No, I didn’t drive my Chevvy to the levee – but it did fulfil my business and family motoring needs for a busy week of mixed motoring that took in daily commuting, a country weekend and helping a friend move home.
The Chevrolet in question was the new Aveo five-door hatchback. Like other products that now bear GM’s mass-market brand name, this Chevrolet shakes off the out-of-date re-badged Daewoo image but, at the same time, it’s very different from the sort of Chevrolets that Americans drive, being solidly aimed at the European small car market.
Sporting completely redesigned bodywork, chassis and cabin, the new Aveo comes with a range of upgraded fuel-efficient, low emissions engines.
The 100PS 1.4-litre petrol engine provides lively acceleration. There’s also a 1.2-litre petrol unit rated at 86PS plus a 1.3 VCDi diesel engine. The latter is the first VCDi diesel to appear in a small Chevrolet in Europe, and features common-rail fuel injection, stop/start technology and a variable-geometry turbocharger. It is available with two power outputs – 75 and 95PS – with the latter also offered in low-emission EcoDiesel form.
The petrol engines feature dual-overhead camshafts and variable valve timing; the cast-iron cylinder block is based on a hollow frame structure. The 1.2 and 1.4 have a cast-iron bedplate that provides a stiffer structure, resulting in quieter and smoother engine performance.
Fuel consumption and emissions are among the best in the sector with the 95PS 1.3-litre EcoDiesel capable of returning a wallet-friendly 78.4mpg in the combined cycle. CO2 emissions for the range start from just 95g/km for the 1.3-litre EcoDiesel.
The Aveo is the first Chevrolet small car with a six-speed automatic transmission. Available with the 100PS 1.4-litre petrol model, this unit offers smooth changes and is perfectly suited to urban driving.
Like all Chevrolet models, the Aveo delivers remarkable value for money. Priced from £9,995, it is available in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ.
It’s light, airy and spacious. Equipment levels are high across the range, with the range-topping LTZ featuring standard features normally reserved for bigger and more expensive cars. All models are covered by Chevrolet’s five-year warranty.
Though most at home in the urban environment, this perky little car is more than a mere run-around, being perfectly at home on motorways and country byroads too.