According to reviewers, the 2009 Chevy Aveo is awash with adequate performance, including fuel mileage. However, the revised inline four-cylinder engine now includes variable valve timing.
In its evaluation, Edmunds says “while the 2009 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.”
According to ConsumerGuide, 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."
Continuing with the transmission, Automobile Magazine says, “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.”
Suspension and ride quality receive positive feedback. MyRide.com says, “One of the bright spots in the 2009 Chevy Aveo is the ride quality, which is pretty good. Like most small cars, the Aveo's short wheelbase makes it bounce too much over freeway expansion joints and the like. However, the soft spring settings and good shock absorbers help smooth out even that common problem better than we expected. By comparison, many of the 2009 Chevy Aveo's competitors feel downright jittery.” 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.”
In the area of fuel consumption, ConsumerGuide says the “Aveo sedans with the automatic transmission averaged 24.5-28.4 mpg. Aveo5 hatchbacks with the automatic averaged 28.3-28.7 mpg. All figures are unimpressive for the class.”
When it comes to scrubbing speed, MyRide.com states that “the brakes prove perfectly adequate in the day-to-day world of commuting in which the 2009 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.”