Recently I had to duck out of a lease on a different vehicle because of excessive driving. I needed something cheap and efficient. Called up the local Chevy dealer and nabbed an Aveo for well under $200/mo.
Price aside, however, the Aveo stands well on its own in a crowded market.
The first thing that occurred to me in the weeks following the purchase was just how much quieter the Aveo is than my previous car, a Pontiac G6 (and I could buy three Aveos for the cost of one G6 at the price I received). The car rides fine over bumps and dirt roads. The front wheels have a tendency to lose their footing a bit, but it's to be expected. The ride as a whole stays calm and quiet.
The Aveo is roomy inside in the front seat. I have a good pal that was so impressed with mine, he went and got one himself. He stands six and a half feet tall and weighs in at about 320. No joke. You will find room enough in the front of this car. The rear is somewhat less appealing, but I've hauled a full car-load of four passengers around for an extended period and didn't receive any complaints, so it can't be that bad.
Options are limited, I miss having A/C, for example, and the stock radio was AM/FM ONLY, no cassette or CD. So I did the right thing and put two 12" sub-woofers, a head unit, and replaced all the stock speakers. Not a single problem with it so far, and it went a long way towards making the car more suitable for extended commutes.
Car is surprisingly grippy and acceleration is actually not that bad, so long as you're willing to put the pedal down. There's no power below 2000rpm, it comes on pretty well past that, but the real fun starts at 4200rpm. The engine winds up and actually puts reasonable power down, perhaps something to do with that variable geometry intake. Holding the lower gears as long as possible nets decent passing and merging power. Just be willing to stay in third until 70mph when getting on the highway if traffic is heavy. Despite all this revving and the down-shifting I do, I have averaged 34.4mpg over the whole of the 4000+miles I have on the car right now. Started off around 31 and has gotten steadily better since. It is a little unnerving to see the tach at 3200rpm on the highway, but it's not exactly noisy, and I suppose the short gears are really necessary given the lack of power in the Aveo's little engine. Larger wheels and tires would bring this down a bit, and I intend to swap my 13" wheels for some utilitarian-looking 15" aluminums in the near future.
I catch a bit of flak for owning such a small-looking car, but once people get in, feel the ride, hear the sounds, and marvel at the gas mileage, that full size truck starts looking pretty bad.
Aveo is cheap, very efficient, and even though it lacks some basic things like air conditioning and a center armrest, it's proven perfectly adequate so far. While I miss the added power of my previously V6-equipped cars, the fuel economy more than makes up for it. This college student is pretty impressed.