A compact yet spacious supermini with a choice of two decent, frugal engines and reasonable kit levels in LS trim.
Not an enjoyable drive, due to the numb steering, limited grip, weak engines and poor driving position. The cabin is drab, too, and the dash covered in hard plastics.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
There are two petrol engine options: an 83bhp 1.2-litre and a 99bhp 1.4-litre. The lower-powered unit is competent, but the higher-powered engine is strangled by long gearing between second and third. That means you have to rev it hard to get the best performance, which dents refinement and economy. Despite this, it's the more able engine for the motorway, and is available with a four-speed automatic gearbox.
Ride & Handling
If you like your superminis comfortable and aren't bothered about crisp handling, the Aveo will suit you fine. It deals with bumps quite well in its own bouncy way, but its tall body, soft suspension and vague steering aren't up to rapid changes of direction.
Both engines are smooth and reasonably quiet even when being revved hard, and wind noise is negligible at UK speeds. The one irritation is the degree of road- and suspension noise that seeps into the cabin.