Flash Drive: 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 LT
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2011.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Chevy Aveo5 is one of the least expensive new cars available in America, and I was fully expecting it to be a cheap, tinny econobox. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this couldn't be further from the truth. The Aveo5 is basic but doesn't feel cheap — interior materials look good and slamming the doors results in a good, solid thud. The Aveo5 has a usable back seat as well as surprising cargo space. Not surprisingly, the Aveo5 is underpowered, but the ride is smooth, handling is acceptable and fuel economy is impressive. Priced in the mid-teens, the Aveo5 is definitely an entry-level offering worth considering. – Perry Stern
The Aveo5's more aggressive appearance makes it look sportier than it really is. Even so, the 5-speed manual transmission does make the Aveo5 fun to drive, allowing the driver to take advantage of all its 106 horses while still getting nearly 30 mpg around town. Inside, you'll find decent room thanks to the high roofline, including rear-seat legroom that can be transformed to cargo capacity by folding the rear seats. Chevy updated the interior with materials that are on par with competitive automobiles and added side-impact airbags for front-seat occupants as standard fare. Suspension, steering and handling are competent but not exemplary. – Mike Meredith
Great things do come in small packages. The Chevy Aveo5 is a fun, petite car, with a peppy 4-banger mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The attractive hatchback features a rear spoiler and an aggressive front end. Inside, there is surprisingly decent headroom for both front- and rear-seat passengers. Though you are surrounded by plastic, the interior design is still attractive, and options are not bad, including the availability of XM satellite radio and OnStar. The Aveo was a hoot to drive, due to its light weight and diminutive size. It was easy to maneuver in tight spots, which is an advantage in city driving. However, the trunk is small, even with seats folded down, so don't expect to get much at Costco. In this tough economy, it is comforting to know that you can still get a fuel-efficient, affordable car that won't completely empty your wallet. – Joe Chulick
The Chevrolet Aveo proves that GM can offer a car that is right for the times. The Aveo5 is cute, it's more spacious than it looks, and it's cheap to buy and own. The manual transmission gives the driver the option to maximize the power offered by the little engine. However, I would rip the up-shift light out of the dashboard: It seems bent on getting the driver to stall, and flashes on or off seemingly at random even at constant throttle on a flat road — very annoying. The suspension is not very sophisticated, and the Aveo5 understeers at low speeds. The Aveo5 isn't better to drive than its competitors, but it is cheaper and it has better crash protection. If you're feeling patriotic and want to make sure that the profits go to an American company, then the Chevrolet Aveo5 may rise to the top of your short list. – Paul Hagger