2009 Chevrolet Aveo: European Hatchback Sports Cool New Look
Chevy’s Entry Hatch Grows Up
While Chevrolet‘s presence at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show was low-key, this year they showed off the five-door Aveo ahead of European sales in March 2008. No doubt this tough-looking little car will complement the U.S. Aveo sedan soon after, and Europe is also on track to get a three-door, too.
With the latest Aveo sedan, Chevrolet dropped the old Kalos name, a holdover from the pre-GM DAT Daewoo days. The hatchbacks had carried on in Europe with the Kalos badge, but with this change the little car will be badged Aveo in Europe, the United States, China, and most major markets. (Korean-market cars still carry the Daewoo badge and the Kalos name.)
Though unable to get inside the little car, its exterior is striking and takes the small-car segment up a notch. It wears Chevrolet’s latest global design theme, with a deep split grille subtly reminiscent of the latest Audis, cat-eye headlights, and just enough chrome to set it apart. The fog lamps in front and rear spoiler contribute to the sporting feel, but are likely optional equipment. The side-view mirrors now include indicators, and the round taillights give the rear some personality. Like the sedan, which changed for 2007MY, the hatchback is now longer and slightly wider. Where this change in proportion makes the sedan looks a bit tippy, the hatchback doesn’t look so oddly portioned. (Click here and here for images of the current Kalos.)
The photos show that the interior shares much with the sedan, including the center stack, HVAC vents and controls, and steering wheel, but the gauge cluster is unique with gauges set into sporty round binnacles and more chrome accents.
Motive power for the European Aveo will come from the known 98HP 1.4L engine, mated to an automatic transmission, and an all-new 84HP 1.2L DOHC I4. Both offer improved economy and emissions numbers, and the 1.2L gained 12HP. When this little looker gets to the States, it is more likely to take the same 1.6L the sedan currently sees.
GM DAT is one of the bright spots in GM’s global network, further supported by our first look at this little Aveo. Though entry level and destined to feel cheap compared with cars costing more, there has been dramatic improvement over the years in these products, a clear combination of GM’s money and technical expertise, GM’s mid-decade corporate understanding that interiors are important, combined with Daewoo’s understanding of small cars, and the access to low-cost production facilities certainly can’t be hurting the process.