Road Test: Chevrolet Aveo 1.3 VCDi 95 LT Eco 5dr Reviews 2023 | Top Gear
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Thursday 5th October
First Drive

Road Test: Chevrolet Aveo 1.3 VCDi 95 LT Eco 5dr

£13,190 when new
Published: 01 Nov 2011


  • BHP


  • 0-62


  • CO2


  • Max Speed


  • Insurance


Impossibly dull and slightly offensive. That’s how we described the last-generation Chevrolet Aveo. But we’re relieved to report that the latest offering is neither. Actually, it’s quite good. It might even be able to take on the really rather impressive Ford Fiesta.

Both cars return a healthy 78.5mpg and 95g/km of CO2, the latter absolving them from road tax and the Congestion Charge. Which is pretty impressive. Only the Chev costs over a grand less. So what’s the catch?

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There aren’t many, but there are some. And they mainly involve dynamics. It’s not that the Aveo’s dreadful to drive – it’ll scamper through corners without too much body roll, and steering input tallies up pretty well with the direction the car goes. Grip’s impressive, too, although hard cornering does elicit a bit of tyre howl.

Aside from a slightly creepy iron-lung-like noise as the dampers expand and compress, the ride’s composed and more sophisticated than others in its class, too. Around town, it’s particularly absorbent, and a smooth and easy motorway experience doesn’t let it down. But it’s not the fizzy-yet-
composed little hatchback the Fiesta is.

Inside, the plastics feel cheap, but it is rigged with tonnes of kit. Final UK specs haven’t been announced, but expect alloys, aircon, remote locking, USB compatibility and Bluetooth as standard.

Reconciling a larger-than-average human with the back seat is entirely possible, too, and the tall ceiling allows plenty of headroom. There is an annoying lip on the 290-litre boot, though.

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The engine’s also a pleasant little thing. There’s 95bhp available, which is deployed in a turboey lump between 1,800rpm and 2,400rpm. Obviously, it’s far from fast, but it keeps ahead of its peers –

0-62mph takes 11.7 seconds, while the Ford takes 12.3 seconds.

However, at the bottom of the rev range, it sounds rural. And because of the peaky power delivery, travelling through the hills means working the five-speed manual so you’re always on boost.

All the same, considering we’d rather staple our face to the side of a fast-moving train than drive the last one, this is a giant stride forward for Chevy. And it might even furrow brows at Ford. 

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