Road Test: Chevrolet Aveo LT 1.3 VCDi Eco
Sector: Supermini Price: £12,795 Fuel: 78.4mpg CO2: 95g/km
Chevrolet’s new B-segment car has had a pretty extreme first year. In short, if you’ve not managed a bungee jump, skateboard kick-flip or to abseil at Goodwood, then you’ve led a less interesting 12 months than the Aveo.
But it’s necessary marketing to separate it from the last car to wear the badge. In a segment where small no longer means basic, this car’s Daewoo Kalos based predecessor felt, drove and looked at least two generations behind the rest of the pack. Chevrolet dealers across the UK must’ve been relieved to see the new one retains only the name if its forebear.
Although it didn’t have much to build on, everything in the new car is a vast improvement. Perhaps the most vital leap forward is its looks, which are claimed to be inspired by the oh-so-desirable Camaro muscle car. It’s not as neatly proportioned as a Corsa, but it’s at least distinctive in a sector ruled by pinched styling and swooping lines.
Hard to believe, but the new Aveo is the first to get a diesel engine, as tested here. It’s the familiar GM-Fiat unit also found in the Corsa, among others, and genuinely thrify. Fuel efficiency over 60mpg isn’t too difficult to achieve, and it feels neither unrefined nor lacking in power at motorway speeds. Desirable factors in what’s become a very grown up sector.
What has been carried on from the old car is an abundance of space in a relatively small package. The boot is large, the seats comfortable and adults can fit in behind all but the tallest of drivers on the rear bench.
There’s also a pleasing sense that the dashboard has gone through a design department before being signed off. Its hard plastics are still behind most in its class, and prone to picking up greasy fingerprints, but it’s a much better-looking interior overall, brightened up by an instrument binnacle which looks like it’s been designed by Casio’s G-Shock department.
With the rest of the B-Segment now offering good reason to downsize from the lower-medium class, the Aveo really needed to catch up. Thankfully the end product is worthy of the attention it’ll get from its adrenaline-pumping advertising campaign.
Aveo’s bulky Americanised looks and instantly recognisable Chevrolet front end make it a distinctive entrant into the B-segment. It’s got its work cut out targeting the mainstream, but at least has a little desirability and efficiency on its side with the latest generation.