20.2.2012 Chevrolet Aveo review
Diesel-engined small cars are usually priced higher than their petrol powered equivalents, so Chevrolet's Aveo models are good news for fans of diesel with prices from £12,345 and this more powerful Eco version at £12,795.
There's plenty of space for people and things, it rides quietly and smoothly and has distinctive good looks. Add in a five-year, 100,000 mile warranty and it looks like a good buy.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
Chevrolet has got the Aveo's balance of performance and economy pretty much spot on. The 1.3 litre (actually 1248cc) four-cylinder turbo-diesel produces 94 bhp at 4,000 rpm and 140 lbs ft of torque at 1,750 rpm compared to 155 lbs ft for the non Eco version. Ball park 0-62 mph in 11.7 seconds doesn't sound that hot but real world acceleration, where you are already rolling and not starting from rest, means every day performance is fine. The Aveo is a pleasingly quiet car while being used as daily transport. It's top speed is 108 mph.
Neat, precise and stable with pretty good 'feel' through the electrically power assisted steering. Despite the relatively taut suspension ride comfort is good, even over poor surfaces because Chevrolet hasn't lumbered the Aveo with shallow sidewall low profile tyres that look 'sexy' so designers love them. Controls are sensibly weighted and not over light but I would have liked the brakes to have had more 'bite' on brisk cross-country trips.
A bull's eye here for Chevrolet I reckon with really strong, modern styling. Despite some hints of the previous model this new Aveo is built on a new chassis/floor plan that will form the basis for the next Vauxhall Corsa. Chevy's designers say the 'open' headlamps, and the instrument panel for that matter, were inspired by motorcycle design. Car's tall stance means rear seats can accommodate lanky passengers. Near vertical rear tailgate makes parking easy to judge. Boot space at 290 litres (seat up) is near class best. Total length 4039 mm and it is 1735 mm wide (excluding mirrors).
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Clearly a car for the connected generation, the Aveo has plenty of bins and pockets for electronic devices and easy connections to plug them into the car's systems so they can be operated via radio controls or ones on the steering wheel. Though tall, I found the front seats very supportive and there is sufficient steering column adjustment. The Aveo rides well yet doesn't wallow when pushed a bit in corners. Most of the time it is relaxingly quiet to travel in but some surfaces cause a lot of tyre noise. The cabin has a lot of buttons and switches but they are straight forward to understand.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Official lab test figures are 67.2 mpg urban and 78 mpg on the combined cycle. On planet Earth, with the eco button pressed to activate the automatic start-stop system, the Aveo managed a best of 64.8 mpg, and easily too, on a mixed route. Going more briskly to meet an appointment this dropped to 58 mpg overall. CO2 emissions of 95 g/km put the Aveo in band A so there is no road tax to pay. Insurance is group nine, and warranty lasts for five years or 100,000 miles.
Emission efficient diesel engine with common-rail fuel injection and a variable-geometry turbocharger, low-rolling resistance tyres, 'long gear ratios' in the five-speed manual gearbox, driver decided automatic start-stop system and gear change-up indicator all play their part. The Aveo also has a low drag co-efficient of 0.30 Cd so it slips through the air with minimum resistance. It has been awarded a Next Green Car Rating of 29.
LT trim is generous and includes alloy wheels, steering wheel audio controls, air conditioning, CD-stereo radio, cruise control, four-way adjustable driver's seat, sunglasses holder, information centre, remote control central locking , electric windows and door mirrors and Bluetooth phone connection with music streaming. All models have electronic stability control and electric power-steering. LT trim starts at £10,995 for the 1.2 litre petrol.
Model tested: Chevrolet Aveo 1.3 VCDi Eco LT
Body-style: Five door 'supermini'
Engine/CO2: 94bhp 1248cc turbo diesel / 118 g/km
Trim grades: LS, LT, LTZ
On-road price: Range from £9,995. Test car £12,795
Warranty: Five years/ 100,000 miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 4.0 STARS
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