Chevrolet has one of the most difficult branding jobs in the UK with many customers still unsure of its heritage.
Mark Terry, Chevrolet UK managing director, was keen to point out that the brand does want to be seen as American, “but not too American”. The Matiz has gone, so Daewoo could be a distant memory for new car buyers on the lookout for an affordable new car.
The Aveo steps in to complete a range that has renewed itself with decent models like the Cruze and Orlando MPV.
The second generation model moves the Chevrolet brand forward with convincing European looks and the sort of quality and driving refinement that’s good value and perfectly adequate for its intended audience.
There are three trim levels to choose from: LS, LT and LTZ, each sufficiently well put together.
Even in basic trim, the Aveo gets features like air-conditioning, cruise control, remote locking, a rear spoiler, CD stereo radio,
electrically-adjustable heated door mirrors and electric front windows as standard.
The mid-range LT adds larger alloy wheels, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth phone compatibility with music streaming, and a chrome gearknob surround. Top-spec LTZ variants get a leather steering wheel, rear parking sensors and automatic headlights.
The Aveo is particularly spacious in the cockpit and the high driving position gives a clear view of the road ahead.
Customers can choose from 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines and a 1.3-litre turbodiesel in 73bhp and 93bhp guises.
The 1.2-litre petrol is expected to be the best seller, but the best engine of the bunch is definitely the 1.3 VCDi Eco diesel.
The smaller petrol will pootle through town with no trouble, but it really started to struggle when it was taken out on the dual carriageway and undulating country roads around the Cotswolds.
However, the 1.3-litre diesel does not suffer the same problem, offering reasonable performance and there’s no trouble reaching motorway speeds.