2008 Chevrolet Aveo Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Low price, ample headroom make the car feel big on the inside, logical control layout.
  • Engine lacks both power and fuel efficiency, manual transmission's gearing is too wide, hatchback's dowdy styling.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$1,247 - $2,218

Used Aveo for Sale
None for sale nearby. Instead:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2008 Chevrolet Aveo models

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.

2008 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Chevrolet Aveo.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Happy camper !
john gomez,08/27/2016
5 LS 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
I purchased this car new in late 2008. It has 120k miles on it. the only problems I have had with it is the valve cover gasket likes to leak after 2-3 years and the headlights got so foggy I just replaced the assemblies with new ones. I change the gasket myself so thats really not that big an issue. Air conditioning still works great and I still get 34mpg highway. The a/c reduces power on takeoff and lowers gas mileage but thats to be expected on a baby car. I had the timing belt replaced at 80k miles along with the water pump and idler pulleys and the old belt still looked very good. I have been very happy with this car and hope to drive it well over 200k miles.
Not bad for the money
Dave in Canada,08/06/2010
We bought this car in June of this year as a commuter. We then used it for a 32 hundred mile trip through Northern Ontario where gas prices average about $1.08 a liter.($4.18 a U S gallon). Cost us $95 to drive from South of Ottawa to Thunder Bay, a distance of over 1100 miles. Had no problems on the semi Alpine grades and never got below 4th gear. Drove 10 hours a day and no back ache, most comfortable seats on the little car market and the air worked well but sucked power from the slightly too small engine. I have had Kia, Toyata, Ford and even a Russian Lada but this is the most comfortable car we have ever owned including our current Oldsmobile. 4000 miles on it in 3 weeks,love it.
An honest review
Clark,08/30/2009
This is my 2nd Aveo hatchback. My 1st was a 2004 (1st year production). It was the automatic and I learned that to get the most out of this vehicle, I should have gotten the 5-speed. I only had this car for 1 year as I traded it on a Honda Element. I regretted it from day one. Anyway, last year (2008) I purchased another Aveo5 LS 5-speed new for $12,000 "out-the-door". It was equipped with factory cruise control and was pinstriped! I now have almost 25,000 miles on it and it still is a great car! I get an honest 35 MPG without the air on and 32 with the air on. I have noticed that on the highway I only get 30 MPG when the cruise is set to 72 MPH. Great car..minor issues covered by warranty.
won't buy a chevy again
lcanfield,08/24/2013
I have my aveo for 4 years now and only have 32, 000 miles on it. I have had nothing put issues with this cars electrical system. First my tire pressure light comes on all the time, now I have my oil light come on and off. I was told by the dealer that it is a sensor problem and they cost 257.00. Now my check engine light is on. Of course this is the same problem. This sensor will cost 357.00. So far I have not fixed them and not sure I will. I will have the car paid off in may of next year, then its so long piece of crap car.

Features & Specs

MPG
24 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
103 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG
24 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
103 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 2008 Chevrolet Aveo features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Marginal
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2008 Chevrolet Aveo

Used 2008 Chevrolet Aveo Overview

The Used 2008 Chevrolet Aveo is offered in the following submodels: Aveo Hatchback, Aveo Sedan. Available styles include LT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 5 LS 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), LS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), and 5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Chevrolet Aveo?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 Chevrolet Aveos are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Chevrolet Aveo for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Chevrolet Aveo.

Can't find a used 2008 Chevrolet Aveos you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Aveo for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $14,727.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $9,535.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $24,366.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $18,695.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 Chevrolet Aveo?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Aveo lease specials