By KBB.com Editors
The 2009 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, anyone on a limited income and unhappy SUV owners looking for an affordable and fuel-efficient way of getting to and from the office. Available as a sedan or sporty five-door hatchback, the Aveo's uncommonly high roof means tall occupants can sit comfortably in both front and rear, a major bonus for those who might stay clear of some small cars due to their cramped interiors.
If you're looking for budget-conscious, efficient basic transportation you'll like the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo. 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.
If you're seeking a small car that can also perform like a sports car, the Aveo's economy-minded engine and suspension may leave you wanting more. You may also find that properly-secured children are the best bet for occupying the rear seat. With the front seats all the way back, there is very minimal legroom for rear-seat passengers.
The Aveo5 gets a new grille and minor interior updates, while all Aveo models now feature a more powerful 1.6-liter engine. New standard equipment includes OnStar, variable windshield wipers and an auxiliary audio input jack. A new 15-inch alloy wheel is available on 2LT trims, as is charcoal leatherette seating and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Driving Impressions Driving a car as uncomplicated as the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo 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's miserly 106-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, even the most basic Aveo 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 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, depending upon road conditions and driving style.
With small touches of metallic grain, satin chrome trim and a faux leather interior, the Aveo LT retains an upscale look uncommon in this class. 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 in the sedan and feature a flip-and-fold-flat design in the five-door, 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 is a competently-designed four-door with sheetmetal that blends smoothly together to present a neat package. The Malibu-inspired V-shaped hood and split 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 2009 Chevrolet Aveo offers a surprisingly high level of standard equipment, including front side-impact airbags, height-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, tilt wheel, interior releases for trunk and fuel door, variable wipers, OnStar and a rear window defogger. The upscale 2LT trim adds air conditioning, remote keyless entry with alarm, 15-inch wheels, cruise control and power and heated mirrors. Music lovers will appreciate the 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, XM Satellite Radio, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, anti-lock brakes (ABS), an engine-block heater and an anti-theft system.
General Motors' 16-valve four-cylinder engine powers every 2009 Aveo and produces 106 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
106 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
106 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/34 (manual), 25/34 (automatic)
By SillySmile on Thursday, February 27, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded up to bigger vehicle
Pros: "Mileage, dependable"
Cons: "Tires, O2 sensors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I loved this car! It's little & gets great mileage. Mine didn't have any fancy features (as base model as you could get, manual locks, manual windows, manual transmission, no air, etc). It was a great vehicle for someone "starting over" and needing transportation. It started every time, kicked out hot heat on cold winter days and was one of the most reliable cars I've owned. The trunk, yes there's trunk, is bigger than expected. The back seats do a nice 60/40 split to make the trunk bigger. Down side: Tires for some reason don't last, however tires are cheap for this car. O2 Sensors had to be replaced, NOT cheap. If you need a car and don't care about technology & frills this is fantastic, dependable ride! I drove it all over Canada and the US! The only reason it was traded in was I wanted a bigger car."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By "About the sedan version" on Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Cons: "Terrible in winter driving!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I originally bought this car because for the great gas mileage since I have a pretty long commute. But, it's sluggish and doesn't handle well in the winter since it's so little - all reasons WHY it has great mileage. I like the car and it has been reliable, but next time - I think I'll just pay a little extra for better performance and features."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Big John on Sunday, January 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car used with around 30,000 miles on it and use it as a work car and it has served me well. I'm 6'4'' and was surprized at the room this little car has, and the truck has room for a bale of cedar bedding chips for the dog. It now has 118,000 miles and I've had no mechanical issues at all. Thanks Chevy! John"
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Larry on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "26-31 mpg. Small...easy to park."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"The car is very small and gets 26-31 mpg. It will not ride well in extreme wind. You get what you pay for. It is a good car for me until I purchase something more fuel efficient. A car to "fill in" for a couple of years. I wouldn't buy a new Aveo."
By sundance kid on Saturday, January 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "cheap to buy"
Cons: "small and uncomfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Uncomfortable, noisy, and for the size does not get nearly the milage I had hoped when I bought it. No fun to drive."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Linda on Monday, January 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, low maintenance, fun to drive"
Cons: "only has a radio in SVM, no bells/whistles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this car as a grad student and it fit my budget. It gets me where I need to go, which, for me right now, is exactly what I need. I am a scientist and need to haul coolers and as long as no one needs to sit in the back seat, it hauls my gear just fine! There is some room in the trunk but it's not super-spacious. I've replaced the timing belt and had to replace a wheel bearing (the latter was under warranty). I also had an issue with the door lock falling into the door recently! It was an easy fix (for the dealer), but was quite annoying. My car is a manual and at 85K, I am surprised the clutch is still in good shape. (My previous car's clutch needed to be replaced by this time, but then again I had learned how to drive stick-shift on that car...LOL). I am happy with this car overall and glad I purchased it nearly 7 years ago. I'll probably be in the market soon for a new vehicle (maybe) but happy this one has served me well. The only major complaint I have is the way the windshield is shaped. There seems to be more of a blindspot in this car than in other ones I have driven. I'm used to it, but I can see it being problematic for others."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful