"The Chevrolet Aveo5 has been a miraculous find for me. I ended up with it because my grandmother bought a new car, and gave to us the 2008 Jeep Liberty that she'd been driving for so many years before. I loved it, but the gas mileage on it was just too much to support continuously. So I set out car shopping for anything with better fuel efficiency, which led me right into the subcompact market with a ride in a 2007 Aveo sedan. I loved it... but 2007 was too far back, for me, and it already had over 100,000 miles on it, with some additional repair work that needed done. So I gave just about every other model from the vehicle class a ride: 2009 Toyota Yaris, 2010 Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, and Hyundai Accent, and a 2011 Ford Fiesta. But I just didn't quite like them as much as the Aveo, and so I was happy to find a 2010 2LT hatchback -- which I prefer, anyway -- at another dealership nearby. And so, I took it. It was a great decision.
The top priority on subcompacts, and the reason I started looking, is gas mileage. My Aveo was owned by one other person before, and came in to me at the early 63,000 miles range. The first half-tank of gas ran for almost a week, at several half-hour trips back and forth between my rural residence and my hometown. Since then, a couple of other attempts at second cars have come and gone for my family, but the Aveo has stood prompt; even with its status as primary method of transportation for a family of six, the gas mileage has rarely declined below the EPA's estimates. I've recently had its transmission flushed, but even before, it almost always matched the 28 MPG combined that an automatic equipped is supposed to get. And with a good brand and quality of gas, it's often more than that. City and town driving, which is a frequent enough occasion in my travels, is especially impressive; it's rare to get only the guessed 25 MPG. The highway sometimes feels like a struggle, but the calculations and miles tracking always turn up as expected: 34, at the very minimum... and again, often more.
As a general rule, people don't look to economy cars for an extremely sporty performance, even though some of them are improving that (including the Aveo's second generation model, the Sonic), but the Aveo doesn't struggle on the road. Its 108 horsepower engine doesn't sound like a lot, but I've never found the Aveo to lack for confidence in crowded cities or speedy highways. It's not a performance vehicle, but its four-speed automatic transmission is securely smooth, and the whole power train responds well enough to a sudden punch to be comfortable. For the most part, the suspension is intelligently balanced between taking road imperfections in stride, and delivering a moderately engaging turn; taking the Aveo around a corner can actually be kind of exciting, especially on a country road with wide turning space. On a snowy or icy day, it needs a bit of time to get up to speed, but it isn't exactly a slow vehicle. And once it's rolling, it's more ready to go than its specs on paper might make one think.
Similar to its surprising performance, its interior offers some surprising comfort. It's not a luxury SUV anymore than it is a performance car, but my hatchback came with a charcoal-colored deluxe cloth and carpeted mats that compliment each other, and create a pleasant place to spend time while going from place to place. The simplicity of its radio, temperature, and driving controls make for a welcoming feeling because they aren't intimidating or daunting to look at, and they provide a certain sense of satisfaction for how well they get a simple job done. To boot, the car is roomy on the inside; it took me a while to really register its small-looking size from the outside with its large-feeling interior. All six of us have, on occasion, climbed inside the Aveo, and ridden for short distances with a relative degree of comfort; when going places with friends or a couple of dates, loading up into the Aveo has been no problem. And in terms of cargo, the Aveo is always the choice for the hauling; its folding seats give it room to carry large things like massage beds and fire wood, or groceries for six with one family member still sitting in the 40-seat of the 60/40 split-folders. The Aveo hatchback gets it done.
It's not an unattractive car, either. It's pretty obvious from looking at it that it isn't a top-ten fashion model, but it mostly manages to avoid the bare-bones box-on-wheels look. It's height makes it seem commanding, and its swept headlights pair up with its wide two-split grille for a steadfast appearance that I didn't think a lot of other subcompacts from its time could avoid quite as well. But the welcoming simplicity of its inside shows a little on its outside, too; balanced-sized fog lamps and a rear spoiler add some basic flair to a slightly-above-basic car. That's actually a part of why I picked the Aveo over the other cars I was looking at, particularly the Yaris, Fit, and Fiesta; they were either too over-the-top, too basic looking, or too weird. I like the Aveo's fine center ground.
A couple of things I found that really surprised me were its toughness and weather capability. On the weather capability side, the Aveo is a little more than an average front-wheel drive vehicle might normally be; when I had to take it for forty-five minute trips through snow and ice from home to a junior college campus for some school tests, I would frequently find myself growing impatient with slower drivers ahead of me; a problem I sure didn't have with my previous two front-wheeler cars... It also has a great grip in the rain, and some very responsive brakes, even though mine doesn't have anti-locks. On the toughness side, my Aveo has soldiered on as the main way of getting around for a lot of varying schedules, and overcoming a variety of obstacles, on the side. My mother drove it over a loose tire that rolled off of a semi trailer on the highway, and it still took her the remaining forty minutes back home. And a few months after I got it, during a road rage incident, it was struck in the back bumper a few times by a Silverado during a chase that got up to 100 miles an hour. It wasn't a hard strike, but with a pickup truck behind a subcompact, I would have thought there would be more damage to my car than there was; yet, I am happy to find that, even though its been over a year since that happened and I still haven't been able to fix the bumper, the Aveo continued to give me a good performance while I was regaining my driving confidence, and the efficiency I need for my family's recovering finances. And it still does. I feel very safe, and secure inside my little car; in spite of all that it's been through, and all that it doesn't seem like it would be able to handle, it has handled it, and then some more.
It's not a perfect car, though, just like how every other one isn't... and there were some things I didn't like about it when it first came along. Even with its simplicity, it has a little more tech to it than I'd really like for it to have, like satellite radio and OnStar; the trial periods for both services were some really miserable experiences, particularly OnStar, and neither of them functioned very well, or were particularly fun to use when they did work. The dome light went out pretty quickly after we got it, and that had to be replaced... which was only a pain because the instruction manual is kind of vague, and hard to sort through. There also have been a couple of repairs needed, with the most recent one being that the coolant hoses needed replaced; another noteworthy one was that an engine cylinder malfunctioned. But these two issues were a good several months apart, and I'm given to understand that they were more after effects of the stress that the car's been through than anything else. The only other repairs were tires, but that was something I knew would need to be done when I took it, because the tires it came with were getting worn down from its previous owner.
All-in-all, though, the Aveo has been a wonderful companion of a car. For me, anyway, there could have been no better choice. I look forward to my daily commutes, long trips, shopping runs, visits with family, and things like that because I just enjoy the ride so much. I feel braced, and confident when in it, and I like how there just always seems to be fuel left to go on. And when there isn't, over 300 miles later for a 12-gallon tank, I am less than twenty bucks away from another personal adventure. I have a lot of happy memories in it. I've had a lot of great compliments on it, and a lot of support in getting it, maintaining it, and in owning it. My Aveo makes me happy. If you're looking for a used car with good gas mileage, and not having to skimp too much on those fancier-car things that you really wanted to have, a well-used and maintained, or fixed up Aveo offers an experience that is up for appreciation to the person who is looking for it. The experience is good. And at the end of the day, that's what matters most."
Was this review helpful to you?