2008 Aveo New Car Test Drive
The Chevrolet Aveo is Chevy's smallest, least expensive car. Aside from its price, what's most attractive about Aveo is its surprisingly handsome interior, at least on the up-level LT. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 103 horsepower, which is adequate. Transmission choices are either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. Aveo is available as a four-door sedan or a versatile five-door hatchback called the Aveo5.
The Aveo was extensively updated for 2007 to better compete with a wave of new subcompacts, namely the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, and Hyundai Accent. Aveo's basic architecture and mechanical underpinnings date to 2004, and there are no significant changes for 2008.
Aveo was designed to offer sensible, day-to-day transportation. Its ride is tuned more for comfort than sporty driving, and this is where it differs from the frisky Honda Fit. But many of us spend more time commuting through heavy, stop-and-go traffic than challenging the Nurburgring circuit.
Aveo is EPA-estimated to deliver 24 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway. That's compares well with the Hyundai Accent (27/32 mpg), Nissan Versa (26/31). The Honda Fit (28/34) and Toyota Yaris (29/36) are more efficient but when it comes to purchase price look for better deals on the Aveo.
We found the Aveo to be an enjoyable car to spend time with, particularly the LT with its nice cloth upholstery. The climate and audio controls are easy to use and the driver's seat adjusts for height and it drives well. We like the Aveo5 five-door hatchback for its ability to haul stuff.
The 2008 Chevrolet Aveo is available as a four-door Aveo sedan or as the Aveo5 five-door hatchback. All are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated 103 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, a four-speed automatic is optional. All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP).
Aveo5 Special Value Model ($10,235) hatchback comes with cloth seats; power steering; tilt steering wheel; four-speaker AM/FM stereo with an auxiliary input jack; a height-adjustable driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support; tachometer; rear wiper, washer and defogger; 60/40 split folding rear seat; and 14-inch steel wheels. Air conditioning is not included, although it can be installed by the dealer. Automatic transmission is not available, nor are power windows, locks, or mirrors. In fact the only factory option at this level is an engine-block heater ($75).
Aveo5 LS ($12,020) adds air conditioning and a greatly expanded option list that includes automatic transmission ($925); a six-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player ($325); steering-wheel audio controls ($75): cruise control ($250); fog lights ($110); a package consisting of cruise control, power door locks with remote keyless entry, and a security system ($425); a rear spoiler ($225); 15-inch aluminum wheels ($475); and a power tilt-and-slide sunroof ($725).
Aveo LS ($12,170) sedan is equipped similarly to the LS version of the hatchback, and offers a similar list of options.
Aveo LT ($13,920) upgrades to deluxe cloth upholstery and adds heated power mirrors, power locks with remote keyless entry, power windows, CD/MP3 player, security system, and 15-inch aluminum wheels. Perforated Leatherette is optional ($250).
Safety features include dual-stage frontal and seat-mounted side air bags for the front seats, along with front-seat seat-belt pretensioners, which take slack out of the belt in a crash. New for 2008 is a tire-pressure monitor. Anti-lock brakes ($400) are optional for LS and LT; we strongly recommend getting them because they can help the driver maintain control in an emergency braking situation.