2011 Chevrolet Aveo Review

A review of the Chevrolet Aveo that covers pros and cons, available options, powertrains and overall driving performance.

On paper, the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo looks as if it could be a front runner in the subcompact economy car segment. Cheap price? Check. High fuel economy? Got that. Respectable handling. Yep. The problem (for the Aveo) is that even in this bargain-basement class of vehicles, there are still better choices.

The Aveo does have its share of attractive qualities that include OnStar (with six months of free access to the Directions and Connections plan) and available upscale features such as Bluetooth connectivity and a sunroof. Chevy also gives you a few ways to spiff up this little car with vibrant color choices and available faux carbon-fiber interior accents.

But those perks aren't enough to offset the Aveo's bland styling and middling performance. Granted, folks don't expect blazing acceleration in this class, but rivals such as the 2011 Ford Fiesta and 2011 Kia Soul offer more pep. Part of the reason is that they have better-performing manual gearboxes as the Aveo's is geared rather tall, blunting performance in highway merging and passing maneuvers.

Going tire-to-tire against its competitors, the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo comes up short in nearly every category. The 2011 Honda Fit, 2011 Nissan Versa and 2011 Suzuki SX4 are more enjoyable to drive, have nicer interiors and, in some cases, provide considerably more cargo capacity. Before going with an Aveo, we highly suggest cross-shopping it with the others or even lightly used versions if a low purchase price is of the utmost importance. You might also want to wait a little, as Chevy will be redesigning the 2012 Aveo to be a much more enticing choice.