2010 Chevrolet Aveo 5 1LT 1.6L 4 cylinder


For a used fuel economy car, I'd say there's just no better choice!


I got it used, but I needed a whole new set of tires after about eight months, which I was told by my dealer might happen.

I've also been recommended that I change the brake fluid, and the brakes themselves are in middling condition.

The cabin light has needed changing once.

I guess I've not had any deficiencies, myself. I'm just kind of cleaning up after the last owner as I go along.

General Comments:

It's been a very pleasant surprise. I got it because I had to have good gas mileage, and I wanted something that was fairly new. I ended up with an automatic 2010 hatchback Aveo5 with approximately 63,000 miles driven... which was close to perfect for my model year, fuel estimate, and miles driven expectations... and I quickly found it to be much more than I realized I had thought it could be.

Its most surprising aspect is the power. I know what the specs on the engine are, but I feel that I get more output than that whenever I'm driving it. I've never been uncomfortable or nervous driving in high speed eight lanes with trucks, semis, and other sedans. It doesn't feel like a sports car's zero-sixty in point-one seconds to me, but I keep up happily with heavy traffic with my pedal to the metal and responsive cruise. The gas mileage is predictably fantastic, but I'm pretty sure I'm getting more than the 25/34/28 estimated with the automatic. I've never tested it, but... I don't know, it just feels like I'm averaging higher fuel economy than that. I know, at least, that it takes days of concentrated driving before it needs 20-25 dollars of fuel again. I'm riding at the manual's 27/35/30, at the very least, I have to be... I can only imagine what the manual's actual mileage might be...

It's also electrically powerful. I've never seen a car warm up so quickly in such cold four-season weather, and it charges my phone on my many long trips like a champion. Its speakers are a little quiet sometimes, but definitely not sub-par. Its lights are comfortingly bright, both inside and out. Its turning is pretty impressive for highway merging and country driving. Its heating and air conditioning are effective, and quick at bringing that effect on. Its basic functions like wipers and power-assisted dynamics are quick to run at the immediate prompt. It always feels ready behind its relaxed demeanor.

I've had a lot of comments about its interior being very comfortable. I've often been asked to drive for long trips and nights out in it for the convenient design style. It's very roomy, with a friend of mine and her six-foot husband sitting very comfortably in it with all five seats occupied. The usability factor is high, having lots of little places to keep things when I've needed to bring cargo, especially with the hatchback storage. Some of it, like the pop-out cupholders, may be of an older styling persuasion, but they work so well for me, which is exactly as I want from a budget-minded, practicality-emphasized car like this one is. My trim level is a 1LT, so it comes in a cloth and plastic material combination, but its economic attributes has done nothing to make it uncomfortable for me or any of my passengers. From behind the driver's seat, it's easy to adjust it for myself. My favorite part about it is the charming accessibility of it. It's notably logical and easy to use, requiring little more than a few glances and a short trip or two for me to learn it. It's overall very comfortable, especially at night, with its ambient lighting and quietly smooth glide.

Aesthetically, its exterior design does not seem like a standout to me, but again, I've had a lot of good comments about it. It certainly doesn't feel like an unattractive car. Its front is impressive with fog lights and its headlamp shape. Its side view makes it seem a bit shorter, both length and height-wise, than it really is, which can come off as strange-looking in certain lightings and parking lots. Having a rear spoiler on mine makes a noticeable bit of difference for me; I've seen a few Aveo5s without it, and I think it looks less attractive that way. Mine is in a sharp, dark blue color with charcoal interior. It's a pleasant combination of colors, and it does the job very non-offensively. It isn't the kind of car that draws eyes from a parking lot of people around, but it's stylish up close once someone does take notice of it. Since I enjoy a certain amount of anonymity, I like that I don't get stared at by everyone around me that I don't know when I'm going everywhere. So it's a good fit for me, but it may not be the one for those who like to catch everyone's attention.

It isn't perfect, though. I love 95-98% of it, but I do have a couple of things I wish were different. My most immediate annoyance was the daytime running lights; I've always been put off by that, and on the Aveo, even the day lights are brighter than usual. Secondly, I've never liked telematics, and the Aveo came with a three-month OnStar trial; I promptly found that to be a huge irritation that was hard to use, and from second-hand experiences that I've seen through others that I know, there is some un-dismiss-able issue there that I had to remove from the car for my peace of mind's sake. I also wish that it had an all-wheel drive mode trim level; it does pretty well for a subcompact in the winter time, but it would be better with all-wheel drive. And finally, it came with a somewhat vague instruction manual; for things like when I needed to change the cabin light, I eventually had to look up how to do it online, and I've found that to be a fairly-common occurrence with run of the mill issues like that, where I should be able to get a little more info out of the book.

Overall, though, it's been such a great find for my life. It's a tough little thing, but not at the expense of noteworthy ambiance and comfort. It serves its fuel efficient, economy angled purpose very well, and provides above-acceptable means for getting around. It's very solid and warmly inviting. I've hit the road in it on many happy occasions, and it's never failed to be there for me. It has a special place in my heart, and I would recommend it for people looking for a slightly older, broken in car for this class of a vehicle. Especially as a starter car, or a car for jobs with traveling, I've never been able to call it less than a wonderful option!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th April, 2015

2010 Chevrolet Aveo LT 1.6 I4


Perhaps the worst car I've driven


Door reflector on door fell off, engines made strange squeaking sound at startup.

General Comments:

We rented this car for a week in Colorado, basically because I'm a cheap-skate, and this was the cheapest car the rental agency had. First of all I understand this is car is a cheap econo-car. But even so, this had to be about the poorest excuse of a car I've ever driven. I'll start with the good.

The Good:

The car got great fuel economy. I've read it's supposed to get around 35MPG. But I swear it must have been getting close to 40MPG, because we seldom filled it up. The model we had, the LT model, had a surprisingly generous compliment of features: Power windows, mirrors, remote entry and trunk, a halfway decent stereo, and a well laid-out interior. The interior materials were definitely cheap, but tastefully done. I'd say the fit and finish was above average for similar econo-cars. The seats were comfortable for me, but not for my wife, who is taller.

The Bad:

Acceleration was non-existent. I've never driven such an absolute sluggish car in all my life. That's saying a lot, given that I've only ever driven small Toyota and Nissan cars and trucks with 4 cylinder engines. Compared to the Aveo, our 2002 Prius is a hot-rod. Taking the Aveo out on the freeway meant re-thinking about exactly how far away oncoming traffic was, because punching the gas had almost no result except that the little engine absolutely wailed, almost redlining itself as it slowly sped up. The car had no power for going up hills. At one point we were climbing a moderate hill on the freeway at 60MPH. The car simply wouldn't go any faster.

When we picked up the Aveo, it had 4 miles on the odometer. One would imagine everything would be absolutely perfect, given it was practically un-driven. But on the first night - as in within the first 5 miles of driving it, one of the reflectors mounted to the door fell off on the parking lot. Not a big deal, but still... the car had less than 10 miles on it.

On the 3rd day, the car began to make a squeaking sound when the engine was started. In fact, when driven hard, there was a distinct smell of burning engine belts. I'm familiar with this smell as I repair small engines and riding mowers. The smell was the same as you get with slipping mower deck belts. I have no idea if this was what was causing the noise, but I didn't fool with it.

Overall, I was not left with a great impression. While it's not fair to pass judgment in regards to reliability for a 5 day rental car, my experience with it gave me little reason to trust its long-term reliability. Especially given that something like a Honda Civic can be bought for just a few thousand more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th August, 2010

30th Jan 2011, 18:43

You do know the engine does not have a lot of torque, don't you?

13th Feb 2011, 19:23

We rented one of these too. I think I'm going to ask for a refund. Worst car I've ever driven too, and I've driven a lot of 4 cyl in my day too.

27th Mar 2011, 19:40

It shouldn't come as any surprise that it's a bad car. The Aveo was produced by two companies that both went bankrupt.

9th Jan 2016, 18:29

I realize that this post is an old one... It's a bit harsh to condemn a car just because there is a loose engine belt? This could happen to any car. It could also be a faulty belt pulley, which again could happen to any car... easily repaired if it was. A reflector falling off is scarcely a reason to judge a car on as well.

I do agree though that if a car doesn't perform very well, then that's a good reason. Sluggish cars are a drag to drive and will poison any driver's experience. 60 miles per hour up a hill though is probably what I would have expected from a commuter car like this... although there are some great little 4 cylinder motors that really go well... poor gear ratios and poor power to weight ratio is probably the reason. These are heavy little cars for their size...

5th Mar 2018, 19:42

It's obtuse to lump all 4 cylinder engines under one umbrella for comparison. Despite sharing the same number of cylinders, there is a vast range of characteristics these engines can possess. It's pointless to compare the Aveo's 1.6 I4 to, say, the 2.4 in a Malibu -- the latter come with a car that is over $10k more expensive.