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Oracle of Delphi

2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 is hot player on GM roster

51 posts in this topic

Steven Cole Smith | Sentinel Automotive Editor

August 17, 2008

aveosn1.jpg

In the market for a fuel-efficient car? Chevrolet offers a much-updated 2009 Aveo5 hatchback. Aveo's 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder engine is surprisingly smooth and quiet, and drivers will find generous headroom. (CHEVROLET / August 15, 2008)

After trying, and failing, to sell cars in the United States under its own brand, South Korean manufacturer Daewoo went bankrupt. General Motors bought the company and then had to find an outlet for its products.

And that's how we got the Chevrolet Aveo in 2004, which looked and felt less sophisticated than products from the other two major Korean carmakers, Hyundai and Kia. But the little Aveo filled the entry-level niche for Chevrolet, empty since GM stopped selling the Suzuki-built Metro in 2001.

Aveo sales were pretty tepid, but you know what happened: The economy declined and gas prices rose, so suddenly, the Aveo is one of the hottest players on the General Motors roster.

There are two Aveo models: The Aveo sedan, which has a conventional trunk, and the Aveo5, a hatchback that is almost 15 inches shorter than the sedan. For 2009, the Aveo remains mostly unchanged, but we get a much-updated Aveo5. And there's good news -- it appears Daewoo is catching up with its competitors.

The 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine is surprisingly smooth and quiet, and while gas mileage isn't great for a car this small, it's pretty darn good: an EPA-rated 25 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway in our test car, an Aveo5 hatchback with the optional four-speed automatic transmission. If you are willing to shift for yourself, the manual-transmission version gets slightly better mileage, and you'll save $925.

Headroom in the Aveo5 is generous, and rear-seat room isn't that bad, unless you have some long-legged people in the front seat. That room comes at the expense of luggage space in the back, but the rear seat folds down.

The test model was a 1LT, slightly more deluxe than the base version, less luxurious than the 2LT. Our car had quite a few standard features, including air conditioning, side airbags, handsome 15-inch alloy wheels, OnStar and a 180-watt, six-speaker sound system. There were power windows, but not power mirrors. Options included the Japanese-built automatic transmission, keyless entry, antilock brakes and cruise control.

Inside, for the most part, the Aveo looked and felt surprisingly upscale, but there were a few tipoffs to the fact that this is an inexpensive car: While the flip-down sun visors had vanity mirrors, the mirrors were uncovered, meaning that when the visors were down, they reflected you and everything behind the car. It was annoying enough that I'd have to use a strip of duct tape to cover them if I owned the car.

On the road, the Aveo5 rode and handled as well as its most direct competition, the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris -- it's a real improvement over the first Aveos we saw. Acceleration won't win any drag races, but it's better than you'd expect.

General Motors has some new small cars in the product pipeline, but until they arrive, the Aveo and Aveo5 give Chevrolet dealers a model to sell to people who need a low price and high mileage more than they need style and performance. Aveo sales were up nearly 15 percent in July over July 2007, so there must be plenty of those people out there.

Link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/classified/...0,6713748.story

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I am seeing Aveo's everywhere here. They are selling like crazy.

Before gas went up they were that car you saw once in a while and mocked.

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I prefer the old one over this one. It's just plain ugly. The previous Euro version looked nice, especially in 3-door sport trim.

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:lol: <--- Aveo in relation to Versa, Fit and even, bleh, Yaris in terms of desirability. It's still at the bottom of the tiny car heap.
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Honda is already readying a second-generation Fit while the Aveo--the type of car GM should be paying attention to right now--is slapped with a ridiculous face and left to rot on the vine.

Seriously, what are they thinking? Subcompacts are selling like wildfire, and the only option from GM is a warmed-over penalty box that nobody in their right mind would choose over a comparable Fit, Yaris, Versa...anything. It's a rental-queen, just like the Grand Prix, G6, Impala, Lacrosse...the list goes on and on. At least the Beat is coming...oh, wait.

Keep making fun of the Fit guys...it's eating GM's lunch.

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Honda is already readying a second-generation Fit while the Aveo--the type of car GM should be paying attention to right now--is slapped with a ridiculous face and left to rot on the vine.

Seriously, what are they thinking? Subcompacts are selling like wildfire, and the only option from GM is a warmed-over penalty box that nobody in their right mind would choose over a comparable Fit, Yaris, Versa...anything. It's a rental-queen, just like the Grand Prix, G6, Impala, Lacrosse...the list goes on and on. At least the Beat is coming...oh, wait.

Keep making fun of the Fit guys...it's eating GM's lunch.

The Aveo base price is 2/3 of the base price of the Fit, not really a strong comparison. The Aveo is so incredibly cheap it makes the other subcompacts look downright expensive by comparison. The Fit's pricing is more in line with the old cavalier than the Aveo. While it doesn't quite reach Cobalt/Civc cost it isn't that far of a stretch that I wouldn't make the jump up to the true compact.

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Yawn...34 mpg is pretty weak for such a small car..this is something that will sell only on price..the Wal-Mart car.

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When I was living in the States I averaged 36mpg (US) in my Aveo, sometimes achieving as much as 39mpg on gentle country road driving and other times as little as 32mpg if I was really hammering it along a motorway at 80mph+ on a windy day ... all of which is pretty normal for a 1990's tech 1600cc engine in a car of this size.

The Aveo should be seen for what it is - a budget supermini. Its interior space is bang up to date in this segment, the ride is decent, and it's nippy around town handling uneven road surfaces pretty well. The engine is as tough as old boots, not surprising from such tried and tested mechanicals. However, the interior fit and finish is not up to modern B-segment rivals from Japan and Europe, and the handling is terribly vague. All-in-all though, the car was tremendous value for money. In the UK, it hence sells for some £1000-2500 less than an equivalent GM Vauxhall Corsa, a thoroughly more modern B-segment supermini which competes more directly with the likes of the Jazz/Fit, Yaris, Fiesta, Clio, Polo, 207 et al.

Edited by aatbloke
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Yawn...34 mpg is pretty weak for such a small car..this is something that will sell only on price..the Wal-Mart car.

i think everyone agrees, but some people see mid to high 30's with an auto cobalt and it's rated 24/33. which is less combined than the 2.4L 6speed malibu for 09, 22/33...4 speed 22/30

for comparison the aveo is 25/34

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I'd rather pay extra for a better car, so I'd take a Fit over this any day.

I agree. The Aveo isn't bad for a budget subcompact, but I wouldn't mind paying extra for some other choices in this class. Unfortunately, none of my top choices are available in the U.S. yet (choices 2 & 3 probably will never make it here).

My top 3 choices for a subcompact car would be:

1) Ford's new Fiesta 5-door (I think they have started production for some of the foreign markets, but not the U.S. yet)

2) Mazda2 5-door

3) Opel Corsa 5-door

I know the 3-door versions of the cars mentioned above are sportier than their 5-door counterparts, but I prefer the extra utility offered by the 2 extra side doors.

Edited by cire
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No one is going to see 30 mpg if they drive the car like they stole it. The smaller motors only have the advantage if you drive like an old lady. If someone pulls up in an ancient Intrepid (for example) and tells me they want to test drive an Aveo and their #1 motivator is fuel mileage, I will (gently) persuade them to try the Cobalt, instead. No way in hell will they like the Aveo if they plan to drive it like the 6 cylinder Intrepid.

I've often felt that I would rather drive a 2 or 3 year old nicer American car than a 'X' small car, but the truth is a full warranty and the comfort of a fixed budget (payment) is a great comfort when so many of your other bills fluctuate wildly. Any used car is a crap shoot. The benefits of a new car with an extended warranty is peace of mind.

It's one thing to buy a 10 year old &#036;h&#33;box for $2,000 cash, and piss away $300 here and $400 there on parts and repairs; but if you do that with a $15k newer used vehicle (that you are paying $300 a month on) and then get stuck with $300 a month here or $400 a month there - well, the results can be a budgetary disaster. Young couples get themselves into that bind quite often.

Better to buy (or lease) a 'lesser' vehicle for a few years while getting the rest of one's financial house in order, so to speak.

According to Edmunds.com, the lowly Aveo has the lowest 'cost of ownership' of all the vehicles. I can believe that. Once the '09 becomes available for test drives, I would urge some of the armchair critics out there to take one for a spin. The difference is palpable.

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some review i thought i caught wind of said the aveo5 refresh is pretty good and drives much better than the yaris and stuff. although consensus is the Yaris is crap so i guess that's not hard to do.

this is America, people still will only drive small mostly due to needing to save dough. sure the fit is better, but there is always diminishing financial return to say, buying a mini. at some point it becomes fashion and snobbery. when you no longer have home equity line to buy entry level luxury cars like so many were because they were basically being automotive fashion snobs, when times get tight they are forced to drive affordable cars (i.e cars they can get credit on) but they still can't bring themselves to buy bread and butter makes so they cram their asses into little minis because they are hip and cool. that way they still save face with their friends (oh, i downsized from my Lexus RX into a mini, gotta save the environment and its so stylish!) but they only pay half as much for their car payment. then they piss and moan when they buy something from the store and it won't fit in the minis trunk or they can't take coworkers to lunch because no one wants to cram their ass into the back seat of it.

so right now the fit is attractive to those who can't demean themselves low enough to buy basic economy..... I seriously question whether anyone buying a fit really wants to go that small and only have 120hp and a pop can frame.....but its a way they can stay affordable and save face within their ranks. it has the honda badge on it and it was expensive for its class, but they can still afford it, so they can walk that tightrope.

at least aveo shoppers are demonstrating honesty. "I need a small car to save operating costs".

Edited by regfootball
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That's what the Mini Clubman is for—the extra length makes it a proper B-segment hatch like the Aveo and Fit, not as big as the Accent or Corsa, but way bigger than the Yaris 5-door. New Chevrolet subcompacts are closer than you may think. Certainly by the time the Fiesta arrives in the US there won't be much of a wait if any for a new Chevy. Unlike the Cruze, you will not have to wait 18 months after the rest of the world to see them.

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Auto Express in the UK recently gave this pretty accurate assessment of the latest Aveo:

While the Chevrolet name is well known, its cars aren’t a common sight on UK roads yet. But the US firm has big plans to change all that by launching 10 new models before 2012. These include a seven-seater people carrier and a new city car, as well as a road-going version of the muscular Camaro concept unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in 2006. And all that fresh metal can’t come too soon for the brand. With the exception of the Captiva SUV, its current line-up is looking dated – and unfortunately, that includes the new Aveo.

If the latest hatch appears similar in profile to the Kalos it replaces, that’s because the new model is based on the same underpinnings. At the front, designers have tried to inject some style, adding a reshaped nose inspired by the Ultra WTCC concept. That gives it a more sporty feel, even if the positioning of the badge makes it look as if it’s slid off the honeycomb grille. The layout is far from inspiring inside, either. The cabin is let down by some of the controls, particularly the column stalks, which have a low-rent feel. Still, quality has improved – it’s a huge step forward over that of the Kalos, and the finish is better. Rear passenger space is adequate, and there’s an impressive amount of legroom for such a small car. The boot provides a decent 220-litre capacity, which is on a par with most rivals.

The Aveo will be sold with a choice of only two petrol engines – an 83bhp 1.2-litre and a 99bhp 1.4-litre – both of which are borrowed from fellow General Motors brand Vauxhall. We drove the more powerful version, and it offers decent performance. It can become noisy high in the rev range, though. Slack changes from the five-speed gearbox hardly enhance the driving experience, either.

Around town, the little Chevy is good fun for nipping in and out of traffic, although forward visibility is hampered by the thick A-pillars. The steering wheel is too big, so quick manoeuvres aren’t easy. The suspension does a good job of soaking up bumps and potholes over urban routes. But on more demanding roads it lets itself down, as there’s minimal feedback through the steering wheel and too much body roll.

Although the Aveo feels safe and composed, it’s lacking in character and is neither engaging nor enjoyable to drive. It scores on value for money; the well equipped top-of-the-range 1.4 LT is £9,545, with the entry-level 1.2 S weighing in at £7,595. The trouble is, the supermini sector is packed with talented and equally affordable rivals, and the Aveo lacks the quality and sophistication to be a serious contender. In short, Chevrolet hasn’t moved the game on as much as we had expected. As a result, the Aveo already feels dated.

I agree with Auto Express' assessment that the Aveo is decent enough around town, but the steering and handling capabilities are vague and the gearbox is sloppy compared with modern rivals. From what I've seen of the new model, the interior I agree is a vast improvement, but overall it's no match for the best from Europe and Japan, especially since a diesel version is some three years away when the all-new model arrives.

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that test is not for the new US spec engine. and its a brit mag, so they will trash it regardless if it drove like a lotus and got 100mpg and had connolly leather.

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That's what the Mini Clubman is for—the extra length makes it a proper B-segment hatch like the Aveo and Fit, not as big as the Accent or Corsa, but way bigger than the Yaris 5-door. New Chevrolet subcompacts are closer than you may think. Certainly by the time the Fiesta arrives in the US there won't be much of a wait if any for a new Chevy. Unlike the Cruze, you will not have to wait 18 months after the rest of the world to see them.

I'm surprised Mini doesn't offer a regular 5dr model. The 3dr Mini is probably the only subcompact out there I'd seriously consider...I like it for it's character and style, it doesn't have the stigma in the US of most subcompacts.

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that test is not for the new US spec engine. and its a brit mag, so they will trash it regardless if it drove like a lotus and got 100mpg and had connolly leather.

If you knew anything about the British market - which you don't and Auto Express does - you'd know that many Korean and Malaysian cars have significant shortcomings compared with modern European and Japanese rivals, which is why those rivals are priced significantly higher. The Aveo's problems are nothing to do with its engines sold anywhere, but everything to do with its antiquated chassis. GM have glossed over the old Kalos a lot, but little detracts from the fact this is essentially an old Kalos/Aveo ... and its chassis and mechanicals can be traced back to the 1980's.

However, it does represent great value for money, but in this market depreciation will be a good deal steeper than say, a Fiesta, Corsa, 207, Yaris, Jazz/Fit or Polo.

Having owned an Aveo myself, I know their assessment is a pretty accurate one. In terms of day-to-day driving, from its steering to handling abilities to the gearchange, the Aveo feels an awful lot like the 1983 Fiat Uno. That's no bad thing in itself, but compared with say, a 2002 mk6 Ford Fiesta, its driving dynamics feel ancient.

Edited by aatbloke
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I'm surprised Mini doesn't offer a regular 5dr model. The 3dr Mini is probably the only subcompact out there I'd seriously consider...I like it for it's character and style, it doesn't have the stigma in the US of most subcompacts.

So far, the new Mini has remained pretty faithful in concept to the original Mini. A five door model would be straying a bit too far from that concept I believe.

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It sounded fair and pretty accurate to me. It' a middle-of-the road car. Gets you a new car for low money but it's still a pentalty box compared to other offerings out there. Better off buying a nicer used car for the same money, IMHO.

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So far, the new Mini has remained pretty faithful in concept to the original Mini. A five door model would be straying a bit too far from that concept I believe.

Yes, that would be too mainstream. A van based on the Clubman would be an interesting addition--the original Mini had a van version, I believe (I've got a Matchbox one.. :)

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So far, the new Mini has remained pretty faithful in concept to the original Mini. A five door model would be straying a bit too far from that concept I believe.

BMW has done an excellent job managing the Mini brand, keeping it focused and keeping the winning formula, and the models they have added don't dilute the brand. If only GM knew how to manage brands that well.

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Yes, that would be too mainstream. A van based on the Clubman would be an interesting addition--the original Mini had a van version, I believe (I've got a Matchbox one.. :)

It certainly did! There was a small pick-up version too. The van and pickup both disappeared in 1970 when the Traveller estate adopted the (then) new Clubman saloon's more squared-off nose (shared also with the more powerful 1275GT) and became the Clubman estate.

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BMW has done an excellent job managing the Mini brand, keeping it focused and keeping the winning formula, and the models they have added don't dilute the brand. If only GM knew how to manage brands that well.

Definitely, they've done a brilliant job. I have to say though that since the Mini brand was so revered - especially in Europe and Japan - BMW have had an easier job with it than Ford did with Jaguar, or GM with Saab.

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Definitely, they've done a brilliant job. I have to say though that since the Mini brand was so revered - especially in Europe and Japan - BMW have had an easier job with it than Ford did with Jaguar, or GM with Saab.

I think the key is that BMW spent the time and money to do it right, instead of cheaping out like Ford did, using their parts (like switchgear) in Jags, or even rebodying the Mondeo as the X type, or GM rebadging a TrailBlazer and an Impreza, which also alienated fans of the brands.

Edited by Dodgefan
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