2011 Chevrolet Aveo Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo was new.


Performance: 6.5

Like most subcompact vehicles, the Aveo is slow. The Aveo rides comfortably, but offers little handling verve when the road turns twisty. Those seeking anything that resembles fun should look elsewhere, as the Aveo largely succeeds as a comfortable runabout.

  • "Aveo accelerates off the line quicker than one would expect, but no one will mistake these subcompacts for sports cars." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Driving a car as uncomplicated as the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo releases you from constantly checking the myriad of messages or dealing with the intricate controls found on the lavish instrument panels in pricier cars. With an eye occasionally on the speedometer, the driver is free to enjoy the surprising capabilities of the Aveo's miserly 108-horsepower engine." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Going tire-to-tire against its competitors, the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo comes up short in nearly every category. The Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and 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." -- Edmunds 

Acceleration and Power

With a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 108 horsepower and 104 pound-feet of torque, the 2011 Chevy Aveo’s acceleration isn’t anything worth writing home about. It’s slow with either the standard five-speed manual transmission or the optional four-speed automatic. Reviews say that if they had to pick they’re poison, they’d go with the automatic.

According to the EPA, Aveos with the manual transmission get 27/35 mpg city/highway. Ratings drop with the automatic transmission. That powertain gets 25/34 mpg.

Because reviewers are far from impressed with the Aveo’s putt-putt performance, they can’t help but recommend other affordable small cars. They suggest the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Kia Forte.

  • "Manual-transmission versions feel slightly faster than automatics, but a rubbery, imprecise manual shifter detracts from the driving experience. The automatic is relatively responsive." -- Consumer Guide
  • "You buy cars like this for price and fuel efficiency, and the manual version is competitive while the four-speed automatic falls short of its competitors' fuel efficiency. If you want any semblance of performance in this car, the manual is the only choice." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

Reviewers credit the Aveo for its nimble nature, but are quick to point out that its handling is in no way sporty. Some even say the Aveo’s handing capabilities are some of the worst in the class. Due to its soft suspension settings, the Aveo offers a ride that is more comfortable than thrilling. Depending on what you want in a compact car, that may or may not be a good thing.  

  • "A slight lean is noticeable on corners taken at speed but the overall driving experience is precise and pleasant, with the car holding the line during straight, hard braking." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Aveo's solid body structure imparts an absorbent ride. Only large, sharp bumps trigger pounding through the suspension. Both body styles have a bit of bounding and bouncing over bumps, but are no worse than other cars in this class." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Steering feel and handling are subpar." -- Motor Trend 

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