Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

I had the distinct priveledge of putting a little over a thousand miles on one of these little South Korean gems this weekend. Let me just say to all of you proud parents of college students: don't buy your kid one of these cars. Don't buy your wife one either, and by all means don't buy one for yourself.

A little background on this car...

I don't know exactly how it worked out, but GM bought Daewoo's assets after they went broke. A few small car product lines had bowties slapped on them (they're marketed as Suzukis also) and were snuck into the back door of North American GM dealers. Not many people noticed the bland Aveo, (pisspot) Optra, (slightly larger pisspot) and Epica (wierd lumpy sedan with a slant-6) but at least GM stores had a few more small car options other than the Methusela twins, Slumfire and Crapalier.

These cars were heavily incentivised and offered as "loss leaders" to lure unsuspecting 20-somethings into GM dealerships where they otherwise would not tread. THey sold reasonably well for a short period of time, but soon began to clog the new-car inventories.

One such clogged inventory is the multi-line GM store where I work. The new car department had 4 5-speed Aveos at year-end that were over 100 days old and had to go. The most practical solution for the store was for the rental company (my department) to buy them so that we could take advantage of GM's rental risk incentives. THe only catch is that we have to put 12000Km (7500 miles) on the cars before we're allowed to sell them, and being 5-speeds, we can't rent them to the general public. So, 2 of them were given to staff members as demos, and the other 2 have been passed around to any employee who could stand to put a few miles on them.

This weekend I found myself needing a car to get from Calgary to Dawson Creek BC and back, about an 1800Km round trip. My choices were to take a 3/4 ton crewcab truck with a 6.0 litre motor and 4.10:1 gears (9mpg) or to throw a dealer plate on an Aveo and take that. The Aveo was the natural choice to save money on fuel.

While the fuel mileage was certainly better than the pickup would have been, I was still disappointed. The Aveo, with its 1.6 litre four-banger and NO POWER could only muster a trip average of 33MPG. I've had much better mileage in much bigger vehicles travelling at much higher speeds. 33MPG is good, but for a vehicle of this class, I consider it disappointing. I wasn't that hard on her either; this was an all-highway trip through the countryside where maintained a pretty consistent 75mph. If the car had anything resembling torque, I wouldn't have been so surprised at the mileage. Very gradual hills required 2 downshifts to maintain any decent momentum, and passing was mostly not an option. Did I mention that this particular car had no air conditioning?

Let me tell you what I like about this car, because things get a lot worse from here.

The Aveo is spacious. It has a big greenhouse with lots of head, elbow and shoulder room, and great visibility. (though the A-pillar is a bit thick) The brakes are OK, with a decent amount of feel and adequate power. The engine is reasonably quiet at cruising speed, and wind noise was subdued (for a pisspot)

Ok where was I? Oh yes, the Aveo has no power. Some little 4-banger hatchbacks can be fun to drive the wee out of, winding them up and keeping the motor on the boil. The Aveo doesn't boil. It doesn't even simmer. For a little overhead-cam 4 cylinder, the power curve is very unusual. It redlines at 6500RPM, but don't bother trying to rev it that high; there isn't any power about 3500RPM. It's best to short-shift, but then I hope you're not in a hurry... there isn't much torque to work with. Speaking of shifting, you might be wise to choose an automatic in this car. Those who like 'em sloppy can rejoice; they made this one extra sloppy for ya's. You usually know the car is in gear because of it's gentle forward progress, but certainly not for the shifter's positive engagement. Based on the handy H diagram on the end of the stick, you can usually estimate where the gears are, but there isn't any feedback to confirm whether or not you found your gear until you ease the clutch out. Oh and it can be popped out of gear with a very slight brush of your wrist, even at full acceleration. The clutch takeup is vague. There's a long travel to the pedal, but the clutch grabs all at once, and not where you'd expect it to. It felt worn, but this was a brand-new car.

The fuel injection is sloppy, and this was definitely my biggest issue with the car. It was impossible to drive smooth. Not unlike my parent's old '88 Dodge truck with throttle body fuel injection, the transition from "off" to "on" the throttle is always abrupt, and always causes the car to jerk. No matter how easy you try to tip into the throttle, it always comes on like a switch and bucks the car. I found myself slipping the clutch on upshifts to try and smooth out the ride. The shift from first to second was the worst, and the ratios didn't seem spaced right. There was a big gap from first to second and the rest of the gears seemed to close. Handling and ride were OK, but slight bumps in the road sent a pretty powerful jolt through the car.

Other than being spacious, the interior is shite. The dash is covered in a light grey molded plastic, which reflects on the windshield. If I hadn't been wearing polarized sunglasses, it would have caused a lot more fatigue. The switchgear is shite, the headlight stalk on the left and the wiper stalk on the right both feel like they're going to break off in your hand when you use them. The wiper stalk is adjusted in upward clicks... it's too stiff and it's hard to click it into the setting you want. The HVAC controls are OK, but they're cable operated and a bit stiff. The radio unit was ok, and it had MP3 capability so I had the priveledge of listening to about 4 hours worth of Jessica's country western mix CD's for 4 days straight. The seats are terrible. We both had back-aches after only about 2 hours driving. There is nowhere comfortable to rest your arms. There are 2 cupholders that sprout out of the dash but as soon as you put a cup in them you block your HVAC controls. And cups sit crooked in them.

There are much better alternatives for the price of this car; unless you enjoy being pissed-off, don't buy one.

And then there's this asshole...
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 1:08 PM
 
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Re: Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

Wow...my Focus with 4 people and a completely packed trunk got 35mpg averaging 70-75 mph on a recent roadtrip. 33mpg is rather poor for that.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 1:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

Quote:
Originally Posted by ND4SPD
Wow...my Focus with 4 people and a completely packed trunk got 35mpg averaging 70-75 mph on a recent roadtrip. 33mpg is rather poor for that.
Yes and the Focus has more displacement and more power AND is bigger. I don't get it.

And then there's this asshole...
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 1:15 PM
 
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Re: Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

BTW...I owe you $5...what's your paypal?
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 1:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

[email protected]



To my great disappointment, I didn't get to watch the race. I guess I'll just watch the highlights tomorrow on 2WT

edit: that'll be $80.00 CND please...

And then there's this asshole...

Last edited by phobiaphobe; 07-11-2005 at 1:26 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 1:47 PM
 
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Re: Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

I think that's about how I'd describe my day in a corrola. I like the Focus much better. Though I am sure it is an even bigger POS than the Corrola...




Last edited by luvtolean; 07-11-2005 at 1:47 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 2:00 PM
 
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Re: Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

Didn't Daewoo claim they were going to be the next Honda?

"another beautiful theory beaten to death by a gang of ruthless facts..."
- Tom Hanna (Master Metalshaper/Nitrogeezer)
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 3:16 PM
 
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Re: Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDIE110171
Didn't Daewoo claim they were going to be the next Honda?

no that is hyundai
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-11-2005, 7:46 PM
 
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Re: Car Review: "The Pisspot" Chevrolet Aveo

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba
no that is hyundai





Or KKKKia.


I think the little engines struggle at speed because they are wound up so tight. They seem to need lower gears to get out of their way and that means high RPM's on the highway. Just somethin I noticed from my short jaunt witha 4 banger.
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