By KBB.com Editors
The 2008 Chevrolet Aveo, a smartly styled subcompact, offers excellent fuel economy, a long list of standard features and a bargain-basement price. The Aveo's appeal extends to budget-conscious first-time buyers, retired folks on limited incomes and those looking for a thrifty second car. Available as a sedan or five-door hatch, the Aveo's uncommonly high roof means tall occupants can sit comfortably both front and rear, a major bonus for those who might stay clear of small cars due to their cramped interiors.
If you're looking for budget-conscious, efficient basic transportation 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.
Fresh from its 2007 makeover, the 2008 Aveo has only minor changes. A tire-pressure monitoring system is standard across the line and LT trims receive 15-inch aluminum wheels and chrome door handles.
Driving Impressions Driving a car as uncomplicated as the Aveo LT releases you from constantly checking the myriad of messages or dealing with the intricate controls found on the 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. 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.
Auxiliary Audio Input Jack
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.
Saving on fuel bills is high on many folks' lists and Aveo buyers are obviously looking for this benefit. The LT with 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 simplicity at its best, clearly showing all the information the driver needs. 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 good-sized boxes or long, skinny stuff like skis.Exterior
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 give it the appearance of a larger sedan.
Despite its entry-level status, the Aveo LT offers 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 adjustable headrests are unexpected extra conveniences. Music lovers will appreciate the LT's standard CD/MP3 player and 180-watt six-speaker system with auxiliary input jack. Power windows and door locks lift this model above many of its similarly-priced competitors.
The four-speed automatic overdrive transmission with Hold Control uses adaptive-shift technology. It helps to reduce wheel spin and loss of traction by allowing the driver to manually select and then hold a gear so that torque to the wheels is reduced, much as with a true manual transmission. Like audio controls at your fingertips? The Aveo LT has 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.
1.6-liter in-line 4
103 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
107 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/34 (manual), 23/32 (automatic)
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."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Subsailor on Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Numerous electrical problems from the day I purchased. Many problems, such as throttle body, air bags and sensors, GM has been unable to diagnose and/or repair."
By Southwest Gal on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great mileage, fun to drive, comfortable"
Cons: "More road noise than a more expensive car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my Aveo new, when I had a tight budget. As one of the most affordable cars on the market, I soon found it was of good value for the money. It has always gotten 36 mpg, and sometimes a little higher on a road trip. It's easy to maneuver and park, and does well both in the city and on the highway. The split back seat comes in very handy for loading skis or even a bicycle. I've been surprised how much I could fit back there! It feels bigger when sitting inside that it looks as if it would; three adults really do fit comfortably in the back."
By Marie on Friday, October 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "space good"
Cons: "tie rod weakness and susceptible to wind gusts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Front seat great for long legs, if you sacrifice leg room in the rear. The fold down rear in the 3-door will not fold down completely if the front seat is back all the way. Have had the left front tie rods replaced twice within less that a year. Make sure your mechanic checks these each time. Also wind gust will move this light-weight car suddenly."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By carlos on Saturday, September 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best gas mileage for a small car"
Cons: "quality not good"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I bought this 2006 Aveo LS used in 2008 since then I spend almost more than a thousand for repair and maintenance. As far as driving I liked it, just had a lots of problem, gas mileage is great. Changed the timing belt at 60000, plus the water pump and belt, they tuned it up changed the wire and spark plugs. Recently while I was driving the car stops and really hard to re start it takes me while, by the way the engine light is on and off, I took it to my mechanic and the problem is the Thermostat body so they have to replaced it for $500 that includes labor. So far no problem car is running great. The suspension needs changing too cause it's making noise.By the way there is a re call on this vehicle about the day running light it says overheating. The recall is from 2004 to 2008."
10 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Dog_Lover_Car on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 156,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Inexpensive, little, and decent mileage."
Cons: "Maintenance costs, and nothing exciting."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I purchased my 2006 Aveo used (with ~45000 miles)and it has been a great little car. I'm an avid hatch-batch lover so that was my main requirement, and I have 5 dogs so I wanted something easy for them to get inside and something inexpensive since I would have dogs in the car frequently (I don't think dog hair helps the value). 1) Gas mileage is OK - as others have said, I'd expect about 5 extra MPG than what it really gets, but it is still higher than most cars. 2) Maintenance.... I've had to replace the wheels twice! The box around the air filter is cheaply made and will need to be replaced. The shifting consul I've had to replace twice. The interior cloth has torn easily and the door handles have become loose and they rattle. Overall, the car is inexpensive, but I feel like I have to dump a lot of $$ into it for repairs yearly. The tires/wheel situation is a bit much. They just can't handle any bumps/potholes without getting worn and bent. I've also had to fit exhaust issues twice. Expect to drop at least $500-1000/year in repairs and maintenance. 3) Exterior has held up great! No paint peeling or rusting. 4) It is noisy and a no frills car when you drive. 5) Handles well and has nice get-up and go (better than my hubby's truck). Overall, if you want a no-frills, inexpensive car maybe for commuting and for something around a city, I think it is a great deal. I've gotten my Aveo over 150,000 miles and am now starting to look to trade in the ole' gal. Down-side, the maintenance has been more than I bargained for."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful