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Used test: Chevrolet Aveo vs Skoda Fabia vs Suzuki Swift

The Skoda Fabia, Suzuki Swift and Chevrolet Aveo were all bargain small cars, even when they were new. Are they now extra-value used items?

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Our Verdict

None of these small cars will leave you short-changed. However, of them all, it’s the Chevrolet Aveo that will make you wish you’d spent a little more. The lack of dealer support isn’t great when ownership comes into consideration; someone has to look after your car after all. And even if you find an independent service centre you trust and are prepared to take the added risk from a lack of parts availability, you’ll still have to deal with the Aveo’s sluggish, noisy engine and roly-poly handling.

The Suzuki Swift takes silver. While we like it as a car to enjoy driving, it is hampered too much by that small boot and cramped rear quarters. The lack of creature comforts found on the others in this test also help to hold it back.

All things considered, therefore, the Skoda Fabia has to win: it’s the biggest, the best to drive, the most practical and the most refined. It’s far from the best small car on the market and it is also the most expensive car here, but we believe it’s worth the additional cost, as it’s a great package.

Read our review of the all-new Skoda Fabia

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1st – Skoda Fabia

For Easy to drive; strong engine; comfortable; roomy; refined

Against Dreary cabin; poor fuel economy; no stability control

Verdict The best all-rounder here

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full used Skoda Fabia review

Find a used Skoda Fabia in the What Car? Classifieds


2nd – Suzuki Swift

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For Darty handling; willing engine; cheap to run

Against Limited rear space; noisy; pokey boot; poorly equipped

Verdict Great fun to drive. Shame it’s so noisy and cramped

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full used Suzuki Swift review

Find a used Suzuki Swift in the What Car? Classifieds


3rd – Chevrolet Aveo

For Roomy interior; well equipped; supple ride; low running costs

Against Weakest engine; heavy steering; no seat-height adjust

Verdict A modest price, but a mediocre car

Rated 2 out of 5

Find a used Chevrolet Aveo in the What Car? Classifieds


Specifications: Skoda Fabia

Engine size 1.4-litre petrol

List price when new Β£11,995

Price today Β£4500*

Power 85bhp

Torque 97lb ft

0-60mph 12.2sec

Top speed 109mph

Fuel economy 47.9mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 139g/km


Specifications: Suzuki Swift

Engine size 1.2-litre petrol

List price when new Β£11,130

Price today Β£4000*

Power 93bhp

Torque 87lb ft

0-60mph 12.3sec

Top speed 103mph

Fuel economy 56.5mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 116g/km


Specifications: Chevrolet Aveo

Engine size 1.2-litre petrol

List price when new Β£9995

Price today Β£3800*

Power 85bhp

Torque 85lb ft

0-60mph 13.4sec

Top speed 106mph

Fuel economy 60.9mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 111g/km

Price today is based on a 2012 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

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