By KBB.com Editors
Chevrolet brings its re-designed entry-level, economy subcompact four-door Aveo into dealerships as a slew of other fuel-efficient small sedans race into showrooms to beat the continuing gas crunch. Appealing to its target buyers by matching marketing strategies with webcasts for the digital generation, the affordable Aveo model line is aimed at first-time buyers, young singles, small families and train-station commuters.
If you're looking for budget-conscious, basic transportation that doesn't pretend to be something it isn't, you'll like the Aveo LT. Practical, utilitarian and with no complicated high-tech systems to learn, the little sedan is also a good choice for RVers looking for a haul-behind car. Another plus: The high seating position for driver and passenger.
You may not like the LT if you expect instant response from the automatic transmission. You may also find that child carseats are the best bet for occupying the back seat. With the front seats all the way back, there is very minimal legroom for rear-seat passengers.
Barely two-and-a-half years after its 2004 debut, the Aveo has undergone a complete exterior makeover, while the interior is not only wider, taller and longer, but also fully equipped with a few standard and optional features not found on competitive cars in its price range, such as the Kia Rio, Scion xA, Hyundai Accent, Suzuki Aerio, Honda Fit and Nissan Yaris.
Driving Impressions Driving a car as uncomplicated as the Aveo LT releases you from constantly checking the myriad of messages on lavish instrument panels in pricier cars. With an eye occasionally on...the speedometer, the driver is free to enjoy the surprising capabilities of the Aveo LT's zippy little 103-horsepower engine once you reach your preferred cruising pace. There is no available stability-control system, although anti-lock brakes (ABS) are an option. A slight lean is noticeable on corners taken at speed but the overall driving experience is precise and pleasant, with the car holding the line during straight, hard braking. As to be expected from this category of car, some tire, wind and engine noise is par for the course.
With an eye on youthful buyers who enjoy music 24/7, the Aveo LT has an auxiliary input jack for iPods and other music players and electronic devices. The sound is carried through the car radio and six speakers with exceptional quality.
Saving on gas bills is high on everyone's list and Aveo buyers are obviously looking for this benefit. The LT's automatic transmission rewards you with 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, depending on road conditions and driving style.
Small touches of metallic grain and satin chrome trim give an upscale look to the interior. Front seats with tilt headrests, storage pockets in doors and seatbacks, a sunglass holder and six-way adjustable driver's seat are features you'd expect in a higher-priced car. The dashboard is a masterpiece of simplicity, clearly showing all the information the driver needs to get from point A to point B. The front passenger seat reclines and, with a trunk capacity of 12.4 cubic feet and rear 60/40-split seats that fold almost flat, there's plenty of room for the longest skis.Exterior
For what it is, a full-featured economy subcompact built by General Motors Daewoo in Korea, the Aveo LT is a competently-designed four-door whose sheetmetal blends smoothly together to present a neat package. The V-shaped hood and strong grille reveal its Chevrolet heritage and emphasize its wide stance. Large "shoulders" over the wheels, oversized front and rear lights and a height of almost five feet gives it the appearance of a larger sedan.
Despite its low-end status, the Aveo LT houses a surprising amount of useful equipment found on more expensive cars, including remote keyless entry with alarm, cruise control, air conditioning with rear vents, side airbags and power heated sideview mirrors. The remote trunk release saves time fumbling with keys and the rear window defogger, tilt steering column and headrests are unexpected extra conveniences. Music lovers will appreciate the LT's standard CD/MP3 player and 180-watt six-speaker system. Power windows and door locks lift this model above many of its manual-handle, similarly-priced competitors.
Chevrolet's Hold-Control four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive uses adaptive-shift technology. It helps to reduce wheel spin and loss of traction by allowing the driver to manually select a different gear so that torque to the wheels is reduced, much as with a true manual transmission. Like audio controls at your fingertips? The LT installs them at thumb level on the steering wheel. Other options include a sunroof, leatherette seats, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, an engine block heater and an anti-theft system.
General Motors' 16-valve four-cylinder engine powers the Aveo LT, producing 103 horsepower. An electronic throttle control and variable induction system help maximize power across the rpm range for consistency and fuel economy, and the four-speed automatic transmission's Hold Control mode provides a pseudo-manual operation the driver can select for sportier or more controlled driving. The re-tuned 2007 suspension helps with handling.
1.6-liter in-line 4
103 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
107 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/37 (manual), 26/34 (automatic)
By EJ on Sunday, December 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Relatively cheap to maintain."
Cons: "Back seat is a little cramped for teens."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned my 2006 Aveo LS for about 4 years. I bought it with 63,000 miles on it and now have 98,000. Other than normal stuff I have not had any problems with the car. Make sure you replace the timing belt when recommended because if that goes you are pretty much sunk. The struts gave out but at almost 100,000 I can't complain. Around town mileage is alone about 22, highway is 35+, a little disappointed around town. The car with the right tires is OK in snow and is comfortable inside. Now that my kids are teenagers we rarely travel around in the car but use our minivan. However, if you are looking for basic transportation to and from work you can't go wrong."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Lisa G. on Tuesday, December 09, 2014
I owned and sold this caroverall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "good price, rode nice"
Cons: "broke down often, no power windows"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought a 2004 Aveo, it was my first car I ever bought on my own- I was so excited! Then the trouble started. I had taken super great care of this car, then just after 80000 miles the head gasket blew which, in turn, blew out the water pump since they sit so close together. Got the car fixed and less than 2 months later, it happened again! This car was great when it ran, but in the 5 years I owned it, I put more into repairing the car than I actually paid for it. Never again will I buy an Aveo."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By mizer on Sunday, December 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"we purchased the basic level Aveo with the specific purpose of training our daughters how to drive a manual transmission vehicle and appreciate the difference between lower / upper level trim packages. We have been rewarded with an extremely reliable and fuel efficient 5 years of service. I strongly recommend this car for anyone seeking an over the top reliable fuel efficient basic transportation platform. We have had zero problems with it."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By triptic 1 on Thursday, November 27, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: chevy defect
Pros: "was a nice little car for around town"
Cons: "repars cost more than car was worth"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Bought car in 2012 17,000 miles used Certified Ran well first year of ownership. end of second year, during trip to North Carliona, speedometer quit working. Found that there is a defect with raditor/transmission that ruins speedo gear. total repairs would run over $2500.00, which Chevy doesn't cover. Too much for a car with an average trade in price of $3800.00; Bought a Kia and took very low trade in price, I ate the loss of the value plus repairs to get the car home to get rid of it. I figure I ate at least $3000.00 in total losses"
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Amber on Sunday, November 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,797overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great first car, needs work but love how she drive"
Cons: "lot of comments on the Damage but just small dents"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"The Miles are low and the interior is awesome with leather seats and A/C and heat, Brand new battery,4 new tires only 3 years old , oil change and spark plugs Done as well. The only thing i think would be the hail damage in 2010 2 months after i bought her! The bank still had it under loan so we had it estimated it at 3400! Replaced the front and back windshield after the hail!"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Ardap on Thursday, November 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "smooth running, great gas mileage-for real"
Cons: "less power up hill, to accelerate across traffic"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Ive enjoyed driving it, though a manual transmission is a pain in heavy traffic. Some issues with bad gas but sensors self corrected. Grateful for having the tachometer as it helped keep from over stressing the engine. Struts in front worn from speed bumps but for a single driver is a great car. Slows down a little with passengers or weight in back and loses gas mileage. This is an MPG car not a MPH. Not a performance vehicle but a great commuter car for me. NOTE: I have done scheduled maintenance and have not revved the engine while cold, keep under 3000 rpm until it warms up."
8 people out of 16 found this review helpful