Chevrolet Aveo

1 Feb, 2012 3:36pm Graeme Lambert

We hit the road in the petrol version of the new Chevrolet Aveo


As an all-round package, the Chevrolet Aveo stacks up. It’s great value, with plenty of standard kit, eye-catching looks inside and out, a comprehensive warranty and a spacious cabin. The loud and unresponsive 1.2-litre petrol engine is the car’s weak link, though, and things will only get worse with a full load of passengers or luggage.
After marking its centenary in 2011, Chevrolet is hoping for another golden year with the introduction of its new Aveo supermini. The diesel version impressed in our road test in Issue 1,200, but this is the first time we’ve driven the petrol car.

Headlights inspired by motorbikes and hidden rear door handles help the Aveo stand out. Inside, the trademark centre console splits the dashboard down the middle, and as in the Spark, there’s a speedo in a pod above the steering wheel.

Getting comfortable behind the wheel is easy and forward visibility is good. Plus, while chunky C-pillars restrict your rear view, there’s plenty of room for adults in the back seats and the 290-litre boot capacity is competitive for this class.

The Aveo is less satisfying on the road, though. On paper, the 85bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine should be strong enough, but performance feels sluggish. Our car had done only 24 miles, so this may improve as the engine loosens up; even so, the car lacked refinement.

The electrically assisted steering could do with more feel, and its desire to self-centre is too strong. Yet its reactions are sharp and its light weighting combines well with the smooth gearshift action. The brakes are relatively capable, too, and although the suspension feels a bit stiff at low speeds, it strikes a good compromise between ride comfort and agility.

Value for money is the Aveo’s trump card. For £10,995, you get a well equipped, spacious and dynamically capable supermini backed by a five-year warranty. Despite the car’s shortcomings, it’s a good deal.

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You don't test drive a car with 24 miles guys. It is stiff as a rod. I remeber my old GTC, I took it back to the dealer on the first day. I wouldn't expect any vast improvements from the little Chevy but still, give us your opinion when the meter hits the 500 miles.

It`s a shame that you don`t take some useful pictures for example instead of the name badge how about internal pictures with seats folded to show the capacity and other practical internal storage facilities

Hi @PAAdam. This is just the first drive, so the test cars available have often only done delivery miles. We'll be driving the new Aveo again as soon as we can get it into the office - this means we'll be able to test it over a much longer period, any many more miles.

Thanks for your comment @AlanShaw. In this case, we were limited to the press pictures supplied by Chevrolet but we will take your feedback onboard, and include more practical pictures where possible. Have you had a look at our video reviews?

Thanks again,
Auto Express

I quite like this new Chevy and the review I think is fair. It reminds me (looks wise at the front) of a cross between the Mitubishi Evo and a Colt somehow but the finished article is very good to look at. I like the door handles hidden away in the rear too, a nice touch. It'll be interesting as Toyota have just bought out a new Yaris and Seat (VW) have the new Ibiza this year too which in my opinion I think is probably best looking 3 door car in this class. I hope Chevrolet do well with this as they are chipping away at their UK image and getting somewhere now. I just got back from the States and Chevy is massive there so let's see if they can replicate that in the UK. The RS version of this is the reason I am keeping an eye on the car. I saw a YouTube video of it recently and it looks like it could be a lot of fun!

Question how does the following paraphrase:

The Aveo is less satisfying on the road...On paper the 1.2-litre petrol engine should be strong enough... even so, the car lacked refinement.

balance with get a well equipped, spacious and dynamically capable supermini.

Just how can a vehicle be 'dynamically capable' and at the same time be unrefined and underpowered?

This is clearly more manufacturer pleasing twaddle.

It does not reflect the true fact that the Aveo is a tedious piece of automotive excrescence that is not improved by fitting features from the Spark in a jaded attempt to make it appeal.

The entire Chevy Aveo/Spark range suffers from a vertical depreciation scale so you won't have to wait more than 12months for this hoary old joke, to be dangerously close to the truth:

'Got a pair of wipers for a Chevy Aveo/Spark?'

'Seems a fair swap mate!'

You have been warned.

Fun WillBad is very, very relative and you'll have to look very, very closely to find it in any of the current Chevrolet range of not so super, superminis.

Why would you want to export your children's & grand children's future car manufacturing jobs to Korea.

Koreans only buy Korean cars nothing British made. Chavy spares are not cheap when they have to be shipped in from Korea.

Chavy Aveo definitely a car for hard up CHAVS, who thought it was a good idea to save a few bob, and regret buying with in a few days of leaving the Chavy dealers. If only l had saved up for a few more months and brought something decent.

Key specs

* Price: £10,995
* Engine: 1.2-litre 4cyl, 85bhp
* Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
* 0-60/top speed: 13.6 seconds/107mph
* Economy/CO2: 60.9mpg/111g/km
* Equipment: Air-con, cruise control, CD, electric windows, Bluetooth
* On sale: Now