Cheap... not inexpensive, just cheap
P2135 Engine code
Fuel tank pressure sensor seal (broken by dealer)
--- Above all between 24,000 and 28,000 miles.
Squeaky front bushings (11,000 miles)
Engine mounts rotting (28,000 miles)
Acceleration on flat surfaces is adequate and will get you into highway traffic on medium and long ramps. Short ramps require a running start, and uphill acceleration is horrible. The weak motor is very unrefined and under-engineered, resulting in both poor performance compared to other vehicles such as the Yaris or Accent. Mileage is mediocre given the size of the car. I average 30-33 MPG in about 30/70% city/highway driving. Mileage and performance are both deplorable with the air conditioning running on any road but open highway.
The five speed gearbox is sloppy and unmanageable. Shifting is a chore because the gearbox and motor almost feel as though they're tacked together from two different cars. Matching engine speed is difficult under harder acceleration due to excessive throttle float (Chevy's apparent answer to low-tech higher gas mileage).
Handling is extremely sloppy. Body roll is extreme around most corners. Straightening corners (e.g. - straight through the middle like on a racetrack) is a must unless you brake hard.
Body roll has a tendency to induce nausea in passengers even when they're not prone to car sickness.
Broad body and light frame makes wind buffeting very dangerous on open roads and bridges. The car can easily be pitched over lane markers in a flash when heavy gusts hit the car broadside.
Interior is cheap, but actually somewhat nicer than many pricier GM models. Sound system is excellent. Interior is roomy for the driver and front passenger (given the class of car we're talking about, anyway) and the seats are supportive and comfortable. Backseat leg room is cramped, but not intolerable for kids. Adults will not sit comfortably in the back.
Control positioning, size, and labeling are not great, but reaching controls is not uncomfortable, and does not usually require you to move your eyes from the road.
Cargo room is excellent and the Aveo's high point. The trunk is large and the opening is more substantial than the trunk opening in many larger vehicles. I used this car to help move twice, and took a vacation in it once with no trouble fitting significant cargo and people.
The worst part of the 2006 Aveo is it's shoddy build and suspect reliability. My experience with Chevrolet dealers has also been poor throughout my warranty ordeal with this car.
My vehicle developed minor bucking and surging first thing in the morning - especially when damp - at about 24,000 miles. A check engine finally came on about 1000 miles later, along with the car entering "limp mode".
The dealership initially failed to ask me for any symptoms, instead pulling only the code. They pulled a code for the "Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor" (my own el-cheapo reader and an independent shop with a professional Snap-On reader both pulled P2135 - Throttle Position Sensors disagree). I pressed them slightly to explain how that would cause bucking and surging, and they could not, but I didn't push the issue very hard - they're the professionals, right?
It took one week to get the part in, they failed to notify me, so a week and half after they pulled the code, I returned to have the service performed. They replaced the sensor, I tested the car for about 6 miles in city traffic, and the code immediately returned.
This time I was told they saw the P2135, but testing revealed the PCM to be the issue. They replaced this part in about 2 days and I took the car home.
Leaving the dealership it smelled like gasoline - this made my wife ill by triggering a 2 day migraine - but the smell subsided quickly and I attributed it to an accidental spill in the shop.
Two days after picking up the vehicle it needed fuel, and, at the fueling station, the last gallon of gasoline poured from under the car onto the ground. I had the car towed to the dealership.
They replaced the fuel tank seal they destroyed while pointlessly replacing the fuel tank pressure sensor.
A week and half after taking the car back again, the original surging/bucking returned. At this point, I had unpleasant words with the general manager, who was rather patronizing about the entire thing. This time, they replaced the entire throttle body.
Finally, the car seems to be repaired.
Frankly, the car has not been worth the trouble. It is, indeed, cheap. However, spending a little bit more money on a Civic DX - or even a used Civic or Corolla, or even a Focus - would be much wiser, in my opinion.
I have had nothing but bad experiences with GM dealers - rude or aloof or incompetent all around. I have owned two GMs so far: a Pontiac Grand Am which I had no trouble with (save an SES warning I ignored for 20k miles until it went away on its own) but did not care for and this Aveo. Others have told me they do not share these experiences, but, frankly, I will no longer considering any GM models.
Bottom line: this is a horrid little car with no real redeeming qualities except its cavernous interior. Even if you like GM/Chevy, avoid it like the plague (it's not a Chevy anyway, it's a rotten little Daewoo they just re-branded).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 11th August, 2008