Chevrolet Aveo review

* New Aveo supermini driven in UK * Priced from 9995 * On sale now...

Chevrolet Aveo review

Weve reviewed Chevrolets new Aveo supermini before, but this is our first chance to drive all the variants back-to-back on UK roads.

With an ad campaign plugging 78 smiles per gallon (a nod to the Eco diesel versions average 78.4mpg) on the way, Chevrolet is firmly pitching the Aveo as a cash-saving eco-warrior.

It has a tough fight on its hands, taking on established superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, but on price alone the Aveo looks a worthy contender.

The entry-level 1.2-litre petrol model starts at 9995, making it a particularly attractive proposition for buyers on a budget.

Whats it like to drive? The 1.2- and 1.4-litre petrol engines are short of low-down torque, so they feel laboured when you pull away and need to be worked hard on the open road.

The 1.3-litre diesel also feels rather sluggish below 1750rpm, but once past this, reasonable progress is possible.

In all Aveos, the steering is light enough to twirl with one finger around town. Unfortunately its rather slow and artificially weighted at speed, and you get little information on the amount of grip available.

A relatively long wheelbase helps with stability, and the lumps and bumps of the Cotswolds roads we drove the car on didnt faze it.

Refinement is disappointing, however; all the engines are raucous and you hear a fair amount of road noise on most surfaces.

Whats it like inside? Smart. Chevrolet has given the Aveos cabin a modern feel, combining metallic-effect plastics and chrome-effect detailing with a sweeping dash design.

With five doors and good cabin space, this is a practical supermini, although five adults will probably start to feel cramped after a while.

Visibility is good, and although the drivers seat is a bit of a sit up and beg affair, its easy enough to get comfortable in it. The boot is a reasonable size, too.

Entry-level LS spec cars provide a reasonable amount of kit, including stability control, electric front windows, cruise control and a CD player.

Mid-range LT trim adds 15-inch alloys, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth, all for a palatable 10,995 for the 1.2-litre petrol version.

Top-of-the-range LTZ trim, which is available only with 1.4-litre petrol engines and diesels, is brimming with goodies, such as automatic headlights, four electric windows and parking sensors.

Should I buy one? Where the Aveo really stands out is in its pricing; starting at less than 10,000, it offers a viable low-cost alternative to rivals.

It cant match a Fiesta for joy or refinement. However, for a comparable entry-level 1.25-litre petrol Fiesta, youll need to shell out 700 more than the basic 1.2-litre LS Aveo.

Things get more pricey as you head up the range, with the LTZ diesel variant coming in at a hefty 13,615.

As long as you can live with its sluggish performance, then, the 1.2-litre petrol Aveo makes most sense.

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What Car? says

Emma Butcher

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