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  1. Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,621
    #1
    I had a look at the Chevy Aveo 1.4 sedan today.

    It really is 640,000 for the manual transmission and 680,000 for the automatic. Both variants come with ABS, EBD, and two airbags.

    The bad news (insofar as I could find) is that: it is cramped. Granted I'm coming from a Mazda 626 which was a midsized car ten years ago. The front space and legroom is acceptable. It is about 2" narrower across (from driver door handle to passenger door handle) than the 626. It is a whopping 6" shorter from the tip of the dash to the back of the rear seat.

    Entry into the rear of the vehicle is cramped. The rear door is too small. I actually would snag my foot on the door scuff plate on the back door because the gap between the door and the rear seat cushion is too small. And I'm not exactly a large person (5'6"). The trunk is small, although it does have 60/40 split seats in the back.

    The seats are not the most comfortable. They're covered with some nylon-like fabric which probably repels stains well but doesn't feel too cushy (actually the fabric reminds me of those water-repellent backbacks you can buy at SM.. and not the Samsonite ones, the cheesy Chinese ones). The cushions are hard!, there's no sensation of "sinking into the seat." It's more like you're perched uneasily on them. Even the front seats. The rear seats.. feel very much like the 2nd row bench seats in an AUV (although not as bad), they're that hard and unsupportive, and are barely contoured.

    There are acres of really hard plastic. It's soooo non-tactile. The silver trim on the door pulls manage to look cheesy, not classy. The 626 is almost fifteen years old and has better materials inside.

    Now, lest I seem too negative. The car is fully loaded. In addition to the aforementioned ABS and two airbags, it has a fully-integrated MP3-capable sound system (which I didn't get to test); front fog lights, and, get this, Conti tires. No cheap Hankooks here! The doors close with a surprisingly authoritative thud. The City/Jazz doors are tin cans by comparison. The metal work is much better than the City (it was pretty disappointing to see the raw welded joints in the City's door and engine mounts; they didn't even bother to grind them down with a bench grinder! just weld and paint..) it has the nifty Euro-style shifter on the manual (reverse is at the 1st gear position).

    The suspension feels really tight. It's definitely tighter than an Altis J or G. But it absorbs pavement ruts without too much fuss. Not too bad. Engine hum is muted even at higher RPM's. The sales guy claimed 18 km/L fuel economy around the Batangas/Talisay/Sta. Rosa area for the MT. That's good compared to the 11-12 km/L I'm getting with the ancient 626 on provincial drives, but a complete yawn compared to what the City i-DSI gets.

    You might be thinking it's pretty unfair to compare the interior room and appointments of the Aveo 1.4 sedan to the Mazda 626, which cost more, ten years ago than the Aveo costs today.

    I also had a look at the midrange and top-end Honda City today. The City is much larger inside than the Aveo. In fact the size alone (let's not even get into the ULT seats) is a show stopper for the Chevy. The front dash to rear seat back distance of the City is only 2" less than the 626. So the guy who told me that the City has more interior space than the 626 was not quite correct. But in short the City has 4" of additional legroom for the back-seat passengers. And that is quite substantial. Your rear-seat passengers will feel much, much better in the more spacious and more-comfy-cushioned City than they would in the Aveo.

    And the City's boot is absolutely immense.

    Plus, the interior fabrics and plastics of the City (even the midrange 1.3L model) are much better than the Aveo. And the seats are much nicer too, plusher and soft.

    What the Aveo 1.4 has going for it is the built-in safety features (but then there's the 1-star strike against it in the Euro NCAP due to the failed collision cell) and it looks normal and actually pretty good, like a nicer Vios. Not at all like the "busy roach" City. But in all other aspects the City is teh win!

    I will admit -- the safety features are a really good selling point. The Chevy Aveo sedan is the cheapest car you can buy with dual airbags and ABS. So if you "only" have 640k or 680k to spend, and you absolutely must have airbags and ABS, then the Aveo is the only game in town.

    But compared to the top-end Vios 1.5G (723k) or the top-end City 1.5V CVT (725k with discount), the Chevy gets a comprehensive drubbing. It's smaller, less tactile, and less flexible than the City inside (and has a lower-tech engine). And, while it probably would give the Vios a run for the money (since the Vios is small too.. I've never looked inside a Vios though) the Vios has the glittering Toyota brand image and resale value.

    Would I pay 725k for a top-end City 1.5V CVT with dual airbags and ABS/EBD, compared to 680k for an Aveo 1.4 AT with the same safety features? that's a 45,000 advantage. Most likely, yes, the City is superior in every respect except looks. That is unless I was that hard up for 45,000 pesos. The Chevy is nice, but the 3-year old City still beats the crap out of it in my unqualified opinion.

    Would I pay 723k for a top-end Vios 1.5G AT with a single airbag and ABS/EBD compared to 680k for the Aveo? now that's an interesting proposition. I would not buy a Vios because it's too small. But someone who can live with the interior room of the Vios would be faced with an interesting dilemma: get a bit more car (+passenger airbag!) for 43k less (that's your insurance already!) but from a dodgy brand, or go with the safe choice and marquee brand?
    Last edited by orly_andico; November 6th, 2006 at 10:28 AM.

  2. Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,026
    #2
    Great review. But never trust their fuel economy claims especially not one form Chevrolet. I think a buyer should also consider resale value. chevrolets resale value is very low similar to Opel cars.

  3. Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    22,710
    #3
    Actually, some dealer claims are believeable... 18 km/l in that area, considering Orly gets 12 km/l on an engine that struggles to get more than 7 km/l in the city, means that the Aveo 1.4 can get 10 km/l + in the city.

    *orly: nice review... kinda OA on the space, c'mon, we both know that nothing beats the 626 in pimp-style comfort...

    But yeah, even compared to compacts, these cars leave something to be desired in elbow room, though you're right, the City's legroom and trunk space are both very impressive.

    Have you ridden the Getz or the Rio yet? How would you say the back seat compares? I'm of the opinion that the Rio back seat is only second to the City in terms of legroom, and actually equals it in useable headroom.

    Continental tires? How did they sound on the road? (bwehehe: reference to cheap Hankooks!) And how was the sound insulation overall, considering the nice, heavy doors? No issues with the shifter and clutch?

    Ang pagbalik ng comeback...

  4. Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,621
    #4
    Actually, some dealer claims are believeable... 18 km/l in that area, considering Orly gets 12 km/l on an engine that struggles to get more than 7 km/l in the city, means that the Aveo 1.4 can get 10 km/l + in the city.
    Actually yes, the 18km mixed-but-mostly-highway figure is believable, I didn't question the sales guy in that regard. I would expect it could get 12 km/L in the city *cough cough* (well the 18km/L figure is for the manual, since it's a conventional slushbox the AT would fare worse).

    *orly: nice review... kinda OA on the space, c'mon, we both know that nothing beats the 626 in pimp-style comfort...
    Sorry for all the bellyaching about the space.

    Actually I haven't had the opportunity to crawl around too many cars measuring interior space with a tape measure, so I didn't have a whole lot of points of comparison.

    The FD Civic has roughly the same interior width, same front-to-back space, but more front legroom than Ye Olde Warhorse, BTW thanks to that "grand piano" dash which is even bigger than the Warhorse's dash.

    I must say I was a bit shell-shocked by the measly rear legroom of the Aveo, hence my complaints.

    But yeah, even compared to compacts, these cars leave something to be desired in elbow room, though you're right, the City's legroom and trunk space are both very impressive.

    Have you ridden the Getz or the Rio yet? How would you say the back seat compares? I'm of the opinion that the Rio back seat is only second to the City in terms of legroom, and actually equals it in useable headroom.
    Actually, neither. I was wanting to have a look at the much-hyped Rio. But Signet EDSA (who claim to be the pre-eminent Kia dealer) didn't have a unit. And the surly guy on the phone claimed they're not bringing in the hatch. Duh?

    Continental tires? How did they sound on the road? (bwehehe: reference to cheap Hankooks!) And how was the sound insulation overall, considering the nice, heavy doors? No issues with the shifter and clutch?
    These are things I can't measure with a tape measure. So I can't make a quantitative judgement. The Conti tires are 14" 185 series I believe. They are OK, better than the dreaded S306! but I don't know how they'd sound at 80kph, since can't get that speed on a test drive.

    Sound insulation is acceptable. I haven't had the chance to try out a Camry or Accord so I don't know how it stacks up. Probably better than an Altis J (again..) but definitely quite a ways from an Altis G, which should surprise no one..

    The shifter is pretty light, has short throws, and doesn't have much slop. The Honda shifter is better though but what's new.. the steering wheel has two small horn buttons rather than the big "masher pad" in the middle, probably due to the airbag inside. I'm used to the "masher pad" and found it annoying.

  5. Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    22,710
    #5
    The dual buttons are okay... some of the new "masher pads" don't respond well to off-center pushes, and I always use the side of the pad, anyway.

    Anyway, the observations on space match my own, anyway, with regards to the Vios and City. Is the Aveo around the same size as the Vios in the back?

    Hey, are you considering buying? In that case, you really ought to find a dealer with a tester for the Rio, and another for the Getz.

    Interesting that Chevy is going for the "upmarket" feel on the Aveo. So it really is more of a mini-Optra than the old one was. Despite not being a truly smashing car, I expect it to garner a lot of sales.

    Hopefully that crash-test buckler was a fluke vehicle.

    Ang pagbalik ng comeback...

  6. Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,621
    #6
    *niky,

    You're right, it really is being positioned up-market. If you rarely carry >2 people, it's a viable Vios competitor. Lots more kit for a lower price (crash-buckler aside).

    I can't get over those hard-as-boards seats though..

    I do want to have a look at the Rio5. Any truth to that Signet guy's allegations?

  7. Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    22,710
    #7
    He's an idiot. They already had the Rio5 at the Kia show (you should've come, there was a Kia Rio 4-door available for testing) and they have it in their line-up for the year.

    The Rio ain't exactly fully loaded, and it's also covered in hard plastic, but it's a good alternative to the 1.3s also.

    Ang pagbalik ng comeback...

  8. Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,011
    #8
    hey orly is shopping... nice review...

    orly sa moscom ka pa rin ba?

  9. Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    688
    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by orly_andico View Post
    Actually, neither. I was wanting to have a look at the much-hyped Rio. But Signet EDSA (who claim to be the pre-eminent Kia dealer) didn't have a unit. And the surly guy on the phone claimed they're not bringing in the hatch. Duh?
    Those guys from Signet Edsa knows nothing. Wheels E Rod or FMI Q.A. are better.


    BTW. Great review.

  10. Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,621
    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Psylocke View Post
    hey orly is shopping... nice review...

    orly sa moscom ka pa rin ba?
    WTF izz dat yoo Engels?!!

    galit na galit ka pa naman sa Honda Titty

    OT i've been out of mozcom for more than a year now. William is with MDi! ditto for Migs Paraz. co-worker ng wife ko.

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Chevy Aveo 1.4 Sedan Newbie Review