Reasonable to drive, but there isn't much fun to be had
Plenty of adjustment to get you sitting comfortably
Impressive kit for a car this cheap. Stability control and ISOFIX child seat mounting points are standard
A five-year, 100,000-mile warranty is a mark of Chevrolet's confidence, and should be reassuring
Four adults will fit comfortably, five at a push, and the square-shaped rear doors make access a doddle
We'd go for the mid-range LT model with Bluetooth, steering-wheel controls and alloy wheels
The 1.2 and 1.4 petrol engines lack pulling power, so you need to rev them hard if you want to get a move on. The 1.2 feels slow even round town, so the 1.4 is better for everyday use. There are two 1.3 diesels: the 94bhp doesn’t feel much different to the 74bhp one, and both could do with a more even spread of strength.
The Aveo feels jittery over broken road surfaces, but the suspension copes quite well with larger bumps. However, the soft suspension means there’s plenty of body lean in bends, and the artificial feel to the steering doesn’t inspire you with much confidence. What’s more, the steering feels a shade too heavy at low speeds.
The petrol engines often make themselves heard too much because you have to work them so hard, but the diesels settle reasonably well and there’s not too much road or wind noise.
Some of the materials look and feel a bit cheap but the design is smart and the layout is reasonably simple. It’s easy enough to get comfortable, too, as all models provide height and reach adjustment for the steering wheel.
The rear seats have enough head- and legroom for two adults, but shoulder room is a little too tight for three to travel comfortably. The boot is a decent size and shape, and all but entry-level cars come with a removable boot floor. The 60/40 split rear seats fold down, but they don’t lie completely flat.
Entry-level LS trim includes electric front windows, air-conditioning and remote central locking, but we reckon it’s worth spending the extra to get the mid-range LT trim which adds Bluetooth, steering wheel-mounted controls, alloy wheels and an MP3 socket. LTZ adds parking sensors, automatic lights, rear electric windows and more, but we don’t think it’s worth the extra cost.
There’s no reason to expect any mechanical issues and owners are protected by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The solid cabin should stand up well to family life, too.
Stability control, six airbags and anti-lock braking are all standard, as are Isofix mountings on the outer rear seats. The Aveo scored five out of five stars when crash tested by Euro NCAP, with 95% for adult protection, 87% for children and 54% for pedestrians, beating the Volkswagen Up.
The Aveo is cheap compared with other superminis, and all the engines give decent economy, from 55mpg in the 1.2 petrol to almost 80mpg in the most frugal diesel. Company car tax will be low for the Aveo, too, but poor residual values mean private buyers won’t get much back when they sell on.