Value is the current buzzword in car buying. As belts are tightening, we are going to take a long look at our economy cars like our Chevrolet Aveo5.
Purchasing an economy car has three distinct benefits. First good gas mileage means that not only are they inexpensive to buy but also inexpensive to run. The second advantage is the warranty that comes with a new car. Another advantage is being the first owner of a vehicle – there may be larger, slightly used vehicles at the same price point, but the owners are unknown.
Economy cars have a social standing that sometimes have people convinced that those who buy one made their decision on price only. They can sometimes be viewed as basic transportation, which gives them little social stature. So the idea with an ideal economy car is not only to spend as little as possible, but also have the appearance that it cost a lot more. That’s how value is measured in an economy car, and that’s how we equipped our Chevrolet Aveo5.
The wedge is a good look on the Aveo. With the chopped back end, chrome accents and sweeping doorline, the car has a somewhat aggressive look. The same holds true for the fascia. Large grille openings and angular shapes give the Aveo5 a tougher image.
One part of that really helps disguise the car’s size is the proportions. Everything from the 15-inch wheels to the door mirrors is the exact right size for the car. This helps give the impression that it is larger than 155 inches (the Aveo5’s actual length).
Inside of the Aveo5 there is a lot more interior space than the diminutive outside would suggest. Everything is laid out to give the feeling of extra room. Elements like the high roofline and low floor area make sure a full family can be in the car and not get claustrophobic. Another space-creating feature is how Chevy set the gauges and controls as far back as possible without making them inconvenient. This gives the driver the same kind of feeling usually reserved for a truck.
The other distinguishing part of the interior is the materials. Paying around $16K for a car (our Aveo5 has a base price of $16,025) usually means giving up some comfort for the sake of the low price. We were surprised at the materials quality of our little hatchback. All the surfaces were made of a good quality material. The plastics had multiple textures and all panel gaps were tight.
The drive of the Aveo5 reveals its city car nature. By its size, the Aveo5 is an obvious candidate for small spaces, but the tight steering reinforces this point. The roadhandling of the Aveo5 is like a simple digital camera: it can fit in areas the size of your back pocket, and you just need to point-n-shoot because the machine does the rest.
The only engine is available is the 1.6-liter four cylinder engine. It makes 103 hp, and that’s plenty when mated to the five-speed manual transmission. The manual allowed us to keep the car in powerband for when we felt like going fast, but can also be used to maximize the fuel economy of the engine (we averaged about 30 mpg without driving too conservatively.)
There are a lot of economy cars out there, and there are a lot of slightly used cars that are down to economy car pricing. This makes the class ultra-competitive, and a car needs to stand out to win customers. The best way to do that is with value.
Our Chevrolet Aveo5 had good road manners, plenty of options, and was a breeze in the city, all without breaking the bank. It didn’t make us feel like we settled for a low-budget car, and that’s what values is all about.