DRIVEN: 2012 CHEVROLET AVEO

There are plastic cars and then there are PLASTIC cars. We can safely include the Chevrolet Aveo in the latter category. We realize automotive manufacturers have to cut costs in order to produce a cheaper vehicle but they definitely took it too far with this one. But we will get to that in a bit. The Aveo is GM’s attempt at cutting into the budding compact car market segment in India but we wish they had done a little more homework before launching this one.
Plus: We tried hard to find a positive point about this car and could end up with just one. And it isn’t a wholehearted plus point either. The price. For the 1.4L petrol model (that along with the CNG version is offered in India), you don’t pay as much as a car with a similar engine capacity. That and you get a decent amount of space for 5 adults inside (as long as they aren’t over 6’1″). That’s it.
Minus: For starters, as soon as you step in, you are bathed in plastic. And plastic in different shades and colors. We tried to figure out if there were any other cars that we tested that even came close to having this much plastic inside and were unsuccessful. We are not saying using plastic is a bad thing. The bad thing is when said plastic rattles incessantly regardless of what activity you are trying to perform. This might be overlooked if there was some performance delivery from the engine. But you would be sorely mistaken. The 1.4L petrol version we drove puts out about 93HP and every time you step on the gas pedal, it seems to take forever to get up to speed (we drove the manual version). Ride quality and handling are mediocre at best and at times we felt like we were riding in a horse carriage. The mileage is also sub-par and we got about 10 kilometers per liter in the city and about 14 on the highway. This brings us to another issue. Why is the petrol version the most marketed version in India? It isn’t like the cost of petrol is cheap or anything. Ok so GM realized their folly and introduced a CNG version. Have they really driven around these parts to see how many places actually offer CNG to fill up your car? You’ll be standing in line behind buses and auto rickshaws trying to fill it up. Remember the cost factor we talked about earlier? Well, try to add some options and the price goes up significantly. You know, things like airbags, ABS or an MP3 player.
Overall: Here is a market that is ripe for the plucking if GM play their cards right. Unfortunately this isn’t the case with the Aveo. We can honestly say the Aveo is the worst car that we have tested here at hapless geek… and we’ve had our fair share of unsatisfactory drives. Someone at GM must have been smoking something good to green light their entry into the Indian market with this offering. It is a good thing GM has other models like the Beat and Cruze which are actually doing well in the market.
The Chevrolet Aveo is currently on sale in India from Rs. 6,30,000 (~$12,000) to Rs. 7,80,000 (~$15,000) depending on options.
 
View the complete specifications of the Chevrolet Aveo.

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