Thursday, October 10, 2013

Used Car Review - Chevrolet Aveo Sedan (2006-2013)

So, how about an American car from Korea? Myk Belmonte evaluates this budget car.

2006-2013 Chevrolet Aveo

Bet you didn't know that the Aveo was developed before the GM Buyout in 2002. Intended as the replacement for the Daewoo Lanos, this vehicle used a newer platform and numerous prototypes were shown in different European motor shows between 2000 and 2002.

2002 saw the launch of the Chevrolet Aveo (or Daewoo Kalos in South Korea) which was basically the first car under GM's helm. It was sold in both hatchback and sedan with different engines and assembled in different plants around the world. Affordability with generous heaping of equipment is the aim of this vehicle. This generation has some markets still assembling it until now with the second generation model named as the Chevrolet Sonic.

Initially available in hatchback guise, the sedan was made for sale in 2006 to complement one another. While it has more for less, established names sold more. By the time you read this, Aveos can be purchased brand new with deep discounts and thus, discontinued already. Prior to 2010, the only variant available is the 1.4 LT; added in 2010 were the base L, LT, LT Sport and a 1.6 model.

Value and Costs
Residuals aren't that stellar, which makes an Aveo having a selling price of P280,000-P550,000. This vehicle is a common sight in repossessed bank lots with most units having a remainder of their warranty. But also check private owners since these units are well taken care of.

Fuel economy isn't a strength, so does parts availability (that takes time for it to arrive) and build quality. At these prices, don't expect too much but when rivals of superior quality comes into the picture, reconsider all possible options.

Exterior and Interior
Apart from the trunk, other styling cues involve the following parts: a horizontal one piece grille, and the headlights, tail lights, and the bumpers have a different shape from the hatchback. Unlike other contemporaries, it does not sport an awkward angle. LT models get 15 inch rims while the LT Sport and the 1.6 have 16 inch as standard, same goes with bodykits.

Interior quality is a hard plastic affair, but then you must not complain at these prices. The good thing is that controls for the radio and climate are within the reach of the driver. Space isn't an ace, and the same goes with the trunk space. The first generation Vios has limited space but the City of the same period trumps it. Models with airbags gain a four spoke tiller wrapped in leather, while those without contend with a three spoke in urethane. Also, the manual's reverse gear is situated beside the first gear.

What does the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent (2011-current) have in common? The option of a 1.4 and 1.6 engines. The very common one is the E-TEC II 1,398cc that carries 95hp at 6,200rpm and 130Nm at 3,400rpm. Also from the E-TEC family is a 1,598cc thah packs 103hp at 5,800rpm and 145Nm at 3,400rpm. We wouldn't bother with the 1.6 since finding one is hard; this leaves us with the 1.4 since this is more than enough for your driving needs. It can satisfy your need for speed by reaching the high revs.

Driving Impressions
One seats on a higher position which is good for all-around visibility. Tossing this car around the city or highway is decent enough, but nothing special since you wouldn't be buying this car in the first place. The engine isn't as asthmatic as the hatchback, which is a good thing. Seat comfort is adequate in the somewhat not-so-spacious cabin.

The appeal of the Aveo sedan, when brand new, is great. But as a used car purchase, when other mechanically and quality superior competitors are placed in the picture, the Aveo's advantage suddenly disappears. Before plunging in with this car, check other rivals first since regretting is hard. Price isn't everything in a car.

The Good:
  • Low buying costs
  • Equipment packed
  • More power than the hatchback
The Bad:
  • Toy like plastics
  • Not that fuel efficient against the competition
  • Cramped
The Pick: 1.4 LT

Engines: 1,398cc and 1,598cc E-TEC II I4 gasoline
Power: 95hp @ 6,200rpm (1.4), 103hp @ 5,800rpm (1.6)
Torque: 130Nm @ 3,400rpm (1.4), 145Nm @ 3,400rpm (1.6)
Fuel Consumption: 7-9km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear rigid axle with torsion beam

Price (New): P585,000-P789,000
Price (Now): P280,000-P550,000
Rivals: Toyota Vios, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, Honda City, Ford Fiesta sedan, Mazda 2 sedan
On Sale: 2006-2013

Chevrolet Pasig - (02) 672-1485
Chevrolet Quezon Avenue - (02) 374-1250
Chevrolet Greenhills-EDSA - (02) 477-1888

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