’Ave a look at Chevrolet Aveo

Iain Dooley, Press Association senior motoring writer, looks at Chevrolet's little city car, the Aveo.

Engines – The all-petrol Aveo fleet consists of a choice between 1.2 and 1.4-litre engines – late 2011 saw the introduction of a diesel option. For what is effectively an urban runabout, the petrol motors work well. Neither of them is particularly quick but they are willing and reasonable refined engines.

Exterior – Like many cars in its class the Aveo's classic hatchback shape is a familiar one. The doors open wide for easy access and at the tailgate is a good size and easy to operate. Overall, the styling is conservative, which should ensure broad appeal.

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Interior – As is often the case with lower-cost small cars, dark plastics dominate the cabin. It's nothing to be worried about, and there's always the view that such an interior will be a family-friendly and durable environment. The switchgear is familiar stuff, while cabin space is good enough for a small but growing family.

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Driving – You don't buy an Aveo to race around the back roads, but you do buy one for its agile, town-friendly performance. With its light, accurate steering and slick gearshift it makes city driving easy. The petrol engines might not be that powerful but they're willing and reasonably refined so long as you don't push them too hard.

Ownership – A straightforward car to own, the Aveo excels in town thanks to its compact footprint and good visibility from behind the steering wheel. The small-capacity engines and the promise of above-average fuel economy should ensure savings at the fuel pump and when it comes to taxing your pride and joy.

What to look for – As with any city car it's important to check for parking dents and kerbed wheels. On a recent car like the Aveo there should be very little of either. Walk away if you see more than a light scratch as it could signal unseen damage or abuse. And it goes without saying that any evidence of interior damage should be viewed in a similar light, plus a full, if short, history is essential.

Model history – 2008, Chevrolet launches new Aveo to replace Kalos. The compact supermini offers low-cost motoring for up to five people. The initial petrol-only range consists of 1.2 and 1.4-litre engines, plus the option of an auto gearbox for the latter. Modest equipment across the range include basic safety kit.

Reasons to buy – Low-cost urban transport, easy to drive, willing petrol engines, durable interior.

Reasons to beware – Lots of competition, hard cabin plastics, vocal petrol engines.

Pick of the range – Aveo 1.4 LT.

What to pay – 2008 08 �4,300; 2008 58 �4,475; 2009 09 �4,835; 2009 59 �5,075; 2010 10 �5,450; 2011 11 �6,125. Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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