2004 Chevrolet Aveo
This 2004 review is representative of model years 2004 to 2006.
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
The new entry level Chevrolet Aveo carries a familiar nameplate, but really is a South Korean car designed by the bankrupt Daewoo Motor.
Sound odd? Well, it's an upside-down auto world these days, with many car producers owning parts of other automakers in different countries.
The Aveo is made in South Korea by an outfit formed by General Motors after it bought parts of Daewoo. GM also has introduced other Daewoo models with the Suzuki badge because it owns a stake in that Japanese automaker.
The Aveo is expected to attract young, first-time car buyers, with hopes that they'll eventually move up to the Cobalt and other higher-priced Chevy vehicles.
The Aveo has good fit and finish and comes as a 4-door hatchback and as a 4-door sedan that's about 14 inches longer than the hatchback at 166.7 inches.
Aveos with the lowest price are the SVM 4-door hatchback and sedan. Both list for $9,455 and only have a moderate amount of equipment, such as power steering, a tilt wheel, an AM-FM radio and a rear defogger.
The SVM is basically a price leader intended to draw potential Aveo customers to showrooms, where they're expected to opt for more costly Aveos.
The automatic's gated shifter is notchy, but lets a driver shift manually—although there's little point in shifting. Just slip the transmission in "drive" and go.
The midrange Base 4-door hatchback and sedan cost $11,150 and the top-line LS sedan and hatchback cost $12,045. The LS adds desirable features such as air conditioning, heated, fold-away mirrors, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 player and power windows and locks with remote keyless entry.
Among the few Aveo extras are $400 anti-lock brakes for the Base and LS. There is a $225 rear spoiler for those versions and a $725 power sunroof and $375 alloy wheels for the LS.
Fuel economy is a strong point—as it better be for an entry Chevy. The Aveo delivers an estimated 26-27 mpg in the city and 34-36 on highways. Only 87-octane gasoline is required.
The Aveo's size and fairly light weight make it nimble. The steering is OK and the turning circle is tight. Handling is handicapped by small 14-inch wheels, but is decent if the car isn't pushed too hard. The ride is supple, and the brakes work well, controlled by a user-friendly pedal.
Cargo space is modest with the back seat in its normal position. The sedan's rear seat folds flat to provide more cargo space, but the hatchback takes the prize for cargo room; its rear seat folds flat and flips forward to offer an impressive 42 cubic feel of cargo space.
GM made only a few last-minute changes to the Aveo, but it's a surprisingly good little car that is a lot more modern than the Cavalier.