2004 Chevrolet Aveo Base LS? sedan 1.6L? from North America
An embarrassing choice for someone who usually does their homework
Drive belt was replaced under warranty by a small town Chevy dealer the day after I bought it.
The clock display flickers constantly. As I've also lost a number of bulbs (headlight and turn signal), I suspect a wonky electrical system, or simply systematic 'moderate' build quality.
Crunching noise that gets worse in cold weather, but apparently isn't the front end suspension exploding.
Really random fuel economy. In town, in moderate weather, as low as @ 23 mpg. After two years, occasional highway or mixed driving can get @ 40 mpg or better. Difference seems extreme, and highest is still not as advertised.
Body has several small dents, especially around trunk - suspect from people leaning on it or resting things on the trunk lid.
My last car was elderly and much abused, but continued to be a happy surprise for reliability, build quality and just good passenger car engineering. Plus it looked cool (red wedge, 1989, built 1988, with pop up headlights). I also miss the A/C and non-leaking sunroof.
I do believe that concerns about build quality in this car, and the horrible reputation of the factory installed drive belt letting go before 100 000 km, mean it is a substantially inferior car to my ancient Toyota.
I wasn't in a position to maintain my old car, and thought it would be 'prudent' to get a car that still had warranties on it, as well as supporting people who make cars in North America, and buying locally at a small shop.
It cost me much more to buy this car outright than to rebuild the body on my old car. This 'American' car is apparently designed and built by Daewoo of South Korea, who as far as I can tell, went out of business building construction equipment in an area of the world where economies continue to boom. And the dealer didn't check out the drive belt specifically, as I requested.
The car is not completely awful. I am 5 feet tall and can drive it comfortably. I do find that, as in most American cars, pillars block many sightlines (not so bad in a 2 door, but this is 4). I like the fact that I apparently can't lock the driver's door from the inside while it's open - so way harder to lock keys in. The electric blue would look way better on a classic Camaro, but makes the car easy to find in a parking lot. Easy enough to handle. Seats are more comfortable than some of the old family Fords.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 29th November, 2010