San Francisco: A
founding principle of General Motors was to supply a car for every
financial level of buyer, and then work those customers up through the
system. So, if you could snag a young motorist with modest means into
your Chevrolet showroom, you could eventually sell them a Pontiac, an
Oldsmobile and then a Buick on the way up to a Cadillac when they made
buyers and retirees are attracted to the low sticker price of Toyota and
Honda’s starter cars as well as models from the ascendant Korean
manufacturers of Hyundai and Kia.
GM has entered the fray
with its Aveo, which although it wears the GM “chiclet” on its fender
and the Chevrolet name on its trunk lid, it’s made by Daewoo, which is a
quiet member of GM’s worldwide network of automaking. The captive Korean
is selling pretty well, and to speed up the process, GM has thoroughly
updated the sedan version of the car, which is sold alongside the
previous generation five-door hatchback.
Entry-level cars are
designed to provide affordable, reliable, and economical transportation.
The real challenge, with the above constraints, is to add some enjoyment
and pride to the experience, and my Victory Red Aveo LS seemed up to the
Slightly longer and
wider than its predecessor, and with more attractive “big car” styling,
it was not embarrassing to be seen in. With its chrome grille, sparkly
headlights and taillamps and mini-Audi lines, it doesn’t look like a
Inside the Aveo,
today’s trend toward metallic accents is apparent and well rendered. No
surfaces cry out “budget” when you see them. Although the interior
panels are mostly hard plastic, they don’t look particularly cheap, and
they wear a European car style satin finish.
My tester featured
hand-crank windows, which was a nostalgic throwback to my first cars
years ago, and old-fashioned thumb buttons on the steering wheel
activate the horn. But the Aveo otherwise feels modern and comfortable,
and starts at just $11,950.
The LS model comes with
intermittent wipers, air conditioning, a rear window defogger, tilt
steering wheel, AM/FM stereo audio system with four speakers and a place
to plug in your iPod, a digital clock, and even vanity mirrors on the
sunvisors. The LT model adds more, including larger, 15-inch alloy
wheels, heated outside mirrors, cruise control and keyless entry, power
windows (thank goodness), a CD player with two extra speakers for the
audio system, and fancier seats.
Numerous options are
available, and my LS tester had almost $2,000 worth, which made it more
like an LT. It even flaunted a small spoiler on its trunklid! Items like
cruise control, upgraded sound system, alloy wheels (14s, not 15s), and
antilock brakes brought my tester to $14,500, still a pretty modest
Modest is a good way to
describe the power under the hood. The Aveo uses a 1.6-liter inline
four-cylinder engine, typical in the entry-level segment. It puts out
103 horsepower and 107 lb-ft. of torque, which propels the 2,500 pound
car along well, as long as you don’t plan to accelerate briskly uphill
or race anyone for pink slips. Through the five-speed manual, the car
feels up to the job, cruising quietly on the freeway and darting about
nimbly in the city. A four-speed automatic is available.
The Aveo earns fuel
economy ratings of 27 City, 37 Highway, which are good if not class
leading. Its environmental rating on the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide is 7
for the Air Pollution score and 8 for the Greenhouse Gas score. That
puts it on page 4 of an 82-page list, and demonstrates how small engines
simply put out less pollution.
Although the Aveo is
meant to attract first-time and economy-minded buyers in America, around
the world it will eventually represent GM in more than 120 countries,
usually as a Chevrolet, and it is currently the top-selling Chevrolet
model in Europe.
The Aveo sedan is more
of a grown-up sedan in miniature than, say, a trendy hatchback like a
Scion XB, but it offers a lot of car for the money and appears to be
well made and Chevrolet dealers are everywhere if you need them.
I peeked online and it
looks like the tuning industry for the Aveo is getting started.
Appearance customization and power boosts are on the horizon, and that
could make the compact Aveo become a personal statement as well.
Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Chevrolet Home Page
content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: The Aveo
is a grown-up sedan in miniature
Topic: The 2007
Word Count: 805
Photo Caption: The
2007 Chevrolet Aveo
Chevrolet Aveo Internet Media
Series #: 2007 - 22
the Microsoft Word version here:
2007 Chevrolet Aveo
Download the Original Image File here:
2007 Chevrolet Aveo