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Motoring: Redesigned Aveo easy on the eye and pocket

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | January 8th, 2007

In this world of cars, you have the good, the bad and the ugly.

So what category will the Aveo fit among that broad spectrum. Well I lived with one for a week to find out just that.

The Chevrolet Aveo sedan is somewhat new for 2007. I say somewhat new, because it is essentially the same car you bought last year, but for 2007 it has been given a few tweaks.

For a start, it has a slightly altered look so it no longer looks like something you'd be embarrassed to be seen in. Yes, while it still might not make anyone say “Wow, cool car,” at least now you are less likely to be laughed at by school children as you drive by.

So the new skin is somewhat impressive, and the same goes when you open the door. My test car was trimmed quite nicely actually. The new centre console design looked good and so did the fake wood accents. Sure, you can't expect Cadillac style luxuries in here, but then it doesn't cost that much either.

To its credit, the car does have lots of headroom, although the cabin is a bit narrow, so you are very close to your passenger. Then it lacks a storage bin between the seats, but thankfully mine had a fold down armrest, which made it somewhat comfortable. However the driver's seat could have been more comfortable, it would give me a backache if I spent more than half-an-hour in it. But perhaps your back can get used to it.

My big complaint with the interior is the lack of a proper cup holder. Yes, I know that isn't the end of the world, but for a car sold in North America, a proper cup holder is a must.

So far, this car isn't fairing too well, and I don't think the performance is going to help its case either.

The Aveo has a 1.6-litre, inline four-cylinder engine producing 103 hp and 107 lb/ft of torque. You can have that mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic gearbox, but in either case, you won't be setting the pavement on fire.

To its credit though, the engine does handle highway speeds quite well, although the stability of the car at high speeds is not very inspiring. Due to its tall body and narrow stance, it does get bucked and weaved quite a bit by crosswinds.

However, the main reason you'd buy a car like this is fuel economy, and it doesn't disappoint there. I averaged 9.2 litres/100km, which is not bad for a combined circle.

The price of admission won't hurt either, since a base Aveo sedan can be yours for $12,995. So it is cheaper than its opposition from Toyota and Hyundai.

So who should buy this car? I think it makes a good choice for companies who have to put their employees in cars and have to pay for their fuel. Cleaning companies like Molly Maids should look into this car.

Also, if you have a family member in the house who needs a car but doesn't do loads of driving, mostly in the city and needs a new car, then this might just fit their bill.

Not mine, I'd rather spend a little more and get a Honda Fit instead.
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