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It's an Aveo-lution!

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2008 11:00PM
Reviewed by: sirhceew
Car reviews written (2)
Similar cars tried: All previous and current Aveo models.
Fuel consumption: 13.5km/litre
Drive pattern: Refer to my review for the full writeup. Thanks.
Duration of car driven: Less than 1 month
Performance:
Reliability:
Value:
Overall:

The Review

HOW IT STARTED News of the 2009 Aveo5 were already making its way round the internet pages long before it reaches our shores. The problem was that most initial writeups were sketchy. One big challenge was that these reviews were made based on the 1.6L versions meant for the European/US markets. Since the 1.6L variant is not coming to our sunny lsland, it left me wondering how different then will the local Aveo be. With help from the early photos, it kept my interest tempting enough that I wished I could lay my eyes on the real one. So when the new Aveo5 hit our shores and Chevrolet Singapore ran a publicity for its exclusive launch event to be held at Marina Square, I rushed to get myself registered and thankfully, managed to secure an invitation. AT THE EXCLUSIVE LAUNCH On that faithful day, I made my way down to the launch; with many questions in my mind that I hope will become answers after the event. Reaching there, I was greeted with much visual delights. The launch was impressive indeed, especially when the new Aveo5 breaks its cover and show itself to Singaporeans for the first time! After all the fanfare was over, I walk up to the new Aveo5 for a closer look. First thing that struck me was that it actually looks much better in real life than in photos. A slow walk about around the car allows me to pick up the changes and differences over the outgoing model. At first glance, the new Aveo5 appears slightly longer. It spots a brand new front with the Chevy badge running upfront against the black honeycombed grille. The new one piece headlamp seems to help the Aveo says: “Hey look! I'm the younger brother of Epica.”. Nearer to the ground lies the nicely integrated fog lamps that come standard. 2 sporty fender vents can also be seen on each side of the car, just before the side mirrors. Hope they are functional and can help disperse some heat from the engine bay. For the rear, I sees new tail lamps that is very continental like, a spotier rear bumper with the same honeycombed mesh that runs parallel to the ground, near to where the exhaust pipe is, and a rear spoiler to finish off the sporty outlook of the car! Overall the new Aveo5 looks grown-up in the right places. The front is now more distinct, emitting a better road-presence aura. The now more prominent golden bow tie also helps anchor it's continental heritage better. Together with the side fender vents, the sporty honeycombed mesh and spoiler, this new Aveo5 presents to you a car that is matured, with a tad agressive frontal looks and a hint of sportiness to go along. Only thing that I felt did not went along well with this new package is the wipers. Although they are 100% functional, but these OEM ones looked so outdated and really doesn't compliment the new Aveo5's outlook. TAKING A STEP INSIDE Satisfied with the exterior, it's time for me to step into this new Aveo5. Opening the driver's door, I was greeted with a brand new interior, similar to those found in the Aveo sedans that received their facelifting one year earlier. Gone were the dull greyish colours and plastics that felt cheap. This change puts it on par with many household names, if not better. The driver seat itself is position, height and incline adjustable. The seat material offers good support and the headrest is adjusted too. After settling down comfortably into the driver's seat, I began to scrutinize the interior in more detail. Fittings on the dashboard is wonderful. Door panels and the gear stick area are matching although some of their surface did not flushed as nicely like the dashboard and center console. But then again, for a car priced at around fifty grand, such finishing is already very commendable. Instrument panels and controls were sensibly positioned and could be reached without much stretching. The side rear view mirrors have magnifying properties and that help to enlarge the things you see. Adjusting them is a breeze with help from the car's electric mirror control. The center rear view mirror also offers very good anti-glare qualities at just a flick of the lever. There were also various storage pockets to help accomodate your personal items. After satisfying myself from the driver's perspective, I moved on to the front passanger's seat and subsequently the rear. All seats were equally supportive, came with their own headrest and were well trimmed. Legroom for all positions were good and car should be able to ferry 4 passangers without much difficulties, unless your passanger is not the average sized asian. Lastly, the boot space. It is considered reasonable for a hatchback. However, if the need to carry bulky items arises, the rear seats do have a 60:40 splitting capability, allowing you the flexibility to increase the loading space. Popping the hood, I see a neatly laid out engine bay. Kudos to the GM engineers for looking into the ease of maintenance and serviceability for this car. Having seen the looks and felt the interior, I suddenly wished for a chance to test drive this new Aveo5. THE TEST DRIVE EXPERIENCE This wish came true and with courtesy of GM Singapore, a test drive was arranged and I got to spend a few days with this new Aveo! Hummm, so wishing upon a star does help! Cool! Best of all, the good people from GM even top up a full tank for the test drive car – a yellow Aveo5, 1.4L manual ride running on 185/60R14 rubbers with factory fitted sports rims. Starting up the car was straight forward and the engine runs surprisingly quiet at idle. Inside, the aircon cools down the cabin pretty fast and keeps it cool throughout the drive. The built-in audio unit and factory fitted speakers produce fairly good quality sound too. No complaints in this area. As with continental cars, the signal lever is on the left while the one that controls the wipers is located on the right side of the steering column. For drivers who are used to driving Japanese cars, they'll need time to get accustom to this setup. Next, I took the car for familiarisation drive through town centers and housing estates. The start stop traffic allows me many opportunities for my hands and legs to get oriented in the shortest possible time. So how's thing for a start? Well, the gearshift is smooth and precise. It shifts into gears nicely and that feels good. For the gas padel, there seems to be a bit of free play initially but a quick adjustment of the throttle cable at the engine bay solved the problem. Brakes feels sure footed and the braking force seems proportioned to the pressure applied on the padel. Lastly the clutch padel, it is at the just-right position. Changing gear is simply a case of clutch in, change gear and clutch out. If all Aveo5s are going to leave the assembly plant with this setting, there will be many happy Aveo drivers to come. During this heartland driving, I kept the revs below 2000rpm for each gear change. Engine feels smooth, stays quiet and is able to keep up with the traffic. The suspension works respectably to provides a comfortable ride. During braking, the car's front also did not dived as hard as I expect it to. It seems GM had done some fine tweaking for the new Aveo5. Steering has very good response too. It's not too light and the car will simply turns to where you point it to. After getting familiar with the basics, my next focus is its drivability. For the next 48 hours, I drove it throughout the day. From the cool morning, to busy peak hours, to hot and wet afternoons and the cold nights. From inside our busy city roads to our major expressways, to our industrial areas and then the countryside roads. Practically I drove it all over Singapore. Cruising down the expressways, this new Aveo5 does 80km/h at about 2000rpm and 100km/h at 3000rpm. Sweetspot for achieving best fuel consumption for this car should be between 80km/h to 90km/h. That will help you clock the extra miles and also stay away from troubles with the Traffic Police. Engine noise is negligible but I suspect the OEM fitted tires were doing injustice as road noise became more audible from 80km/h onwards. Wind noise starts to intrude the cabin at about 100km/h. Again, the well setup suspension soaks up all the irregularities with ease. Another commendation I want to make is the strong mid range torque of this car. Power comes slightly after 2500rpm and pulls strongly all the way till 4000rpm. Did not went beyond 4000rpm cos this test car is still in the run in stage. Off the expressways and to our countryside roads, the Aveo took all the twist and turns in a sure-footed manner, yet retaining the same level of comfort for its occupant. Pushing it harder into corners will bring about slight understeer. A quick lift-off from the gas padel brings the car back in line easily. Another surprise came from the stock rubbers. They were pretty good and offers assuring grip both on dry and wet surfaces. Lastly, I took it for a sprinted drive along Old Thomson Road. All I can say was, it left me beaming brightly from ends of my face after it. RETURNING THE RIDE When I drove the Aveo5 back to GM's office, it clocked slightly more than 300km on the odometer and the fuel needle is resting at the half tank mark. Impressive considering that this car had only covered about 3500km! The FC figures should improve after completing the run in. How I wished I could continue driving it. PARTING WORDS Going through an evolution, the new Aveo5 has indeed grown up; with better looks and improvement in many areas over the outgoing model. Together with it's current price tag, this is one package that all car-hunters with a sub S$50000 budget should seriously look at. For more boot space, go for the sedan. AVEO5 SPECS 1,399cc, DOHC 16 valves, inline 4, 5-speed manual, churning out 94bhp/6200rpm and 130Nm/3400rpm, Top speed of 178km/h and a 0-100km/h timing of 12.3secs.

Strengths

Refer to my review for the full writeup. Thanks.

Weaknesses

Refer to my review for the full writeup. Thanks.


Latest Response:


sirhceew
Yishun, Singapore
Member Offline
Responded on: 21 Aug 2008 9:03PM

Hi carbuyer, thanks for your response. asdzds

carbuyer
Singapore
Member Offline
Responded on: 20 Aug 2008 9:20PM

Sound like another SUV, or always caught in traffic jams asdzds

sirhceew
Yishun, Singapore
Member Offline
Responded on: 19 Aug 2008 11:08PM

Most Welcome Eber. Glad you find it useful. asdzds

Evan
Singapore
Member Offline
Responded on: 18 Aug 2008 2:09PM

Thanks for the detailed review! very helpful :) asdzds

Update on 1st Review

Reviewed on 6 Jan 2008 3:20PM
Reviewed by: tmvc
Car reviews written (2)
Similar cars tried: See other review
Fuel consumption: 11.5km/litre
Drive pattern: If the car's gauge is accurate, the fuel consumption tends to go between anywhere from 9.5 to 13 km a litre. I'd peg at around 11 - 12.
Duration of car driven: Less than 1 month
Performance:
Reliability:
Value:
Overall:

The Review

An updated review on my 1st review. The car drives very nicely. Fuel consumption has improved. Aircon works fine but the right centered vent aims right at my indicator and steering wheel. The left centred vent can't reach me as it's designed for the passenger. These are minor comments though. Overall, still a nice car to drive.

Strengths

See other review

Weaknesses

Windshield wipers are weak! Aircon is strong but ill positioned.

Comfortable Ride & Value for Money

Reviewed on 17 Dec 2007 6:58PM
Reviewed by: tmvc
Car reviews written (2)
Similar cars tried: Honda Accord; Subaru Legacy; Toyota Camry; VW Passat
Fuel consumption: 10km/litre
Drive pattern: Am getting about 10 km / litre right now - which is still not what the salesman told me - he said I should be getting around 12 km / litre. We'll see if that holds up
Duration of car driven: Less than 1 month
Performance:
Reliability:
Value:
Overall:

The Review

My car of choice was the Honda Accord but I didn't like the dashboard which had a nasty reflection in the windscreen. The Subaru's engine was nice but the car was small. The Camry was nice but not as quiet as I wanted it to be. I tested this by chance while crossing the road from Subaru at Leng Kee. I was pleasantly surprised by the ride of the Epica - I'd never sat or driven in a Daewoo / Chevy before so I didn't know what to expect. Definitely for comfort riders like myself. The pricetag was nice and the value for money - with an mp3 input among other features - is hard to beat. Even the higher priced Subaru didn't have electronic controls on the car seat adjustments. If there's a foible - the back styling of the Epica isn't brilliant. But otherwise, worth a drive for those looking at the competition. At nearly 20 k less than a camry - this was worth it.

Strengths

Quiet, Smooth, Nice Sound System, Lots of Features

Weaknesses

Make & Durability yet to be tested - still new

Overall Great But Could Be Better Value If Not For A Few Shortfalls

Reviewed on 5 Oct 2007 12:19PM
Reviewed by: f16skyhawk
Car reviews written (1)
Similar cars tried: Honda CRV
Fuel consumption: 13.1km/litre
Drive pattern: 50% highway, 50% urban
Duration of car driven: Less than 1 month
Performance:
Reliability:
Value:
Overall:

The Review

My personal description of my Captiva: Solid, Tall, Dark, Handsome, Muscular good looks with good performance and great drive. Pet peeves: No electric folding wing mirrors, no steering wheel mounted audio controls unlike other equivalently/competitively priced SUVs, equivalent Captiva models sold in Europe including Indonesia plus comparing Holden Captiva sold in Australia AND even the cheaper locally available EPICA have those features!! I wrote to GM and they are still in negotiation/consideration with their Korea counterparts about bringing those features in for Singapore models. Will Singapore Captiva owners ever see these features soon? Great big question mark. I guess this is the cost of decision to own an un-common, head-turning SUV unlike others - which in my workplace carpark alone, there are already 5 three letter word SUV and more were ordered and will be delivered in November/December!

Strengths

Solid drive performance, responsive, 7 seater, spacious cabin space, impressive sound system.

Weaknesses

No electric folding wing mirrors & no steering wheel mounted audio controls.