Quick Drive: 2009 Chevrolet Aveo

February 3, 2009
It took $4/gallon gas to make little cars fashionable, but now they are. Today, it seems that your "I'm a good person" factor is inversely related to the size of what you're driving.Well, we can say plenty about how small the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 is. Its overall length of 155 inches is not all that much longer than just the wheelbase of a Cadillac Escalade ESV (130 inches). The Chevy Aveo is also narrow at only over 66 inches.

Regardless of these diminutive dimensions, once inside this Dewoo (it's built in Korea for Chevy) there's OK room up front with genuinely ample headroom. Three-across seating in the rear would never be comfy, but two average people fit, if their space is a bit compromised. If the front-seat folks are tall, legroom in back is further compromised. But don't take these comments as knocks, it's just reality of living small.

A few other observations; the doors close solidly, even though they don't sound or feel like a Mercedes-Benz. During the Aveo's time at our office, we had plenty of snow, and the little car just didn't care … it cruised through everything. On the highway, road, wind, and powertrain noise are commendably quelled, so conversations between the front and back flow freely at unstrained volumes. While the 106 horsepower 1.3-liter four-cylinder can easily propel the 2009 Aveo5 well past 70 mph (and be composed doing it), cruising above that mark isn't pleasant. The suspension seems overworked above 70 mph, and sends a constant stream of small but unpleasant motions into the cabin. Barf bags weren't included in the rear pockets of the front seats.

Our Aveo's radio had an older version of GM's satellite-capable audio system. Even though GM's "favorite" buttons remain the best in the business for ease of toggling through radio presets on different bands, we miss the tuning knob that has been added to other current GM vehicles.

We'd recommend the considering the 2009 Aveo5 if you're looking for a high-mileage sub-compact (25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway with the four-speed automatic we tested). Our recommendation stands regardless of whether you're making a personal or ecological statement. Look at our complete review of the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 for more details. While you're at it, also consider the 2009 Ford Focus or the Honda Fit.

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