all the more evident by the fact that the Aveo5 hatchback model remains relatively unchanged from its 2004 debut form. Therefore, unless the hatchback's utility or rock-bottom base price (it's the lowest in America, in fact) are of paramount importance, we'd skip it in favor of the Aveo sedan or a superior subcompact hatchback from another manufacturer.

Obviously, fuel economy is of prime concern for buyers in this segment. The 2008 Chevrolet Aveo sips fuel at a sufficiently frugal rate, but not quite at the level of the Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris. These models also sport more refined, lively engines. Because of that, and in matters of price, the Aveo is more comparable with the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent. Needless to say, customers interested in this class have a lot of research and test-drives to do to find the subcompact that best meets their needs. But unlike Chevy's past subcompacts, the 2008 Aveo is a vehicle worthy of consideration rather than jokes.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Chevrolet Aveo subcompact is available in sedan and four-door hatchback body styles. The latter is known as the Aveo5, which unlike the sedan, was not updated last year. Both Aveo body styles come with two trim levels: Special Value and LS on the Aveo5 hatchback, and LS and LT on the Aveo sedan.

Special Value equates to not paying a lot but not getting a lot, either. Standard equipment includes 14-inch steel wheels, manual mirrors and windows, manual locks and a simple AM/FM radio with four speakers. The Aveo5 LS adds the availability of major options such as 15-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, a sunroof, power windows, carpeted floor mats, keyless entry and a CD/MP3 player. The Aveo LS sedan is similarly equipped, but offers an upgraded interior with better materials and an auxiliary MP3 jack. The top-line LT sedan comes standard with almost all of the LS model's optional features, while offering upgraded seat cloth and the availability of options like leatherette upholstery and upgraded audio with an in-dash CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

Powertrains and Performance

The Chevy Aveo has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 103 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and there's also an optional four-speed automatic with an electronic "hold" feature for 2nd-gear starts when driving on slippery surfaces. For 2008, fuel mileage estimates are 23 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway with the manual gearbox and 23/31 with the automatic -- close to the Hyundai Accent's numbers but less efficient than either the Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris.


Antilock brakes are optional on LS and LT models. Front-seat side airbags are standard on all trim levels, but side curtain airbags, a safety feature that is increasingly common on subcompacts, aren't available. In National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration crash tests, the 2008 Chevrolet Aveo earned a five-star rating (the best possible) for its protection of front occupants in frontal impacts and four stars for occupants in side impacts. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal offset crash tests, the Aveo received a score of "Acceptable," or one spot from the top.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Aveo sedan and Aveo5 hatchback feature different interior designs, with the sedan benefiting from an overhaul last year. It sports better-quality materials, wood-grain or metallic trim, a driver's armrest, additional storage and other advantages over the older Aveo5, which has a very bargain-bin feel to it. On the upside, the hatchback does have a folding 60/40-split rear seat that allows it to carry up to 42 cubic feet of stuff. The sedan's trunk swallows a respectable 12.4 cubic feet of cargo, with a fold-down rear seat that allows for the transport of longer items.

Driving Impressions

While the 2008 Chevrolet Aveo is certainly no thrill ride, it provides respectable vehicle dynamics. The steering is direct and the suspension is well-tuned for day-to-day commuting. The 1.6-liter engine is adequate, but it's loud and buzzy when revved and not particularly powerful. We normally recommend that buyers in this class opt for a manual transmission, but in the Aveo's case, the automatic is the better bet: The manual tranny's gear ratios are too wide, leaving the car underpowered on highway grades and ultimately compromising fuel economy.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

This car sucks

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 LS 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

We bought this thing used in 2011. It had 24k miles on it at the time. Immediately, the battery had to be replaced. Since then, hoses, water pump, and tires have had to be replaced. The gas cap door has fallen off and the driver's side door lock fell in. A piece of plastic near the rear passenger door fell off. It's the worst freakin' car I've ever owned and that includes the Jaguar that was always in the shop. I will never own another Chevy.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Extremely dissapointed

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

This was my first brand new car. I was so excited, since my husband bought a 2004 Aveo and was getting a solid 40 mpg. Then, I bought my 2008. From the first week when I wound up with the new tire gauge light lit up. "Really, couldn't they have checked the tires before I picked it up?!?!?" Constant issues with the tire light. Too cold in the morning, lites up, too warm in the afternoon, lites up, and several trips to the dealer when they say nothing is wrong. No matter what I or my husband drove could not get more than 24 mpg in it. Again the dealer said nothing was wrong with it. First set of tires (in both Aveos) needed before 6000 miles. GM put the cheapest garbage they could.

Unsafe for passenger safety

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Despite good safety rating, these cars consistently do not provide passenger airbag protection for passengers less than 120 lbs. If you are less than 100 lbs on the passenger side, you can guarantee that the airbag will be off. We took the car back to the dealer 3 times, averaging 4 days each time - and they claimed nothing is wrong. They DO KNOW that these seat sensors were set too high, and there is nothing they can do to fix it. Not only have we experienced this in our car, we've driven rentals of 2009 and 2010 heritage, and the same problem exists in these other years. The service manager said "No problem exists because the computer did not register any faults". Ha, ha, ha. Stupid!

Nice little car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

This is my second Aveo, the first one got totaled after I hit a deer and totaled it. If you are wanting a sports car then do not even go for the Aveo. If you are wanting a good reliable car then this is it. I drive a 100 miles a day round trip and fill up the gas tank twice a week. The 5- speed manual transmission is the best way to go with these little cars. Good little car for the price could not ask for more.

1.5 year review

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I have had this car since 4/08. A few comments: The bad- she hates the snow here in Chicago. Handles well driving, but be prepared to shovel or use traction pads when parallel parking with over 5 inches on the ground. The smaller tires, very low power+ low to the ground= tough parking. Other issues: small tires treads will pick up every stone in the road. You will hear them when the windows are down- annoying. Good: only maintenance done outside of oil was a brake job around 14K miles. Rotors rusted. Only drive about 15 miles a day, but lots of stop and go. Overall, not a bad car. Wanted cheap car, got one that works. Bought an aftermarket radio and speakers, so all is well with the commute.

I love it!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car to drive to and from work,35 miles 1 way. I've owned the car for 1-1/2 years now and have 30,000 miles racked up. On average I get 39+ MPG with summer tires, and 35 MPG with winter tires. Both more than the advertised 34 MPG, WOOHOO. For 10,754.14 out the door and delivered to my place of work, you'll not get a better deal. I'm 5'11" and 300+ pounds and have plenty of room. The tires do wear a little odd, and the paint has worn off right in front of the rear doors and rocker panels from winter driving. The arm rest are in awkward positions. All in all, I LOVE IT!!!

Talk About The 2008 Aveo

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Gas Mileage


  • 24
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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