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2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 LS Review

2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 LS Review

How low can your ego go? By ,

It seems that today, and more than ever, image is everything. When people prefer leasing BMWs than purchasing Hondas, part of the deciding factor is that you look better wearing a German luxury car.

The Aveo5's battleflag is its $9,994 cash purchase price promotion.

So, when people are considering a subcompact, how strong is the image criteria? And how do you think you'll look driving one of the lowest-priced cars on the market? Would you mind?

That's what the Chevrolet Aveo5 is. At just under $14,000, it's a little more expensive than the Hyundai Accent, the Kia Rio, the Toyota Yaris as well as the reigning lowest MSRP champion, the $12,498 Nissan Versa sedan. But the Aveo5's battleflag is its $9,994 cash purchase price promotion.

Room for four
As with most new subcompacts, the Aveo5 can easily sit four adults--the car's high roofline provides generous headroom, and the thin door panels leave sufficient width. In back, three people could snuggle up and figure out how to buckle their belts without pinching the others' posteriors, but there's no room for six shoulders.

In this market segment, you're either a people mover (like the Versa) or a cargo hauler (like the Fit), although almost every contestant can do both very well. In the Aveo5's case, consider it more as a people mover, since cargo space isn't all that great with the back seat up; it competes with the Yaris for the smallest cargo hold. It beats the Toyota in overall storage space when the seat is folded down, though.

Inside the little Chevy, fit and finish is actually not that bad, considering the car is basically a rebadged Korean Daewoo. The dashtop has a pleasing textured surface, and the switchgear is straightforward and sturdy, except for the two almost-bare turn-signal and wiper stalks.

Still, the driver's door wouldn't close properly unless it was slammed (although an adjustment at the dealer should fix this), and the car generally feels less substantial than a Fit or a Versa. The tinny sound of the doors closing reminds me of my old 1987 Corolla.

The cargo space isn't all that great with the back seat up.