Subcompact car; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door hatchback
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,200 – $11,200*


2005 Chevrolet Aveo


2004 Chevrolet Aveo


2004 Chevrolet Aveo


2005 Chevrolet Aveo


2007 Chevrolet Aveo

Pros:
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
Cons:
  • Acceleration
  • Handling

Surprisingly refined and likable, Aveo stacks up well against other budget-priced cars, such as the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. Still, an unproven track record is a minus. Shoppers considering any of these models would be well advised to look at larger, more-established rivals if their budget permits. Recent Accents and Rios have curtain-type side airbags.

Overview

Chevrolet introduced a new entry-level front-drive subcompact model for 2004. Essentially, it put a Chevrolet badge on a car designed by the now-bankrupt Daewoo Motor Company, Ltd. Named Aveo, the car was built in South Korea by GM Daewoo Automotive Technologies, which had been formed after it bought parts of Daewoo.

Aveo was offered as a four-door hatchback and a slightly longer four-door sedan. Both body styles ranked among the smallest and least-expensive cars sold in the U.S. A 103-horsepower four-cylinder was the sole engine. A manual transmission was standard, and a four-speed automatic optional.

Aveos came in SVM (Special Value Model), Base, and LS versions. Standard equipment included a tilt steering wheel, height-adjustable driver’s seat, and split folding rear seat. Available features included antilock braking, cabin air filtration, power windows and locks, and heated mirrors; a sunroof joined the list later. No side airbags were available.

Chevrolet placed the Aveo on sale nationwide in early 2004, with prices starting at a frugal $9,995, including destination. Potential rivals included the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Elantra, as well as the Nissan Sentra, Kia Rio, and Hyundai Accent.

Yearly Updates

2005 Aveo
This year’s lineup included SVM, LS, and LT models. Standard air conditioning and optional ABS were exclusive to the LS and LT. Alloy wheels, power windows and locks, and heated mirrors were standard for the LT, which was the only model to offer an optional sunroof. Restyled wheel covers went on SVM and LS versions. All Aveos added black roof-pillar trim.
2006 Aveo
Front side airbags became standard for 2006, and 15-inch wheels were available. Cruise control and remote keyless entry were now standard for LT models, and optional for the LS. Honda, Nissan, and Toyota all launched new subcompact cars during 2006.
2007 Aveo
Sedan versions of Chevrolet’s smallest car got revised body work for 2007. Aveo sedans retained the wheelbase of 2004-2006 models, but were 3 inches longer overall and got freshened exterior and interior styling. The Aveo 4-dr hatchback was renamed Aveo5 for ’07, but it repeated the styling and features of the 2004-2006 model. LS trim returned for both body styles. The base SVM model came only as a hatchback. Newly standard on sedans was a digital audio player plug-in.
2008 Aveo
The only change of note was that 15-inch wheels were now optional on LS sedans.
2009 Aveo
Hatchbacks were restyled and all 2009 Aveos came standard with OnStar assistance.
2010 Aveo
The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo lineup received a modest bump in horsepower (2 hp).
2011 Aveo
The 2011 Chevrolet Aveo is largely unchanged for what will be its final model year in its current design.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Only one engine is available in Aveos: a 106-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder, mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission. The engine got a boost to 108 horsepower for 2010.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/98
Engine HP 106-108
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 104-107
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
27/37
26/34

Road Test

Acceleration is fairly brisk during takeoffs at around-town speeds. No Aveo has enough power for swift highway passing or short freeway on-ramps, but the car feels slightly quicker with a manual transmission. The manual’s shifter is rubbery in action, and clutch action is very light. Automatic often hesitates to kick down for passing. The engine is quite smooth–better than many in its price class–and an Aveo cruises easily at 70 mph.

Though reasonably easy on gas, EPA ratings aren’t too impressive for such a small car, affirmed by real-world testing. An LS hatchback with automatic averaged 29.9 mpg in a nearly-even mix of city and highway driving. A manual-shift sedan averaged 29.3 mpg in mostly city driving.

Based on those ratings, we’d expect averages in the mid- to high-20 mpg range with either transmission.

On most bumps, the Aveo’s suspension is impressively absorbent for a small car, with minor bobbing and pitching over irregular pavement. Petite size, responsive steering and a tight turning circle ensure nimble low-speed maneuvers. Body lean and noseplow increase rapidly as cornering speed rises. Good stopping power is evident with ABS, but the brake pedal on one Aveo suffered long, mushy travel.

Engine, road, and wind noise is fairly well muffled–better than many in the class. Unlike many small, light cars, the Aveo copes rather well over smaller bumps. Only large, sharp bumps trigger pounding through the Aveo’s suspension and body structure.

Gauges are easy to read. The radio is mounted mid-dash and easily reachable, but tiny buttons and knobs are difficult to manipulate while driving. Small climate controls sit too low and far from the driver, demanding a long look away from the road. Markings on both are clear. Budget-grade plastics dominate the decor, which is hardly a surprise in this price league.

Comfortable front seats are softer than in many entry-level cars. A tall body means passengers sit higher than in most small cars for a good view of the road; positioning is aided by standard height-adjustable driver’s seat and tilt steering wheel. Head room is good, but tall folks might want more leg space. Visibility to rear corners is hindered by thick roof pillars in sedans; the hatchback’s pillars are thinner. Rear head room also is good, but leg space is tight with front seats more than halfway back. The back seat is too soft for best comfort and rather flat, but high mounting means adults don’t have to sit knees-up.

In the hatchback, rear seatbacks fold without removing headrests, and seats flip forward to create a fairly flat load floor. But there’s room for only a row of grocery bags. Sedan headrests must be removed to fold the seatbacks, which sit above the level of the trunk floor. Trunk hinges dip into the load area, but volume is on par for this class. Interior storage is meager, but aided by small bins in the console and dashboard.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Chevrolet Aveo LS sedan w/ manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 3
30%
Fuel Economy - 8
80%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 41

Specifications

4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.6 152.8 65.8 48.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
42.0 11.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 37.6 41.3 35.4
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.6 166.7 65.7 58.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
11.7 11.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 37.6 41.3 35.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2004 Aveo 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brakes
Description: The ABS/TCS warning light may illuminate due to problem with speed sensor wires at the right-front wheel. (2007-08)
Engine misfire
Description: Some early-build vehicles with either the 1.4L or 1.6L engine developed a misfire due to inadequate contact between the valves and seats, requiring valves be replaced. (2004)
Engine misfire
Description: Intermittent misfires during cruise or deceleration requires replacement of both the intake and exhaust valves. (2004-07)
Engine misfire
Description: A misfire may occur during highway driving or coasting which illuminates the check engine light and, depending on when it was built, the engine may require replacement exhaust valves or both intake and exhaust valves on the 1.6L engine. (2004-07)
Fuel gauge
Description: The engine may not start or may stall because the tank is empty yet the gauge shows fuel remaining, or the fuel gauge will not show full after refilling due to sulfur corrosion of the fuel level sender and if after treating with Fuel System Cleaner PLUS the problem remains, the seOil leaks at the front of the engine are often misdiagnosed as an oil pump leak, but are due to a weak oil pump gasket for which there is an improved part. (2004-07)nder may need to be replaced. (2004-06)
Keys
Description: If the key is hot when removing it from the ignition, a defective key interlock solenoid must be replaced. (2004-06)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks from the drain plug because the original equipment copper washer gets deformed, Replacements are improved. (2004-05)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks at the front of the engine are often misdiagnosed as an oil pump leak, but are due to a weak oil pump gasket for which there is an improved part. (2004-07)
Rear axle noise
Description: Noise from the rear is commonly due to bad wheel bearing(s), which must be replaced along with their seals. (2004-05)
Electrical problem
Description: When using a portable music player (e.g. iPod) there may be noise in the car’s speakers whenever the vehicle’s power adapter is used and a ground loop isolator (from Radio Shack) is required between the device and the power outlet to prevent the noise. (2004-07)

Recall History

2004 Aveo
Description: Rear seatbelt in some cars could become twisted.
2007 Aveo w/1.6-liter engine
Description: During an NCAP severe frontal crash test, the fuel line in the engine compartment developed a fracture and caused four short circuits in the fuse block, which allowed the fuel pump to continue running and fuel leaked onto the ground. Dealers will replace the fuse block and install a new section of fuel line that has been redesigned free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.