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Old 7th August 2009, 14:37   #1
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Default Initial ownership report: Chevrolet Aveo 1.4 LT

After considerable research (on team-bhp included) and test drives that included Honda Jazz, City; Hyundai Verna, Fiat Linea, Maruti SX4, I went for a Chevrolet Aveo 1.4 LT. I own another Maruti WagonR, and have driven Swift, 800, Omni earlier.

The reasons for my purchase were as follows:

1) I wanted nice urban driveability (in Bangalore stop and go traffic over countless humps), good roomy interiors (especially since we are expanding our family soon). I am not necessarily a speed maniac, but want to feel comfortable when I drive from point A to point B. I also wanted a car that my wife can drive around comfortably too.

2) Honda cars are the easiest to drive, but you pay a premium of almost 2 lakhs for what you get. Their engines are very refined and responsive for the kind of speeds you need in cities. The low ground clearance was a worrisome factor.

3) Maruti SX4 offered power and a nice ground clearance. However the rear view was extremely bad. This can affect parking. The interiors also looked a little cheap. They were making up a feature count, but not adding the best in quality.

4) Hyundai Verna: I was put off by the engine rattling at low speeds, something we'll be doing a lot in Bangalore traffic. My wife, who's pregnant sat in the back, and she said that even the baby complained about the suspensions. Hyundai cars do have better looking interiors but the suspensions and rattling were put offs.

5) Fiat Linea: Appeared to be a powerful car. I test drove the diesel version. Looks amazing from outside, but not so good from inside. It looked rather long, and very stable at high speeds. I always found diesel vehicles harder to drive, they lack the refinement of a petrol engine, and are noisier. Linea's petrol version offers very bad mileage. So this got ruled out.

6) Chevy Aveo, Optra: I first test drove the Aveo, and liked it for good looking interiors. During the test drive, I noticed that the engine is amazingly smooth at lower speeds, hardly any rattling. While the pick up is low at very low speeds, at mid range its quite responsive. The suspensions were also good. The gear was clunky. I also test drove the Optra (diesel version), and appreciated the difference in suspensions even better. Optra has mcpherson struts on all 4 wheels, and the car almost sails. In terms of interiors, Aveo offered most of the top end quality stuff at a much cheaper price.

So here are all the factors that influenced me:

1) Drive quality. Honda was the best. Sx4 felt just like other maruti cars. Aveo's engine had no rattles and the acceleration is very smooth. Verna, Sx4 would rattle at low speeds in higher gears.
2) Steering. EPS is easier to use than Hydraulic steering. However the hydraulic steering looks more consistent, and has no play.
3) Gears: Nothing to beat Honda. Sx4 is decent too. Verna's gears are easy to change as well.
4) Suspensions: Honda has soft suspensions. Aveo has pretty rugged and effective ones. Optra felt the best.
5) Seating: Honda seats were more comfortable. But Aveo offered leather seats and a host of features at a lower price.
6) Fuel Efficiency: I guess most of these are comparable, and a function of the driver. I would be happy with something around 11-13 for this type of car.
7) Security: Of all the cars, Linea and Aveo felt the safest. Somehow you feel the guage they use is thicker. Maruti and Honda cars appear thin.

For me the choice came down to Aveo or Honda, since I cared about ride quality a lot, and the interiors were important to me. I do not want to change gears in a hurry since I see the engine is rattling at low speeds. The apply clutch-change gear-worry about humps routine is a major put off in Bangalore's roads.

GM's brand image is not helping them. Somehow people experienced high cost of ownership with Opel cars (made in Germany) and associated that with GM in general. The Chevy series are from Korea, and should be cheaper to maintain. Their maintenance guarantees also helped.

Ultimately, I went for a Chevy Aveo 1.4 LT, since it nicely fit my budget - I paid 7.7 lakhs on road, and also got a lot of features:

. 3 year zero-maintenance cost guarantee.
. Alloy wheels (although they give this only for 4, and the one in the stepney is ordinary)
. Leather interiors.
. Reverse parking sensor. (Extra from the dealer)
. Keyless entry. (the duplicate key is not electronic. GM being stingy)
. Height adjustable driver seats.
. Electronic OVRMs.
. Really good music system.
. Adjustable steering (standard in this segment)
. Driver-side air bags. (Cars in India are a family phenomenon. I wonder if providing only driver-side air bags make sense).

Now anything comparable in a Honda would cost at least 2 lakhs more. Even the Jazz is more expensive than the Aveo, and hardly has these features.

I opted for a green colour. People were cynical at first, but everyone started liking it when they saw the car. I dealt with Sundaram Motors and had a pleasant experience.

I have driven the car for 3 days now, about 80KM, in Bangalore traffic, and got to speed once or twice. Here are my thoughts:

1) Tighter gears are something that need some getting used to.
2) I really like the smooth performance, zero engine rattling at low speeds. I've almost stopped using my clutch at low speeds over humps. This is a major convenience compared to the earlier cars I drove.
3) Parking sensors are very handy!
4) The music system is very good. I've probably saved around 20K because of this quality.
5) The car is rugged over humps, and potholes. The front is far more comfortable than the back.
6) At first the hydraulic steering seemed more work than EPS, but I am beginning to like its consistency.
7) Almost everyone loved the car's looks, and the very nicely done interiors. Very few realize that the car is not that expensive.
8) My city drives are far more comfortable now. I use the clutch about 30% lesser. I am less tired because of no rattling in the engine.
9) The car accelerates quite well in mid-range after you are at about 30Kmph.
10) The car has hardly touched a speed breaker. Something I hated with WagonR and Swift that I would drive earlier.

Still no accurate measure on the mileage. Perhaps 10-11 kmpl with AC on 70% of the time.
Attached Thumbnails
Initial ownership report: Chevrolet Aveo 1.4 LT-aveocropped.jpg  

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Old 7th August 2009, 14:46   #2
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Hey congratulations on your new purchase.

Thanks for such a detailed review. Can we get to see some snaps of the interiors please?
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Old 7th August 2009, 14:52   #3
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Congratulations Bharat (both for upcoming new family member and Car). Always wear seatbelts and drive safe.

Please do post the detailed exterior and interior pics.
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Old 7th August 2009, 14:58   #4
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Welcome to T-BHP. nice and detail review and seems you picked what you really want to. is this a new color or the Rainforest one?

have a safe & happy driving and do update us.
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Old 7th August 2009, 15:43   #5
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Congrats for your new ride. Drive safe. Chevy has a very good maintence plan for 3yrs Zero maintence. Even the oil change is done from their side without any cost.
that saves abt 1000 Rs. every oil change approximately. so thats very good.
Enjoy.
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Old 7th August 2009, 15:47   #6
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congrats to you dude, chevy has got one of the best maintenance program in india, my friends owns a spark for 2 years and he is just all praise for chevy

Ride safe
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Old 7th August 2009, 19:34   #7
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Congratulations!
This car has got very silent cabin and makes one feel that they are driving a car one level above. Its not fun to drive car, but is rather designed to drama free car on cities as well as on highways.
I agree with you on HPS parameter. We have Baleno and I am not comfortable with EPS of Swift/SX4 or any other car.
Optra has one of the best suspensions I think and almost as good as Astra. But is on the expensive side.

What is really surprising is that why you did not consider Ford Fiesta ?
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Old 23rd August 2009, 00:57   #8
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Bharath..Congrats on your purchase..I am contemplating the LS version of Aveo

Since I am in the process of buying a car & I did a TD of both Chevy Aveo 1.4 LT and Ford Fiesta 1.6 SXI, today. The below are some of my findings :

Chevy Aveo 1.4 LT

Good

1) Very rich feeling interiors
2) Smooth Ride
3) Seats are pretty comfortable
4) Sensitive suspensions that absorb most of the shock and doesnt pass them on to the body, hence a smooth ride on rough roads
5) Value for money car, no other sedan with features like 2 DIN Music player with spkrs, Alloy wheels, ABS, Spoilers, Internal adj OVRMs, Rear Defoggers with timer, adjustable height of Driver seat and steering, foldable rear seat armrest with cup holders all for 7.2-7.4 lacs OTR
6) The antenna is in the form of a print(similar to the defogger one) on the rear window
7) Rich classy looks
8) OTR covers 3 year warranty(or 1 lacs kms which ever is earlier) with 3 free services
9) Strong build and felt like a solid well built car
10) So far experience with TVS SUndaram sales process has been enjoyable, responsive and technically sound sales guy
11) Customer feedback on FE : 10-12 kmpl in City ; 13-15 kmpl on highway
12) A good highway car with a responsive engine at medium range RPMs.

Bad

1) I am over 5'10" tall, so my left knee touches the lower portion of dash. Hence I had to pull the driver seat backwards which reduced the rear leg space to a small extent. Kinda annoying and I thought for a moment that what had gone into the Chevy ppl's brains while designing the dash !!!

2) Lesser Head room at the rear above the window area (probably due to the roof sloping towards rear) caused inconvenience as my head touched the roof while the car negotiated sharp turns or when shaking.

3) Since the suspensions are soft, this causes the base of the car to braze big, irregular bumps, even at low speed. I dont know if this was a problem specific to the TD car(it had already completed over 8000 kms) or existed in general. As per the sales guy the ground clearance if about 170 which is the highest I have ever heard in any sedans.(except i think SX4 )

4) Bad response at lower RPMS of 1000-2000, can cause problems in city traffic.

5) Brand GM's present market image( though Chevy is a standalone company based out of Korea - Daewoo rebadged)

6) Skeptic about the A.S.S as I am an experienced victim of the pathetic TVS A.S.S encountered for my FIAT Palio

7) Clunky gears and spacing between gears not user friendly


Verdict : A VFM car for the not so highly enthusiasts, with rich looks, smooth/comfy ride, strong build and variety of useful features

Ford Fiesta 1.6 SXI

Good

1) Peppy engine, very responsive and powerful
2) Good ergonomics, especially the driver seat
3) Sporty feel
4) Spacious rear leg room
5) city maneuverability is neat
6) Spacious head room
7) Distance to empty fuel indicator quite useful
8) Shorter turning radius expecially for a sedan (4.9m)
10) Insurance free offer is attractive
11) Good ground clearance, need not worry about irregular speed breakers
12) Heavily discounted spare prices is a boon that will effectively bring down the maintenance costs.(couple of years back Ford cars were very expensive to maintain)
13) Lot of thoughfully placed pockets/flaps within the car to store magazines/others stuffs, cup holders etc

Bad

1) Harsh ride, passes shock from every potholes to the body thus making a bumpy ride
2) Brakes are weak and not proportionate to the strong power and speed capabilities of the car
3) Only 2 free services offered, extended warranty need to be purchased additionally for 3 year coverage
4) Poor FE(of course the obvious thing for a performance oriented car)10-11 kmpl in city ; 13 kmpl in Highways
5) Chances of understeer while cornering at high speeds
6) 195/60 tyres available only on the Sports version while it should have been a standard for a car that deals with such power

Verdict : Performance oriented car for the power seeking enthusiasts

I hope I have made sense with the above review.
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Old 23rd August 2009, 13:02   #9
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Congratulations on your new ride. I own an Aveo for the past 1 year now and have clocked almost 20k on the odometer.

I have spent "NIL" on the maintenance so far thanks to the 3 years cashless ownership programme and even after 20k the car drives as well as a new one, no problems at all.

The notchy gears would get better as you get used to the car.
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Old 27th August 2009, 10:30   #10
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Guys , what kind of discounts can i expect from the dealer now? Im interested in the 1.4 LT with ABS.
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Old 27th August 2009, 11:40   #11
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no offense but as we rave about the comfort levels in this car which is amazing, the FE is a huge let down. I cannot understand how GM after taking a battering in sales cannot focus on this. Had an Aveo left behind by my dads friend for two months as he was out of town.

I can only tell you that the FE was just shocking for a car of its size.

I am writing this after cross checking with my dads friend who says that he has never got a mileage more than 8 kmpl. I got a mileage of a max 7.75 kmpl in city. It went to 10 when I drove it on the bandra worli sea link ( I would call this "test conditions")

My uncles Civic gives a better mileage!
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Old 27th August 2009, 13:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pusako View Post
Guys , what kind of discounts can i expect from the dealer now? Im interested in the 1.4 LT with ABS.
I just finished the negotiation process...for LS without ABS..

Chey has offered further discounts valid until 5 Sep, and the LT(without ABS) in BLR would cost you Rs.737000..on top of this, TVS is ready to offer the corporate discount and thats that !!!!

in MUM it will further reduce as BLR has the highest RT(but really dont know where are the roads for which we are paying such a hefty amount)
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Old 27th August 2009, 14:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasher26 View Post
no offense but as we rave about the comfort levels in this car which is amazing, the FE is a huge let down. I cannot understand how GM after taking a battering in sales cannot focus on this. Had an Aveo left behind by my dads friend for two months as he was out of town.

I can only tell you that the FE was just shocking for a car of its size.

I am writing this after cross checking with my dads friend who says that he has never got a mileage more than 8 kmpl. I got a mileage of a max 7.75 kmpl in city. It went to 10 when I drove it on the bandra worli sea link ( I would call this "test conditions")

My uncles Civic gives a better mileage!

Thats really bad mileage. Luckily my aveo, 20k old now has never given me mileage below 12 in the city (with 100%ac) and never given me mileage less than 14 on the highway.

The others on the forum also claim the mileage for their Aveo to be 12+. Dont you think your Dad's friend should get his car checked or something?

Last edited by deky : 27th August 2009 at 14:28.
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Old 27th August 2009, 14:56   #14
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Congrats Bharath for your new car (and baby too!).

I also test-drove almost all of sedans before finalizing Linea :-). I did like Aveo and price was a huge attraction (esp. since a relative works for GM, I would have got additional discount!). My main criteria was comfort in the rear seats with 3 adults (IMO, driver and co-driver seats of almost any cars incl. hatchbacks are pretty good). I felt Aveo seats were smaller in breadth and around corners so decided against it. But otherwise the car is very good.

Enjoy your ride!

Cheers.
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Old 27th August 2009, 15:02   #15
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@jasher26
Thanks mate. Did the dealer give you the extended warranty for 3 yrs? And did they offer you any freebies?
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