2010 Chevrolet Aveo Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
January 4, 2010

The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo and Aveo5 are worth considering if the bulk of your driving is done around the city—but there are plenty of better small-car options that don't cost much more.

TheCarConnection.com has browsed reviews from a range of respected automotive Web sites, picking out highlights pertaining to the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo to help you make the most informed buying decision. The editors at TheCarConnection.com have driven both body styles of the Aveo and have put together a Bottom Line summary.

The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo is one of the more economical—in terms of price and fuel efficiency—cars to buy in the country today. Both body styles, the Aveo sedan and the Aveo5 hatchback, come with front-wheel drive and should be among the small cars on the shopping list of anyone concerned about high fuel prices. The Aveo is all-around competent, although many buyers may be left wanting more.

Offered in three variants—base, LS, and LT—the Aveo5 wears the guise introduced in 2009, whereas the four-door sedan was revised back in 2008. GM Daewoo in South Korea builds the Aveos, all of which carry Chevrolet’s new signature front-end styling, with a Chevy bow framed by a larger grille. Larger tail lamps and an available rear spoiler dress up the basic model. The side vent in the Aveo5 (absent from the sedan) is ludicrous.

The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo and Aveo5 use identical engines, transmissions, and chassis components. EPA mileage for the pair is 27/35 mpg (city/highway) on models equipped with a five-speed manual transmission and 25/34 mpg for those with a four-speed automatic. The engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 108 horsepower and 104 pound-feet of torque, which can give you about 400 miles from a single tank. When you give the vehicle a once-over, there’s no getting away from it being a strictly city car. It comes with MacPherson struts, a torsion-beam rear, and a short 97.7-inch wheelbase. Small 14-inch wheels are fitted as standard, while 15-inch units (and anti-lock brakes) are optional. The Aveo is nifty around town, but once you reach cruising speeds over 70 mph, the car reveals its urban heritage, feeling nervous and out of place.

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The Aveo may offer five seat belts, but getting five adults into the car is much easier said than done. Space, especially in the rear, is tight, although it’s more than adequate for four occupants. The rear bench has theater-style seating (for better exterior visibility) and a 60/40 split for cargo flexibility. Improved interior materials introduced in 2009 carry over for the latest model year, including optional wood grain trim, as well as metallic and carbon-fiber-look materials. Storage and convenience bins are all over the interior, and higher-end features such as cruise control, XM, and a large sunroof are also offered. GM products often have one of the best XM radio setups, but the Aveo's radio controls are missing a tuning knob found on most other models.

In terms of safety, the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo includes front and side airbags as standard, leaving ABS as an option. A bonus is the height-adjustable front shoulder belts, which prove to be more comfortable. Scores for the Aveo5 in federal crash tests are dual five-star ratings for frontal impacts and dual four-star ratings for side impacts. The Aveo sedan fares less well, losing one star each for the passengers in front and side impacts. In IIHS tests, the insurance institute rates the Aveo's offset frontal-impact performance as "acceptable" and side impact as just "marginal." An offering the competitors do not have is the added measure of safety provided by GM OnStar, which is included.

Cars in this category come with a lot of extras standard these days, and the Aveo is no different. The base Aveo LS comes with a tilt steering wheel, rear-window defroster, AM/FM audio system with an auxiliary input jack for an iPod or other device, intermittent windshield wipers, and OnStar as standard. The 1LT packages add air conditioning and a CD player to the audio system, while the 2LT package packs on more, including cruise control, power heated exterior rearview mirrors, XM Satellite Radio, and remote keyless entry. Available options for the 2LT models include a sunroof, perforated leatherette (vinyl) seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Bluetooth connectivity (this feature is also optional on 1LT trims).

5

2010 Chevrolet Aveo

Styling

Whether as a sedan or Aveo5 hatchback, the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo feels bland and homely with some details that are almost unanimously judged as cheesy.

Offered in three variants—base, LS, and LT—the Aveo5 wears the guise introduced in 2009, whereas the four-door sedan was revised back in 2008. GM Daewoo in South Korea builds the Aveos, all of which carry Chevrolet’s new signature front-end styling, with a Chevy bow framed by a larger grille. Larger tail lamps and an available rear spoiler dress up the basic model. The side vent in the Aveo5 (absent from the sedan) is ludicrous.

“Chevrolet’s entry-level car is available as a homely-looking sedan or an altogether more attractive five-door wagon,” notes Car and Driver. MyRide.com remarks, “the twin-grille look that we like on the Chevy Malibu and new Chevy Traverse looks forced and weird on this little car. The headlights sweep up into the bodywork uncomfortably, the fender vents behind the rear wheels are laughably corny, the hubcaps have fake plastic bolts, and the rest of the car is just bland and boring.” Automobile Magazine is not the biggest fan of the hatchback's styling, "where the only external changes lie with an ungainly front fascia and a pair of new taillight lenses.”

The interior of the hatchback model is appreciated somewhat. MyRide.com reports that the Aveo's interior styling is “bland, but inoffensive and simple, unlike the busy interiors of some of the Aveo's competitors. Chevrolet has even attempted a bit of style and upscale feel, giving the 2010 Chevy Aveo a two-tone tan-and-black theme with fake wood trim.” Automobile Magazine remarks, “our LT test car sported a two-tone cabin complete with faux-wood accents, but the dash is the same-ol' Daewoo instrument panel first seen (overseas) in 2002.”

5

2010 Chevrolet Aveo

Performance

The 2010 Chevy Aveo offers just competency but falls short of many of its rivals.

Most testers find that the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo's inline four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing offers adequate performance and fuel economy. The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo and Aveo5 use identical engines, transmissions, and chassis components. The engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 108 horsepower and 104 pound-feet of torque, which can give you about 400 miles from a single tank.

Overall, the Aveo is nifty around town, but once you reach cruising speeds over 70 mph, the car reveals its urban heritage, feeling nervous and out of place. Edmunds concludes that “while the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo is certainly no thrill ride, it provides respectable vehicle dynamics. The steering is direct and the suspension is well-tuned for day-to-day commuting. The 1.6-liter engine is adequate, but it's not particularly powerful.”

ConsumerGuide finds that the “Aveo accelerates off the line quicker than one would expect, but no one will mistake these subcompacts for a sports car. Manual-transmission versions feel slightly quicker than automatics, but a rubbery, imprecise manual shifter detracts from the driving experience. The automatic is relatively responsive."

Automobile Magazine comments on the transmission, claiming, “the manual transaxle is a mixed blessing—it allows you to more easily stay in that rev band, but the shift action is rather sloppy, and the optional ABS can't be had with the manual.” In addition, “the manual shifter is numb and rubbery, which wouldn't be all that terrible if you didn't have to downshift constantly just to keep up with traffic.” Edmunds remarks, “We normally recommend that buyers in this class opt for a manual transmission, but in the Aveo's case, the automatic is the better bet. The manual tranny's gear ratios are too wide, leaving the car underpowered on highway grades and ultimately compromising fuel economy.”

EPA mileage for the pair is 27/35 mpg (city/highway) on models equipped with a five-speed manual transmission and 25/34 mpg for those with a four-speed automatic.

ConsumerGuide comments that the Aveo is “nimble enough due to its petite size and responsive steering, though some testers say steering effort is a bit heavy at low speeds. Aveo's body leans more in turns than class rivals.”

MyRide.com feels that “the brakes prove perfectly adequate in the day-to-day world of commuting in which the 2010 Chevy Aveo will be thrust, but no more than adequate.” ConsumerGuide says “the brakes provide decent stopping control but are nothing special in terms of pedal feel.”

6

2010 Chevrolet Aveo

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo offers reasonable comfort but lacks adequate storage space and refinement when compared to its rivals.

The Aveo may offer five seat belts, but getting five adults into the car is much easier said than done. Space, especially in the rear, is tight, although it’s more than adequate for four occupants. The rear bench has theater-style seating (for better exterior visibility) and a 60/40 split for cargo flexibility.

ConsumerGuide finds that for a subcompact, the Aveo has “good headroom despite a somewhat tall seating position, though sitting high up makes for excellent visibility. Taller passengers will wish for more legroom, though.”

Edmunds notes that "although the Aveo5 has a respectable 42 cubic feet when the rear seats are down, it offers significantly less cargo space than some competing hatchbacks with the rear seats in place.” Other comments focus on how passenger space might be good, but not much attention is paid to cargo space: “Neither body style offers much cargo room with the rear seats up," adds ConsumerGuide. "In-cabin storage is sparse, with a meager glovebox and a few small bins.” Automobile Magazine points to the flimsy sunglasses holster and wonders "how many of these will get ripped off by accident.”

Interior materials are upgraded in recent model years to include optional wood grain trim, as well as metallic and carbon-fiber-look materials, but TheCarConnection.com fails to find any reviews that see these as a step up. GM products often have one of the best XM radio setups, but the Aveo's radio controls are missing a tuning knob found on most other models. MyRide.com says that “the tons of hard plastic, occasional shiny bit, odd contrasts between black and tan and the atrociously orange wood trim shatters any illusion of civility quickly.”

ConsumerGuide notes the lack of refinement inside, saying that “the engine sounds coarse and buzzy during acceleration on all models." The reviewer points out that wind and road noise are especially intrusive in the hatchback.

MyRide.com reports, “one of the bright spots in the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo is the ride quality, which is pretty good," though also noting that the soft settings compromise handling. "By comparison, many of the 2010 Chevy Aveo's competitors feel downright jittery,” the reviewer says.

The CarConnection.com editors find comments from MyRide.com to sum it all up, perhaps harshly: “It is noisy, uncomfortable, slow, largely unpleasant to drive and not particularly well thought-out compared to its competition.” Regarding the Aveo’s competitors, Edmunds concurs but isn’t as brutal in its commentary: “As for the all-around driving experience, the Aveo is similarly mid-pack.”

4

2010 Chevrolet Aveo

Safety

The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo, as one of the smaller, lighter vehicles on the road today, does not impress in safety, which is often a crucial factor for buyers in this segment.

As with almost everything else on the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo, safety manages to come in with a barely adequate rating yet again. Independent crash-test results are noteworthy for being near the bottom of the pack, while not all the safety features you would wish for are included.

Scores for the Aveo5 in federal crash tests are dual five-star ratings for frontal impacts and dual four-star ratings for side impacts. The Aveo sedan fares less well, losing one star each for the passengers in front and side impacts. In IIHS tests, the insurance institute rates the Aveo's offset frontal-impact performance as "acceptable" and side impact as just "marginal."

In terms of safety, the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo includes front and side airbags as standard, leaving ABS as an option. Electronic stability control isn't offered. A bonus is the height-adjustable front shoulder belts, which prove to be more comfortable. One offering the competitors do not have is the added measure of safety provided by GM OnStar, which is included.

Car and Driver finds that “the Aveo gets dual front side airbags in addition to the standard front bags, but curtain airbags aren’t offered—a glaring oversight. There is no traction or stability control on offer.” ConsumerGuide also points out that “antilock brakes are optional on the LT models, but only on those with the automatic transmission.”

6

2010 Chevrolet Aveo

Features

The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo can be equipped quite well compared to other small cars, though stacking on the options raises the price rapidly.

Cars even in this low-price category come with a lot of extras standard these days, and the Aveo is no different.

The base Aveo LS comes with a tilt steering wheel, rear-window defroster, AM/FM audio system with an auxiliary input jack for an iPod or other device, intermittent windshield wipers, and OnStar as standard. The 1LT packages add air conditioning and a CD player to the audio system, while the 2LT package packs on more, including cruise control, power heated exterior rearview mirrors, XM Satellite Radio, and remote keyless entry. Available options for the 2LT models include a sunroof, perforated leatherette (vinyl) seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Bluetooth connectivity (this feature is also optional on 1LT trims).

Automobile Magazine finds that “the Aveo5 only makes sense as stripped down, no-nonsense transportation. Whereas there's a certain quirky logic to paying $18,000 for a loaded Fit, it's almost impossible to see why someone would pay more than $14,000 for an Aveo.”

Storage and convenience bins are found all over the interior, and higher-end features such as cruise control, XM, and a large sunroof are also offered.

The base LS includes standard side airbags, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a tilting steering wheel, and a stereo with an audio input jack. Air conditioning requires a $1,000 price increase and upgrading to the 1LT model. Options for this model include power accessories and anti-lock brakes. Car and Driver points out that “choosing an auto-equipped 1LT makes the most sense if you plan to use the Aveo as a no-frills commuter vehicle.”

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December 19, 2016
2010 Chevrolet Aveo 5-Door HB LT w/1LT

Nothing but problems since day 1, bought new.

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I have had problems from the start. Within the first week, the car dies, while going 80KPH. Not good and issue never found. I have always had issues with it losing power and GM never found the cost, though I... + More »
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May 15, 2015
2010 Chevrolet Aveo 5-Door HB LT w/2LT

The Aveo is a good option to consider for a used car with good value for enjoyable transportation.

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Much like many people who shop in the subcompact class, I did it for better gas mileage. I tried several others in the vehicle type from around the Aveo's time, but nothing quite warmed me up the same way. It... + More »
people found this helpful.
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Styling 5.0
Performance 5.0
Comfort & Quality 6.0
Safety 4.0
Features 6.0
Fuel Economy N/A
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