Chevrolet Aveo 1.3 VCDi Eco LT

A supermini Chevy – but is it born to run?

Price: £12,795
Engine capacity: 1.3 litre diesel
Power output (PS @ rpm): 95 @ 4,000
Top speed (mph): 109
0-62 mph (seconds): 11.7
Fuel economy (mpg): 78.4
CO2 emissions (g/km): 95

Chevrolet may have just turned 100 years old, but the General Motors-owned company hasn't really grabbed much attention in Britain until now, which perhaps isn't surprising when it sells competent but dull Korean-made cars with a brash American badge slapped on.

Last year, though, Chevy shifted 4.76 million vehicles worldwide and turned its attention on Europe in a move that will leave rival Ford and fellow GM-stablemate Vauxhall quaking in their production lines.

The new Aveo supermini joins the Cruze, the new Captiva SUV, and the petrol-electric hybrid Volt, in a line-up that's set to make a big impression on the UK market. Or at least so Chevy hopes...

It won't be an easy ride for the little challenger; it's up against more than 20 superminis on sale today in a squeezed section of the market where profits (parents splashing cash on their teenage offspring) are hard to come by.

Much has been made of its unusual headlight clusters, massive badge, trademark grille and space-age instrument cluster (a genuinely nice touch), but its design is unlikely to set pulses racing in all but the most boorish petrolhead circles.

What will really attract teens – or more accurately their parents – is its low price, high levels of kit, excellent fuel economy and high safety standards. Even the entry-level model (from £9,495) comes equipped with electric front windows, air-con and cruise control. However it is probably worth investing a little more for the LT model, which adds Bluetooth, steering-wheel mounted controls, alloy wheels and an iPod dock. More pleasing for worried parents is that all models come with a five-year warranty, six airbags and a 5-star NCAP rating for safety.

Aside from teenagers, the other constituency of buyers will likely be eco-aware and space-savvy city drivers. They'll appreciate its tiny turning circle, light steering and low emissions, which come in under the magic 99g/km for vehicle excise duty and congestion charge free motoring. If they do venture out of town they'll find the engine – I tested the high-powered diesel but there is a smaller diesel and several petrol engines – nippy enough for B-roads and just about able to hold its own on the motorway. You'll have to work the gears hard, though, and with more than two adults onboard, the promised fuel economy becomes a pipedream.

There are other niggles; the plastic skirt at the bottom of the front bumper on my test model made a scraping noise over tall sleeping policeman and there's an unfathomably huge void to the left of the clutch pedal, which seems to run right down into the engine. But what do you expect for a car that starts at just £10k? The Aveo isn't perfect – it's a great all-round package with lots of kit, plenty of space and adequate performance. And if I were an executive at Ford or Vauxhall, I'd be starting to worry.

The competition

Its main rivals are the Vauxhall Corsa and the Ford Fiesta, both are a little larger but have less kit. The Hyundai i20 is a good-value alternative.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
filmEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

    Systems Administrator (SharePoint) - Central London - £36,500

    £35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...

    Biology Teacher

    £90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently recruiting...

    .NET Developer / Web Developer / Software Developer - £37,000

    £30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering