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Chevy Aveo Hatchback



  • Over the past 6 months we did a lot of researching, reading and shopping for both new and used vehicles. Everything from Hondas (Civic, Accord), Mazda's (protege, 3), Kia's and Hyundai's (Accent, Elantra), Domestics (neons, grand AM/Prix, ION) plus more.

     The Chevrolet Aveo won. We purchased one on Saturday and we pick it up today. :)

     The Aveo was an outstanding blend of quality and price. The fit and finish are almost (95%) the same as the new 2005 Honda Civic/Accord and power and ride quality is better than that of the 2005 Accent and 2003 Protege. Engine smoothness was even better than the 2005 ION/Civic too.

     We could of purchased a new Honda Civic, but the Aveo was just that much better value of a car for the price and it was so close to Honda quality that is was a wiser decision to not go with a Honda. (even though we own Honda motorcycles). As the salesman said "When value exceeds price, you have a good deal"

     We are so glad that all this car research is over, I think we test drove 100 different cars from 1994-2004/5, and researched 3 times that!

     We purchased a 2004 Super Red Aveo5 base (not SVM) Hatchback with bug deflector. After haggling with 5 GM dealers we bought it for $11,000 CDN (after all rebates) which is a really low price for it here (out the door price: $12,192CDN).

     Oh yes, I wanted to mention that Consumer Reports negative review of the Aveo is inaccurate and should be ignored. This is our opinion after testing, researching and reviewing 100's of cars ourselves in it's class. We do regularly review motorcycles on so that helps too.

     Good work Chrysler on bringing the Daewoo car to Canada! If educated people (like ourselves on this forum) are purchasing this car over Honda's, Hyundai's and Kia's then I cannot assume anything but GM will have a huge sales success in their hands!

  • I don't agree that the Aveo engine smoothness is better than the ION.

    I did a lot of research on vehicles in my quest for a low-end sedan / commuter car. I test drove the 2004 ION, and the 2005 ION since then. The ION weighs more than the Aveo (roughly 380 -440lbs more) and it has a 2.2L 140HP engine compared to the Aveo's 1.6L 103HP engine. I thought the ION had better engine smoothness both for automatic and manual. For manual, IMO, there is no comparison between the Aveo and the ION. The ION had a nice smooth clutch, it had the right amount of tension, and it was easy to get the feel of the clutch and easy to shift gears. The ION shifted smoothly and had a smooth ride for a small car. Both the clutch and the stick shift on the Aveo could be better. The clutch on the Aveo has too much travel, and on the model's I drove, the clutch had a week feeling, so basically you had to depress the clutch all the way - shift and then let the clutch all the way back out, (doing that much stomping is OK if you're at a hoedown, but it gets kind of annoying when driving). The stick itself is kind of floppy. And I always had this feeling it was going to pop out of gear. Others have characterized it as a "broomstick in a bucket" and I basically agree. I liked the ION, it just didn't have the history of reliability that I was looking for.

    But the Aveo doesn't have a history record either being a relatively new car.

    I wouldn't dismiss CR so readily. They don't get it right every time, but I think they do a good job generally and you can count on them not to cow-tow to the auto industry (IMO). I think they are valid source of information that should be weighed against other sources of info.

    I didn't know anyone who owned an ION, but I did talk to a lot of Saturn owners, and there were a couple who had relatively trouble-free cars, but most of the people I talked to said that they started experiencing problems with their cars around 65K, and then it was downhill from there.
    But I'm also cautious about anecdotal stories... they're just not statistically valid. i have a friend who has a Lanos, he got 75K absolutely trouble-free miles out of his Lanos before having a sensor problem, and has had 25K problem-free miles since then. But I wouldn't argue that the Lanos is a high-quality car just based on my friend's experience.
  • jojomonkeyboy - CR is a good resource for many things, they do rate everything from toasters to, well, cars. There seems to be two quite different trends with the Aveo. Those who actually own the car and drive it daily like/love it. While there is a varied opinion in the magazine review marketplace about the Aveo. The ION we test drove (a 5spd manual) was a nice car and I do like the Saturn business attitude but it was a very small sampling of the ION inventory. Our ION was powerful but harsh on the delivery.

     The Aveo may not be a perfect car (there is not one, I'm sure) but it's value exceeds its asking price. And that makes it a success in anyone's book.
  • For those courious, The Canadian 2005 Fuel Consumption Guide is out for the Aveo: e/fuel-consumption-guide-results.cfm?year=2004&type=CPC&M- fg=CHEV

      It is interesting to note that the Aveo scored: 32/46 (city/hwy) 5spd*, 31/44 (city/hwy) auto**. It is also raked #38 out of all vehicles for fuel mileage (only 37 others ranked higher, mostly hybrids).

     *8.8/6.1 L/100km
    **9.0/6.4 L/100km

     Sounds much better than GM rates, but it does come from government testing.

  • Congrats on the new Aveo, sounds like you got a great deal. Automatic? AC? Any options?

    The best part is, at that price, the 5-year depreciation (by percentage) will probably be identical to that of a Civic or Corolla.
  • muffin_man - Thanks so much for the congrats. :)

     We just picked it up from the dealer last night and drove it home, it now seems to be quite happy in our garage. :D

     It is the next step up from the Special Value model in the USA (or the base in Canada). Let's see it has:

    - 1.6L engine
    - 5 speed manual transmission
    - power steering
    - tilt steering wheel
    - front disc, rear drum brakes
    - HD stainless steel exhaust system
    - engine block heater
    - driver and passenger air bags
    - child security RR door locks
    - 2 Front fog lamps
    - Child LATCH system
    - Deluxe wheel covers
    - rear window defogger and wiper
    - Unique Aveo5 badging
    - Intermittent wipers
    - Bucket seats
    - AM/FM radio with anti-theft
    - Deluxe instrument panel w/tach
    - Front and Rear carpeted floor mats
    - Smokers package
    - GM Black bug deflector

    That's about it other than it is a very nice Sport Red color. Will have photos of it soon.

    The MSRP was $14,750 + tax ($15,782.50). We dealed in person with 5 GM dealerships and they also gave us $1,000 more off due to the GM Grad rebate program. The final out the door price was $12,200.00 which was -$200 below invoice.

  • I think the Aveo5 is a good name, too bad they don't use it here (that I know of). The only option on our car is the automatic (for the little lady). But I hope that you enjoy your Aveo as much as we are enjoying ours. My gf commutes about 2.5 hours a day in it, and really likes it so far.

    If I lived in Canada (and needed a car for myself), I would have picked up whatever the equivalent to the SVM was. Not as much need for a/c there (compared to here in LA), and I prefer a 5-spd.
  • I posted this on the sedan board and had only one reply, (thanks muffin man), I figured I'd try this board as well.

    Just wondering if anyone has had the opportunity to drive the Aveo in snowy conditions. If so, how did it handle, if not, would anyone care to make a prediction of how it will handle.

    The Aveo is currently at the top of my list, but winter driving is a major consideration since I leave for work before most plow/salt trucks are out.
  • My VW Golf TDI was struck from behind 10 days ago, and I'm now driving a rented 2005 Aveo sedan. Right now it has about 2200 miles on the odometer.

    I drive about 200-250 miles per day. I have grown accustomed to approx 40 mpg and a 600 mile range, so I am not terribly happy about 29 mpg and about 275 mile range. But I can live with it -- or rather, I suppose I will have to live with it for a few more weeks.

    This car has the automatic transmission. I hate automatic transmissions. But from what I've read, the Aveo 5-speed is not a good transmission (poorly spaced gear ratios). I would still prefer the 5-speed, but you can't get a rental car with a manual transmission.

    29 mpg. That's for a mix of city and highway driving. I generally try to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. So the mileage is okay for a gasoline-engine car. I don't know how much it would drop if I was using the air-conditioner. But 29 mpg would seem to be a reasonable expectation.

    The handling is not bad. It could be worse. I do not like skinny 14" tires. I do not feel as secure or as safe in the Aveo as I do in my Golf. But the Golf is a very good road car, and the Aveo was never designed for high-speed touring. My Golf also weighs about 2950 pounds, and the Aveo is only about 2400 pounds. So I'm missing the solid feel, but also beginning to appreciate the relative nimbleness of a very light weight car.

    I hope I do not have to make any emergency stops or emergency maneuvers. I don't know if this car can do them. But the reviews I've read suggest that the Aveo is as good or even a little better than its main competition.

    Summary. This is an inexpensive car for a person who doesn't plan to drive very fast or very far. I don't think it's particularly safe. If you drive about 10-15 miles a day, at 50 mph or less, then it's not a bad choice. If you drive as much as I do, on all kinds of highways or streets, then it's not the right car.
  • I am a very happy Aveo owner, but I am going to agree with you that the Golf TDI is the better car - and it should be. How much did you pay for your Golf?

    The Aveo only takes 10 more feet to stop (from 70 mph) than an Acura TL. Brake feel is not great, but it is capable enough. I don't know how emergency handling would be, I have thought about putting on better tires.

    I'm not sure what basis you are making your safety judgement on. It has a 5 star frontal, and 3 star side impact crash rating. What makes you feel secure in your golf? the extra weight? I don't think the handling of the TDI is much better than the Aveo, but it probably feels better feel - not the Aveo strong point. The Golf is a safer car than the Aveo, better side impact scores (w/ side airbags), and 600 pounds of extra weight - but I think the Aveo is pretty safe. (knock on wood)

    Summary. This is an inexpensive car for a person who doesn't plan to drive very fast or very far. I don't think it's particularly safe. If >you drive about 10-15 miles a day, at 50 mph or less, then it's not a bad choice. If you drive as much as I do, on all kinds of highways or streets, then it's not the right car.

    I disagree. This car is comfortable, and fairly quiet, both on short and long trips. i've driven it for over 5 hours comfortably, and got 34mpg.
  • I think both these vehicles (other than they are 4 wheel, 5 door hatchbacks) are too different to directly compair eachother. Plus one is diesel and the other gas...

    You can buy 2 Aveo's for the price of 1 Golf TDI. Just on price alone a TDI better be more than twice as better vs. value for your money. So let's do apples to apples:

    The 2004 Chevrolet Aveo5 verses the Volkswagon Golf GLS 2.0

    I did some research over at and government of canada site ( and here is what I found:

    Gas Mileage: - ?attr=8
    Aveo5: 32 city, 46 Highway (Canada Government)
    Golf: 29 city, 40 Highway (Canada Government)

    Aveo5: $9,455 - $12,140 USD
    Golf: $15,780 - $19,320 USD

    Aveo5: 2365
    Golf: 2771

    Aveo5: 185/60R14
    Golf: 195/65R15

    Aveo5 0-60: 10.48
    Golf 0-60: 11.51

    Pretty close if you ask me, but for upto 1/2 the price I'd do the Aveo as the gas mileage savings on a Golf TDI just isn't worth the extra $10,000.
  • My wife and I polished up the Aveo last night because the winter snow and ice is coming this weekend.

    Since spent 3 hours appling 1 coat of polish and 2 coats of wax we really paid attention to the build contruction of the Aveo in close up detail.

    To sum it up, we were quite impressed, VERY tight seams and construction. If it was a motorcycle I would compair it to a Moto-Guzzi in construction quality and care. Big difference in the look of the paint when you spend this much time waxing it.

    We will let you know how it drives in the show here next week when it hits hard.

  • RE: "This car is comfortable, and fairly quiet, both on short and long trips. i've driven it for over 5 hours comfortably, and got 34mpg."

    I drove from San Diego to Riverside and back today. About 100-110 miles each way. And that is too far in this car, IMO. By comparison, I once drove my Golf straight thru from San Diego to Phoenix in 6 hours, without stopping, and was entirely comfortable the whole way. And I have driven to the Midwest twice, 1800 miles each way, without suffering road fatigue. I would NEVER want to drive an Aveo that far. But that's okay, because the Aveo is not designed for that purpose.

    I reiterate: the Aveo is fine for short distances.
  • RE: "Pretty close if you ask me, but for upto 1/2 the price I'd do the Aveo as the gas mileage savings on a Golf TDI just isn't worth the extra $10,000."

    That depends on how much you drive. If you only drive 5k-10k miles a year, then the Aveo seems to be a fine choice. Long-term durability probably doesn't matter that much.

    But as I drive about 50k miles each year, fuel costs matter, and getting an extra 10 mpg is important to me. Longevity is important too, as I hope to get a minimum of 300k miles out of my TDI, and possibly many more. I don't know how far an Aveo would go, but I think even if the engine is still good at 120k-150k miles, the rest of the car will probably be falling apart.

    Resale value. The Golf, either 1.9 liter TDI or 2.0 liter gas engine, costs many thousands more than an Aveo. But either one will also retain its value longer. A 1999 Golf TDI, that sold for about $16k-$17k when new, can still bring about $10k if it's in good shape. The Aveo hasn't been around for five years. But it's my guess that the Aveo will lose more than half it's value in five years. Ask yourself, would you buy a 5-year-old Aveo? And how much would you pay?

    Comparing safety. I've seen photos of Golfs and Jettas that have been in some serious crashes. And the passenger compartment is intact. I wouldn't care to go through that experience in an Aveo, or a Kia, or an Echo, or any other car in the class.
  • This is definitely a strange comparison. But it's kind of fun anyway.

    (all of the following are based on 2004 numbers)

    Edmunds estimates the Golf TDI will be worth $7912 at the end of 5 years. If you paid $19,000 (below MSRP), it will be worth 41.2% of its purchase price.

    Edmunds estimate the Aveo will be worth $3513 at the end of 5 years. If you paid $8,500 (my exact purchase price). It will be worth 41.3% of its original price.

    Although I suppose, a 300,000 mile car is worth $0, which screws up the resale issue.

    (price+gas-resale) = total cost

    ---50000 miles/year---
    19000+18750-7912 = $29838
    8500+25000-3513 = $29987

    ---15000 miles/year---
    19000+$4114-7912 = $15202
    8500+5995-3513 = $10982

    So unless you drive extreme distances, the TDI is not going to save you anything, and even then, it's only ~$100. If you drive reasonable amounts, it is much more expensive to operate. That said, I don't think the Aveo could make it 300k anyway. Edmunds lists the operating costs at 40 cents/mile for the TDI and 37 cents/mile for the Aveo.

    Not to mention what you could do with the $10k+ you would save up front.

    So Aveo wins on sticker price, resale value (by a hair), and operating cost - but I would _not_ buy one if I drove as much as jbaustian.

    I believe the Golf is the safer car - and that is very important. My gf drives the Aveo, and if we could afford it, I would have liked to put her in something a little bigger. That said, I tried to pick a car with very strong crash scores - which reminds me, she was rear-ended today. Everyone's fine, just some exterior bumper damage, nothing serious.

    Hey jbaustian, sorry for the Aveo fanaticism - let us know how you like the car over the duration of your rental.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Another point on this comparison: I noticed today that the price of regular unleaded near my home is about $1.75, and the price of diesel is around $2.25 (per gallon). I've never seen such a big difference between gasoline and diesel before. If this keeps up, that will affect the TCO comparison of fuel-efficient cars like the Aveo vs. diesels.
  • Muffin Man, I appreciate the analysis you put into this. But as you point out, the Aveo won't make it to 300k miles.

    As I've mentioned, these are two very different cars, for different purposes. I work as a courier, and I know many other couriers drive Hyundais and Echos and Kias because they are cheap to buy and operate. I suppose after two years and about 80k miles they will trade them for something new. But an econo-box is not for me.

    I previously drove a Saab 900T, a 1984 model that I bought used in 1987 and drove til summer 2003. At that time it had 292k miles -- I still own it, I still start it up every couple weeks, I could drive it cross-country right now but I'd rather not.

    So when it came time to find a replacement, I first looked at Saabs. But they are too expensive, and not as fuel-efficient as I now require.

    I looked at a number of cars that were reasonably economical, with an emphasis on hatchbacks. I rarely need to haul anything bulky, but once in awhile I do. I considered the Mazda 5 (previously the Protege) and the Toyota Matrix.

    I really liked the look of the Ford Focus ZX-3. And I discovered the Golf TDI. So I compared the features, and what it would cost to add options to the ZX-3 to bring it up to the comfort and safety level of the Golf. Four-wheel disk brakes and ABS add a lot to the base price. CD player, electric windows, cruise control, intermittent wipers: all extra. I didn't need all these features, but to get what I needed you have to buy a certain trim package. At any rate, by the time I built a Focus to equal the base model Golf, the price was about the same. A similar analysis regarding the Matrix or Protege led to a similar result.

    Then it came down to fuel economy. A number of vehicles get 30 mpg or more. But only a couple can approach 45 or 50 mpg.

    And longevity. Diesel engines, being more ruggedly constructed to handle higher cylinder pressures, tend to last much longer than gasoline engines.

    Analyzing the numbers, I estimated 300k miles in five years, with zero residual value. I estimated 40 mpg (which is the lifetime average so far). I assumed equal prices for gasoline and diesel, which has been the case though with significant seasonal ups-and-downs.

    I figure I save more than $1000 a year.

    But if I drove less, I'd save less. If I drove less than 20k miles a year, then the Golf TDI would not be my best choice, and I would not recommend it to others.
  • I'm very impressed that you managed to drive an 1984 Saab that long and far. That's not a car I would buy for its longevity - what's your secret?

    The only alternatives I can think of would involve a lot more work, buying and selling low mileage Civics - and keep you in cars more poorly equipped than you would like. Sounds like you are in the right car.

    They don't sell diesels in California - I'm curious how Euro-diesel emissions compare to California CARB standards?
  • muffin_man
    u bought aveo for $8500 ? how?
    was it used? manual transmission?
  • It was a new 2004 base model 5-door with an automatic transmission as the only option. (a/c is standard on the base)


    I don't know what area you are from, but in Los Angeles, I always see Aveos for sale in the paper. (LA Times) The MSRP on mine was $12,635, and after rebates and discounts came to $9400, then I got an extra $900 off from the GM card.


    I'm very happy with it so far, definitely a lot of car for that kind of money - great for a long, trafficky commute.
  • thanks for reply

    I got mine in nyc 2 weeks ago as smart buy for $165 a month for 47 m it's '05 LS 5 door with auto , ac and cd/mp3 ($0 down)

    on local i got 24 mpg only , acceleration become shaky at 65 mph , engine struggle when you go up a hill , other wise i like it so far but i don't know how reliable this car
  • Wow, that's amazing! $7755 out the door? What's that, like $7k before tax and license? Now that is an incredible price!!!!
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    we're talking about 1985 new car prices for your Aveo's, gentlemen!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I'm stunned. Although I was more stunned when I saw a new '04 Kia Rio for $3995 last week. What decade is that price from?
  • No, there is misunderstanding here, it's like a lease either return the car after that (or after 39 month only) or keep the car and pay $4400
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    $3995 is still from '85, but for a stripped Hyundai Excel. The Rio is superior to that car, and the Aveo much more so even though it's about the same money as today, inflation considered.
  • i wonder if you guys post how many miles per gallon you got on your AVEO, specify if it 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic

    i got only 24 mpg on lcoal/hi way with auto trans.
  • I get about 26 mpg and I drive in the city during rush hour for the most part. I havent done any long trips yet but I'm sure I will in the spring. I'm in Buffalo and the snow is starting to come down and I'm anxious to see how my little car is going to handle. I'm loving it so far.
  • I also am from the Buffalo NY area, in Florida at present, how is your Aveo in the Buffalo weather? I go south in November and return in April to the North Collins area. Aveo's are scarce here so far I have not seen another . Take care, Tom
  • I get about 25 mpg around town and during rush hour freeway driving. But on long trips, I get about 34mpg.
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