The Aveo is a massively important car for Chevrolet’s 92 UK dealers.
The current B-segment supermini has accounted for a third of vehicles sold – up to 6,000 cars – and bosses hope the all-new model will do at least the same again.
On sale from September and aimed primarily at retail customers, Chevy won’t talk about specific sales predictions or fleet penetration.
The five-door hatchback has been designed with three buyer types in mind. Firstly, the traditional Aveo owner. Predominantly female and around 50, Chevy bosses say the new car’s conservative styling should keep them on side.
Secondly, families needing a second car, particularly those with teenage children who want a ‘learner’ vehicle. Thirdly, and this is new Chevy territory, a younger demographic in the form of single or newly married professionals.
Chevrolet’s standard trio of trims – LS, LT and the flagship LTZ – will be on offer and prices will start from around £9,000.
However, the exact costs and even what equipment will be standard or optional on each grade has yet to be finalised.
There’s no firm decision on the engine line-up either. A pair of 1.2-litre 86bhp petrol units are available. The standard one offers 51.4mpg and 129g/km of CO2 emissions and is likely to be available for customers looking for an entry level vehicle.
However, insiders say the sales and marketing focus will be on the ‘eco’ variant which offers 55.4mpg and 119g/km.
A 1.3-litre diesel will also be launched, offering stop-start technology and 99g/km, but won’t be a big seller.
The newcomer is 190mm longer and 55mm wider than the outgoing model, and is an improvement in virtually every way.
It has a practical interior with a double glovebox, the upper one housing USB and aux connections.
There are wide door bins and fold-flat rear seating as long as you specify the ‘boot floor’ accessory shelf that creates a level cargo area.
Smart chrome details on the switchgear gives the cabin a touch of class, but unfortunately can’t disguise the hard plastics around them.
With six different grades and shades of grey, and countless join-lines where they fit together, it doesn’t feel very premium.
The plastic steering wheel has audio controls, and behind it is the ungainly ‘part digital part analogue’ instrument cluster that’s carried over from the Spark.
The Aveo offered a comfortable if uninspiring ride on flat Swiss roads.
Time will tell how it handles the more uneven UK ones.
And owners will need to work the five-speed manual transmission pretty hard to get decent performance.