The Chevy Aveo was one of the first representatives of a new generation of inexpensive small cars that dawned in the 2000s as car shoppers began changing their buying habits to reflect rising gas prices and tough financial times. Unlike the penalty boxes of old, these small cars would sacrifice little in terms of reliability, features or comfort.
Having said that, the Aveo paled in comparison to later competitors. Built in Korea by GM-owned Daewoo, the Aveo was uninspiring to drive and saddled with subpar interior quality. A penalty box it was not, but it wasn't an object of desire, either. Eventually, Chevrolet discontinued the Aveo and replaced it with the vastly superior Sonic.
Most Recent Chevrolet Aveo
The Chevy Aveo was available as a subcompact sedan or four-door hatchback called the Aveo5. Both debuted in 2004 and, apart from the subsequent minor face-lifts that occurred for the sedan in '07 and the hatchback in '09, didn't significantly change throughout its run.
From 2004-'08, every Aveo was powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 that made 103 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. For '09, it was bumped up to 107 hp and 106 lb-ft, while for 2010 those figures were revised to 108 hp and 104 lb-ft. Transmission choices were always a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. Manual transmission gear ratios were altered for 2010 for improved fuel economy.
The Aveo's tall profile wasn't the most aesthetically pleasing when viewed from the outside, but it certainly paid dividends in terms of providing useful amounts of headroom and legroom. The Aveo's interior also provided a commanding view for all passengers, and a fully reclining front passenger seat and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat expanded cargo capacity. The sedan's trunk offered 12.4 cubic feet of storage space. The Aveo5 also had a fold-down rear seat, and it could carry up to 42 cubic feet of cargo.
In Chevrolet Aveo reviews, our editors found it to be the least appealing of contemporary subcompacts, particularly toward the end of its life. But as a used car purchase, the Aveo represents a pretty affordable way to get acceptable transportation. Strengths included a low price, ample headroom and logical control layout. Downsides included mediocre acceleration, an unrefined driving experience, subpar cabin quality and a sloppy gearshifter (this was the rare instance in the subcompact class where we would recommend the automatic). Shoppers will want to consider 2006 and later Aveos, as they have additional features such as side airbags, alloy wheels and cruise control.