2009 Chevrolet Aveo Review

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Pros & Cons

  • Low price, high fuel economy, ample headroom.
  • Engine lacks power, hatchback's small luggage capacity.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$1,454 - $2,467

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The Chevrolet Aveo is still one of the most popular -- and least expensive -- subcompact cars in the U.S. And although this year's revised engine and updates to the hatchback make the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo even more competitive, consumers are still advised to shop carefully and look beyond the sticker price.

Vehicle overview

Not too many years ago, those who made fun of Chevrolet's subcompact cars seemed to greatly outnumber those who would ever consider driving one. But when Chevy turned to General Motors' South Korean subsidiary Daewoo a few years back to build the Aveo, the result was an affordable subcompact that offered greatly improved quality over the small cars of Chevy's past.

The Chevrolet Aveo receives some notable changes for the 2009 model year, with a revised, more fuel-efficient engine that comes standard on all trim levels, as well as an updated hatchback model that's been refreshed both inside and out. These improvements make the 2009 Chevy Aveo a worthy contender, but they don't necessarily make the car a standout in the segment.

Because price is important when it comes to shopping for a subcompact car, it also makes sense that fuel economy would play a major role when considering which one to buy. And although the 2009 Chevy Aveo gets better gas mileage than last year's models, it's still a tad less than what's provided by the redesigned Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris and even the Kia Rio. As for the all-around driving experience, the Aveo is similarly mid-pack. Overall, we think the Aveo offers decent quality at a competitive price, but you'll want to take a look at top models like the Fit before plunking down the dough for a new Aveo.

2009 Chevrolet Aveo models

The 2009 Chevrolet Aveo is available in sedan and four-door hatchback ("Aveo5") body styles, both of which seat five passengers. Each is available in three trim levels. On both body styles, the base LS trim comes standard with 14-inch wheels, intermittent windshield wipers, cloth upholstery, a four-speaker AM/FM stereo with auxiliary input jack and OnStar.

The 1LT trim level on both the sedan and hatchback adds air-conditioning and an upgraded six-speaker audio system with CD player. Optional on the 1LT are remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, cruise control and satellite radio. (Power sideview mirrors are not available.) The 2LT comes with the 1LT's optional equipment and adds 15-inch wheels, front foglamps, a trip computer, upgraded cloth upholstery, heated power sideview mirrors and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

2009 Highlights

Chevrolet has revised the Aveo's four-cylinder engine for 2009. It now has variable valve timing, and fuel economy has improved as a result. The five-door Aveo hatchback gets a face-lift and refreshed interior design, and all models now have an auxiliary audio jack and OnStar (with a year of service) as standard. Upgraded trim levels also get satellite radio.

Performance & mpg

All Aveos come with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 107 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic, the latter of which is only available on the LT trim levels. For this year, the manual now includes a shift indicator light to help maximize fuel economy. The new engine helps fuel economy this year, and the automatic-equipped 2009 Chevrolet Aveo gets an EPA rating of 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined.

Safety

Front-seat side airbags are standard on all trim levels, but side curtain airbags (a feature that is increasingly common on subcompacts) aren't available. Antilock brakes are optional on the LT models, but only on those with the automatic transmission.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the Aveo sedan earned a five-star rating (the best possible) for its protection of the driver and four stars for the passenger in frontal impacts, and four stars for the driver side and three stars for the passenger side in side impacts. The hatchback did slightly better, garnering five stars for the passenger in the frontal-impact test and four stars for both sides in the rear-impact test. 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 2009 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 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 interior of the Aveo5 was redesigned this year, which finally puts it in step with the sedan (which got its overhaul two years ago). The hatchback now sports higher-quality materials, "woodgrain-appearance" or metallic trim, a driver armrest, additional storage and other advantages over the previous Aveo5, which had a very bargain-bin feel to it. Both the hatchback and the sedan have a 60/40-split-folding rear seat that creates extra space for cargo. But although the Aveo5 has a respectable 42 cubic feet when the rear seats are down, it offers significantly less cargo space than some competing hatchbacks with the rear seats in place.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Happy with the purchase of my first new car
T. Jacklin,10/20/2015
5 LS 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car new off the lot. Within a few months I noticed a screeching noise out on the open highway in a cross wind. Come to find out it was something to do with the design of the vehicle (not safety) and after a quick fix at the shop, the noise was gone. I wanted a bare bones car. Lets features, less to go wrong, less expense. This car is perfect for me. It can be parked anywhere, not overly spunky but can whip it on the highway. The fuel mileage is great, only a few minor repairs (mostly from lack of use, not over use) like creaky doors, a rear hatch release that sticks, heater only works on blast (at least it works). If you are looking for something to get you from point A to B without a lot of bells and whistles, this is your ride. It now has 78,000kms on her, just had the control arm replaced today, new water pump a couple weeks ago. These are things that are going to need replacing regardless, and I think after 6 years that is fair. Still has original brakes, clutch, wipers, numerous other things. I am more than happy with 'The Intimidator'. I would buy another one in a minute. It's GREAT in the snow! (Granted you know how to drive in it. I am Canadian. I have this skill)
Nice car, check it out.
Roy,08/28/2008
I needed a 4dr hatchback with automatic. My car also has the optional power package with keyless entry. Narrowed my choices to the Aveo, and the 2008 Fit, both of which had some minor pluses over the other. The Aveo has CC, drivers seat height and lumbar adjustments, and an armrest. It also has daylight running lights, an alarm system, and free Onstar for one year. The front end has been redesigned, and the interior has been upgraded. The engine has a few more horses with improved gas mileage. I have been averaging 30 MPG in mixed driving, and the engine turns 2800 RPM at 70 MPH. Generally quiet with some road noise. Very roomy, great visibility, nice handling, and good acceleration.
How much fun is this?
NC Dad-UCLA Daughter,10/05/2008
About a month ago, I purchased a 2009 Aveo5 2LT for my daughter. The only options not on the vehicle were leatherette seats and a sunroof. After driving small, medium, and large SUVs for several years, I had forgotten how much fun driving a small car really is. My daughter needed to get to grad school at UCLA and we drove across the country from North Carolina (2700 miles). Since I am 6 feet 3 inches tall (with long legs) I was concerned, but I found it comfortable, quiet, and with good handling, even on the day we traveled 680 miles. I was very pleased with the overall 31 mpg we got on the trip, especially since the little thing was loaded. It cost just $318 in gas for the trip!
Gives Cheap a whole new meaning.
David Albee,07/25/2015
2LT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
I have had my Aveo for going on 5 years now. I should have walked past it the moment that I ran my fingers over the grill and the black paint powder that came off on my finger was present. Now the entire reason for my purchase was that I needed a vehicle that I could drive into the dirt. I commute to work everyday and any vehicle was going to be getting aged prematurely. However, this does not excuse the wiper blades disintegrating in the second month of ownership. I understand that Korea may not have the winters that we Canadians do but wow! Anyhow, new blades on moving forward. Wait, what is that awe-full racket? It can't be the engine already... For crying out loud it sounds like the engine is trying to leap out from under the hood.... Notice in the mail, "Dear Aveo owner please proceed to your nearest Chev dealer to get your wiring replaced as the engineers have discovered an issue with the gaps of your spark plug and wiring harness." As my car is lurching and crying "No kidding there is an issue." . Okay so contact my dealer that I purchased my car from, "Sorry, we can't help you with that." "We don't have the parts to fix it right now.". Click... Wait, what? Yo Rick, I need you to put new plugs in and wiring. "Isn't that a recall? Shouldn't your dealer do that?", to which I replied. "Yes", "Yes they should." "So can you do this?" Driving my now behaving Aveo out of Rick's shop and noting the it will be a cold day in hell before I go back to the dealer. Not long later. "Hmmm, are my headlights dirty?" After looking I realized they were not dirty just one of the bulbs had burned out. No big deal, I have now replaced 3 bulbs. The creme de la creme had to be driving to work one morning and there was a little bit of snow on the road. I am Canadian and have been driving this road since 1989. No problem........ So why am I now staring at a terrified lady facing me and we are traveling in the same direction. I mean her eyes were like dinner plates. After I hit the drifted snow on the side of the road I have come to realize yet another issue with the Aveo. The rear brake has a tendency to lock. Terrifying right... I mean the freaking pad came off the shoe inside the drum...... Think about that for a second.. They are supposed to be molecular bonded to the shoe to prevent that sort of thing from happening. "Yo, Rick!!" "I need you to take a look at this rear brake, something is definitely [non-permissible content removed]!" "Umm, Dave the drum is really stuck on there." - "I know, I scared the H*** out of some lady in a SUV that was behind me, I was looking at her while i was going backward." A couple hours later... "Dave, I have never even heard of this happening." "Once i manage to get the drum off the pad was off the shoe.." Do not under any circumstance buy this vehicle, it redefines cheap and I would swear substandard parts. I honestly can not express how confused I am about how this actually made it to market. Oh and now the screws to the air filter have corroded and I will have to likely cut them and tap them to change the air filter.

Features & Specs

MPG
27 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
107 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG
27 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
107 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG
27 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
107 hp @ 6400 rpm
See all Used 2009 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 2009 Chevrolet Aveo

Used 2009 Chevrolet Aveo Overview

The Used 2009 Chevrolet Aveo is offered in the following submodels: Aveo Hatchback, Aveo Sedan. Available styles include 2LT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 5 2LT 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 1LT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 5 1LT 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), LS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), and 5 LS 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Chevrolet Aveo?

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Which used 2009 Chevrolet Aveos are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2009 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.

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