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Old 14th February 2015, 15:01   #1
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Default A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Driving a Bolero with upsized tires through every lane and by-lane of Hyderabad was proving to be a wee bit cumbersome. Even though I managed that well enough, my heart yearned to zip around in a low slung hatchback (I miss my Palio Stile days). While I was hunting around the pre-owned market (newspaper classifieds, OLX, Quikr, etc.), I came across several Zens, 800's, Swifts, Beats, Altos, Sparks, and sedans. I've always loved the old Zen, and still am a huge fan of its body and design. I've heard lots of people swear by it, and I know people even today, who've hung on to their old Zens and felt no need to upgrade or change their car.

The search was going well until a friend/client came up to me and said he had an old Aveo U-VA which he was looking to get rid of. What made me raise my eyebrows was that it had done only 34,000 kms and was a 2007 model. Almost every Zen and Honda City I saw in the classifieds had done a minimum of 70,000 kms, and in fact, most of them had clocked over a lakh of kms and still menacingly wore 1 to 1.5 lakh rupee price tags (well, asking prices anyway). The thing about second hand cars is that you really gotta know your stuff, and more importantly, you really got to know who the seller is. Several Zen owners were the 3rd or 4th owner, which inevitably meant that there was no way of finding out what the previous owners did with the car or how they handled/cared for it.

I decided to go take a look at the U-VA. The car was a tad bit dusty due to lack of use, but had a proper shed with cover from the rain. The body looked decently in shape, sans some scratches and bruises. In fact I'm more suspicious about a second hand car without scratches these days, and I assume the owner's tried to cover up by painting/denting the car! The central locking was dead (no battery in the remote), so I opened the doors manually. The interiors were spic and span and this brought a smile to my face. Apparently the family grandmother was occasionally ferried around in this car by an old faithful driver, so it had seen little use over the past 7 years.

The engine gunned to life with the slightest crank of the ignition, which was good to know. I noticed the steering to be a little jittery but the AC worked fine and the power steering didn't let me down. The engine seemed to rumble like a WRC car and I knew this to be a faulty/leaky exhaust pipe/muffler from previous experience. Replacing this can be a tad bit expensive. The engine was covered in grime and dust and definitely needed a good hosing down. The car had been serviced about a year ago and I decided I would get the oils replaced, filters checked and replaced if necessary, tires rotated, aligned, brakes cleaned and rubbed, and get a complete wash down before I took the car.

The owners weren't too keen on doing that themselves, so I negotiated the price down to a figure I was comfortable with while keeping in mind possible repairs and replacements on the vehicle. In my mind, this was going to be minimal since the car drove quite fresh and chirpy on the roads. The fault exhaust didn't seem to have any effect on the acceleration or performance, and if at all, I loved the rumble.

I paid a very good price for the car and I'm not going to publish it here since the folks who sold it to me weren't motivated by profit. I'd love to hear what you guys think I paid for it though by looking at the pictures and reading this review.

The transfer of ownership forms were signed, the insurance and RC copies were handed over to me, and off I went in my pre-owned U-VA. The service center is owned by a friend of mine, and the job done was trustworthy and up to the mark. The power steering fluid container was leaking and had to be replaced. The genuine GM container cost close to 3,000 rupees. A complete engine oil flush and replacement was done. I chose standard oil not super synthetic (1200 per liter!!) and got the oil filter replaced. The air filter was fine and needed some cleaning. The tires were nice and were rotated. Brakes were fine too. There was a nice little crack in the exhaust pipe upstream from the muffler. I got this gas welded for 600 rupees. Any inputs on this would be appreciated from gurus.

I ended up paying about 6,500 for the entire job, wherein 3000 of that was just the power steering fluid container. This didn't upset me, knowing the history of the car and its need for servicing. Plus I also worked this cost into the price I paid the previous owners so this was bound to happen.

Now onto some category-wise assessment.

Engine
The 1.2 L multi point fuel injected engine is exceedingly rev happy and is very easy to get used to in the city. I've only just filled some fuel in the car so I'll get down to assessing the FE as time goes by. There seems to be a little play in the gas pedal, and that needs to be tightened. Overtaking is a breeze as compared to my Bolero, and I'm very happy with the way the engine's tuned. The rumble at idling is now gone thanks to the welding job, but I don't know how long it'll last. The battery is extra large in this car, and some say it isn't necessary. I'm planning to stick to it since I'm going to have a nice ICE setup in this car in the short to medium term.

Handling
The steering is light and provides excellent feedback. I find myself zipping accurately past vehicles and the visibility that this car offers to its driver is promising. The A-pillars are a bit thick and tends to cause a blind spot now and then. The OVRM's even in this base variant are internally adjustable (manually though). The tires are pretty darn tiny measuring 155/80 R13 stock. The recommended upsize is 175/70 R13 and I'm planning to get this done as soon as I get some time on my hands. The ride isn't uncomfortable by any means however. Since I've upsized both my other cars tires, I'm more comfortable with that kind of added comfort and stability. The new power steering fluid container looks clean and is holding up perfectly at the moment. The fluid has been filled up amply too.

Ergonomics
The driving position is rather low and sporty, and I find myself most comfortable with the steering wheel at wrist length with my arms stretched out. This is rather sporty as compared to the driving position in my Bolero, which is similar to that of a truck, i.e. I'm upright and looking down on the world. It's also a bit of a change to not be able to see the bonnet or where it finishes. This means, my driving is a lot more intuitive in the U-VA than in the Bolero, where I can see both right and left corners of my bumper.

I find myself reclining comfortably in the U-VA, just cruising through the streets. There's ample leg room at the back, unlike the terrible Bolero, and the front windshield swoops over you to give it a very sporty progressive field of view, like the Jazz. The gear is superbly within reach and shifts are slick. There have been several reports of the gearshift being a bit tough, especially while engaging reverse, but this hasn't been the case with me. The gears are shifting really well.

Comfort and build quality
The AC works decently well, though I notice the compressor tripping quite often with a faint 'click'. I'm going to get the relays checked along with the gas levels (this car was stagnant for quite a while). The quality of the dash is sturdy and solidly fitted together. I'm a big fan of the blower vent styles. Simplicity is the aim of the game in this Chevy. The seats provide ample thigh and back support. The steering is not adjustable in this base variant. The switch gear is chunky and provides excellent feedback and control.

Style
I'm a huge fan of this hatchback's style. It's understated and soothes the mind. Just like the Palio Stile, the curves are gentle and sharp edges are minimal. No tall boy nonsense here. The rear is very pleasing indeed, and the styling here reminds me of the Honda Jazz, which I'm a huge fan of as well. The front isn't the sportiest but compliments the vehicle well enough.

Planned upgrades
Seat covers
Upsize tires (can anyone recommend a good cheap brand please?). My Stile had Michelin upsized (expensive) and my Bolero has Yoko Geolandar upsized (even more expensive). I've seen several cheaper options and I'm wondering if I can go for Ceat, or Apollo 175/70 R13. Any inputs would be great.
ICE - double din HU with components up front and possibly ovals in the rear. Maybe leave the amp and woof out of this one. I bump the whole block with my Bolero's ICE. I thought I'd keep this one clean and clear.

And now, the pictures!

Just love the dash. The quality, and the simplicity.
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4392_snapseed.jpg

Storage compartment above and below. Practical, and oh so usable.
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4397_snapseed.jpg

Simple and effective door panels. The last manual window hatch I had was a Santro in 1999!
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4398_snapseed.jpg

The blowers are solid and very effective with air flow control
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4399_snapseed.jpg

Pretty good rear view
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4400_snapseed.jpg

Looks a beaut no?
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4401_snapseed.jpg

Light bruising on the left rear quarter panel. Nothing a 2000 Rs denting painting job won't fix
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4402_snapseed.jpg

Front view.
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Upsize tires and alloys will really give this hatch some zest.
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4410_snapseed.jpg

Decent gear knob. Nicely maintained for sure. Front panel contains charging socket as well as slide out cup holders! Functionality.
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4413_snapseed.jpg

Rear door panel
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4415_snapseed.jpg

A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4416_snapseed.jpg

A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4417_snapseed.jpg

A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4418_snapseed.jpg

The right side indicator bulb is bust. Would anyone know what type socket it is? The manual only says 21W, but no socket type. There are some standard indicator bulbs available online, but I can't understand which one to get.
A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home-img_4423_snapseed.jpg

Update: 19th Feb 2015
Gave the car for AC servicing, had all the cooling coils cleaned, and gas refilled. Right side rear indicator bulb was replaced for Rs. 20! The blower was definitely blowing stronger and less choked now, and the cooling was good. Until...
I was driving back in the bright midday sun from work, and the compressor kept tripping. Took it straight to the service center where the AC guy after a lot of 'touchy feely' with the pipes, decided the radiator needed a good hosing. The AC worked strangely well and as he showed me, the gas pressure was pretty darn optimum with no leaks. Alls well that ends well I suppose.

Been driving the car for about 3 days now. Can summarize the ups and downs as follows: -

Pros
  • The engine is super peppy and craving to be revved. The exhaust note is quite sporty and little open stretches are a joy to behold.
  • Clean design, with plenty of little utility spaces - slide out cup holders, charging point, upper and lower dashboard holding compartments.
  • The steering position and seating ergonomics are very nice indeed.
  • Rear and co driver seat is nice and spacious.
  • Plastics and switchgear are top notch

Cons
  • Very iffy fuel efficiency. Bordering near 10 kmpl in the horrible city traffic with AC.
  • The AC, when on, does slightly weight the performance down. But since the engine is so darn peppy, its not something you cant overcome.
  • Small tires. 155/80 R13. Recommended upsize is 175/70 R13.
Well there you have it. A smart purchase, with it's little niggles. Let's see how the upcoming days with this car fares out.
Thanks for reading!

Last edited by ByDesign : 20th February 2015 at 01:31.
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Old 15th February 2015, 18:50   #2
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Default re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Congrats on your new acquisition. I was reading your bolero thread and upon seeing your signature reading Feb'15 uva I was wondering how come is this possible. This along with her saloon sibling is one the most under-rated cars in India. Space, AC and back seat ride are her strengths.

And regarding the price, because its a Chevy and secondly you are from Delhi, I don't think you would have gone into six digits for this one. I was getting one for 60k last year but was no way close to this one. Congarts once again.
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Old 16th February 2015, 00:15   #3
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Default re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkg View Post
Congrats on your new acquisition. I was reading your bolero thread and upon seeing your signature reading Feb'15 uva I was wondering how come is this possible. This along with her saloon sibling is one the most under-rated cars in India. Space, AC and back seat ride are her strengths.

And regarding the price, because its a Chevy and secondly you are from Delhi, I don't think you would have gone into six digits for this one. I was getting one for 60k last year but was no way close to this one. Congarts once again.
I'm giving the car for some general tweaks (pedal adjustment), wiper washer not working, wheel alignment and balancing, and AC service. The AC compressor keeps going off a bit too often, and the air's just about cold. I know for this season, going from winter to general warm weather, a good AC downright chills. I'm hoping getting it cleaned up and refilled with refrigerant will bring it back up to speed. If Bosch service isn't too expensive for these jobs, I'll give it there.
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Old 21st February 2015, 15:00   #4
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st February 2015, 16:11   #5
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Mileage being 34000 only, I hope you have a good amount of engine life left in it.
Being a petrol version, you should expect a minimum service demands. All the best. Keep revving.
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Old 21st February 2015, 18:34   #6
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByDesign View Post

The search was going well until a friend/client came up to me and said he had an old Aveo U-VA which he was looking to get rid of. What made me raise my eyebrows was that it had done only 34,000 kms and was a 2007 model.
Congrats ByDesign!

We own a UVA-LT back in Kerala and she turned 7 day before yesterday. Without a fuss I will rate her as the most underrated car in India. Till date we had just replaced Battery and Tyres (Stock Goodyear NCT 5 to Apollo Acelere). Rest once in year regular service oil/filter change, etc. Clocked 27K odd till date.

When I was in Kerala last July I had driven her close to 4K KMs in the span of 21 days. In that too 100 odd KMs was through forest area (Pathanamthitta - Kakki - Gavi - Vandiperiyar) twice with my DAD. He was realising his memories of joining his first Job 42 years back and how he reached walking around 22 KMs through thick reserved forest to reach the dam site.

The forest roads we drove was virtually non-existent, poor visibility due to rain fog, heavy rainfall, flooded and accompanied by elephants (literally on the sides but luckily none obstructed us). And no way to go back or call for help since it is a thick forest and can exit only towards Vandiperiyar.

Throughout the journey UVA never bottomed nor stalled in puddle even when water level was over sill level and uneven surface underneath. Most cases it was a blind drive due to muddy water. It was my most scary and thoroughly enjoyed drive in my life. After a good drive close to 12 hours we reached back home but Me and DAD was fresh like as in the morning and he ensure that we will go one more time next year (2015) summers. Due to rain and poor visibility we could not enjoy the sceneries a bit.

One more thing I would like to add is the braking of UVA. It is sharp and never screeched in smooth tarmacs.

Then only grose I have with her is the front overhang and tend to scrape when driving down somewhat steep ramps.

So just enjoy your drive.

Cheers!

Vinu
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Old 25th February 2015, 00:55   #7
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by myavu View Post
Congrats ByDesign!

We own a UVA-LT back in Kerala and she turned 7 day before yesterday. Without a fuss I will rate her as the most underrated car in India. Till date we had just replaced Battery and Tyres (Stock Goodyear NCT 5 to Apollo Acelere). Rest once in year regular service oil/filter change, etc. Clocked 27K odd till date.

When I was in Kerala last July I had driven her close to 4K KMs in the span of 21 days. In that too 100 odd KMs was through forest area (Pathanamthitta - Kakki - Gavi - Vandiperiyar) twice with my DAD. He was realising his memories of joining his first Job 42 years back and how he reached walking around 22 KMs through thick reserved forest to reach the dam site.

The forest roads we drove was virtually non-existent, poor visibility due to rain fog, heavy rainfall, flooded and accompanied by elephants (literally on the sides but luckily none obstructed us). And no way to go back or call for help since it is a thick forest and can exit only towards Vandiperiyar.

Throughout the journey UVA never bottomed nor stalled in puddle even when water level was over sill level and uneven surface underneath. Most cases it was a blind drive due to muddy water. It was my most scary and thoroughly enjoyed drive in my life. After a good drive close to 12 hours we reached back home but Me and DAD was fresh like as in the morning and he ensure that we will go one more time next year (2015) summers. Due to rain and poor visibility we could not enjoy the sceneries a bit.

One more thing I would like to add is the braking of UVA. It is sharp and never screeched in smooth tarmacs.

Then only grose I have with her is the front overhang and tend to scrape when driving down somewhat steep ramps.

So just enjoy your drive.

Cheers!

Vinu
Very reassuring post about the car indeed! I'm just wondering about the little niggles that have popped up in the car. I know the car wasn't used for long periods of time before I picked it up.

Does this have any impact on any of the cars components? Some points come to mind -
  • Do I need to get the wheels aligned and balanced?
  • The fuel lid opening mechanism has failed. The pulling of the release latch under the drivers seat doesn't have any result on the door. On closer inspection, the lid now opens just with the hand. A security risk for sure, minor perhaps, since I guess there's some kind of filter or adjustment between the tank and the opening. How easy is it to get it fixed?
  • Is it a good idea to get engine decarbonization done? Does this help in any way?
  • Should I get the spark plugs cleaned? Does this have an overall impact on a very sparingly used car like this one which stood still for extended periods of time?
Other points
  • After the radiator was given a good pressure hosing, the AC has doubled in cooling intensity. I still feel the compressor trips way too often especially when I press the gas pedal.
  • The wipers are very effective with superb sweep and efficiency. I notice similar qualities in my dad's Optra Magnum LT.
  • The driving position and handling of this vehicle still inspires me. The driving is so instinctive and accurate! My friend also was super happy with this. He otherwise drives a Swift.
  • Fuel efficiency is strictly 10 kmpl in the city with so far crazy traffic and short spans of open road with more than 90% AC usage.
  • The welded exhaust is still holding good. How long do these weld jobs usually last?
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Old 25th February 2015, 02:43   #8
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Arrow Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByDesign View Post
Very reassuring post...
Quote:
  • Do I need to get the wheels aligned and balanced?
It is always better to have the wheels balanced and aligned every 5000 KMs.

Quote:
  • The fuel lid opening mechanism has failed.
I think the rust gathered in the cabling is restricting the free movement. Sometimes greasing may help. Else change the cable. Not a big job altogether.

Quote:
  • Is it a good idea to get engine decarbonization done? Does this help in any way?
I don't think it is required.

Quote:
  • Should I get the spark plugs cleaned?
If knocking or misfire exists, then yes else not required.

Quote:
  • I still feel the compressor trips way too often especially when I press the gas pedal.
UVA has one of the most powerful AC in the segment. Try with a little higher temperature, say 24 degree.

Quote:
  • The welded exhaust is still holding good. How long do these weld jobs usually last?
It depends how often you drive through standing water and rain. Try to apply some under body coating.

Cheers!

Vinu
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Old 1st March 2015, 15:12   #9
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Update

Got 4 spanking new Yokohama Earth 1 tires.

More info on them here:

http://global.yokohamatire.net/products/earth1.html

and here

http://www.topgear.com/india/new-car-news?id=2390

Decided to go one upsize from stock.

Stock: 155/80 R13
Upsize: 175/70 R13.

Still using stock rims, which look very clean and decent in my opinion with the black Chevy hub lockers in place.

Before and after tire upgrade observations

Before
The car was extremely spirited on the road. Handling was very accurate and sensitive. The feedback from the road was also felt on the steering wheel.

After
Acceleration has dropped marginally, but noticeably. The car rides a lot smoother, and the drive has become more mature. Long term updates will be recorded here with due use of the new tires.

Wheel alignment and balancing also done, so that irritating drag to the left is now gone.
Looking to clock some more miles on this baby!

Thanks for reading!
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Old 21st August 2015, 00:20   #10
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

These used Chevrolet cars are really worthy if one is in the used car market for a car. I was in a need of a car and bought a 2008 Chevy Aveo 1.4 LS Limited Edition 3-4 months ago, and I am loving this car for its ride, stability, build quality & ground clearance!

However, by what I read in this thread, it seems Aveo UVA and Aveo sedan were too very different cars from each other! Aveo sedan has a not-so-rev friendly engine, as well as steering is on the heavier side, unlike UVA. Correct me if I am wrong!
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Old 18th October 2015, 07:26   #11
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Cool Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by parth.jain View Post
These used Chevrolet cars are really worthy if one is in the used car market for a car.
I absolutely agree! I got lucky last year to get a virgin 2009 Aveo UVA LS Techno which had clocked just over 19000 kms at little under 2.5 lakhs. Its a limited edition version with 2 din Kenwood head unit, reverse parking sensor, 4 door power window as compared to 2 door in standard LS. Car is awesome in terms of space, interior quality (mine is beige), ground clearance, brakes and stability at high speeds.

I love every bit of it except the wheels. 13" rims with stock tires are just too small considering the size of the car. The tires still have some decent life left so I plan on upgrading it once the tires are due for change.

As my car is due for service, wanted some suggestions on mineral or semi synthetic engine oils? Also, Good speakers as the stock ones lacks bass and would prefer installing them at the current set up without installing a tray.
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Old 18th October 2015, 13:21   #12
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by @sohel View Post
I love every bit of it except the wheels. 13" rims with stock tires are just too small considering the size of the car. The tires still have some decent life left so I plan on upgrading it once the tires are due for change.

As my car is due for service, wanted some suggestions on mineral or semi synthetic engine oils? Also, Good speakers as the stock ones lacks bass and would prefer installing them at the current set up without installing a tray.

My Aveo is also a Limited Edition LS version with alloys, leather seats, fog lamps, 2-din stereo system. Limited Editions are sweeet at times

I would suggest you do not upgrade the size of the rims, this affects the suspension. I once upgrade the rims and tires from stock in my Opel Astra and it messed up it's suspension pretty bad. I don't know why but I feel these cars are pretty sensitive to such modifications. Get better quality rubber in the stock size!

Also, you can go for semi-synthetic oil. At last service at the ASC, the same was used and the car is performing good!
Can't comment on the music part, not at all an audiophile!
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Old 19th October 2015, 19:56   #13
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Thanks parth... Actually the LT version of the same car comes with 14 inch company fitted alloys and it looks much better. LS version were given 13" rims. While i was in US last year i saw lot of aveo UVA (they call it aveo 5 door) with default 14" rims and i think it justifies the cars dimension.
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Old 23rd July 2016, 12:13   #14
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Default Re: A pre-owned Chevrolet Aveo U-VA LS comes home

Hi ByDesign

It will be great if you can provide an update on the long term use of your AVEO - UVA along with details of services / upgrades done.

Thanks in advance.
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