- Good interior comfort and a supple ride, for such a small car
- Spacious cargo areas
- Engine and road noise are well muted
- Disappointing fuel economy
- Sluggish acceleration, especially with four-speed automatic
- Touchy throttle teases you into thinking it has more power
- Ponderous handling, considering its light weight
- Iffy crash-test results and lack of safety features
- Satellite radio isn’t available
The 2008 Chevrolet Aveo has a bargain-basement price, and with the exception of good interior comfort, you get what you pay for.
The 2008 Chevrolet Aveo is Chevy's cheapest model and one of the cheapest in the U.S. market, made by GM Daewoo in South Korea. The Aveo sedan was new for 2007; its bodywork and interior are different from the Aveo5 hatchback, which follows a more dated design.
Whether as a hatchback or sedan, the 2008 Chevrolet Aveo has a well-designed interior, with lots of passenger space for four full-size adults or three kids across the backseat. The tall body affords plenty of headroom or a boxlike cargo space with the seats folded. The sedan's 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is surprisingly roomy as well.
All 2008 Chevrolet Aveo models have a 103-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine that, from inside the cabin, is remarkably refined, but performance is barely adequate with the five-speed manual and sluggish with the four-speed automatic carrying anything but a light load and on level roads. The Aveo doesn't handle particularly well either; it's not confidence-inspiring in tight corners, possibly due to pronounced body lean.
The sedan is offered in both LS and LT trim levels, while the Aveo5 hatchback comes in an especially stripped-down SVM (Special Value) base model and an LS. Manual windows and mirrors are standard on both Aveo body styles, and air conditioning is not offered on the blue-light SVM. However, both versions of the 2008 Chevrolet Aveo include an AM/FM CD sound system. The LS model includes A/C and can be upgraded with anti-lock brakes, 15-inch wheels, cruise control, and an AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 capability.
Those concerned about safety should be especially aware of the Aveo's subpar results in side-impact protection. The Aveo5 hatchback was given a middling four-star rating in side impact, while the Aveo sedan got only three stars in rear-seat side protection. In the insurance-industry tests, an Aveo sedan was rated Acceptable in frontal protection, Marginal in side protection, and Poor in the seat-based rear impact tests. Side-impact airbags are standard on the Aveo and Aveo5, but electronic stability control isn't in the cards, and anti-lock brakes are optional (not offered on the SVM).