This week we’re looking at the 2007 Chevrolet Aveo LT 4-Door sedan. This is a great commuter in part because of the very good fuel economy but also because for a 4-door sedan the ‘price is right’. I was reminding Richard and Huan (from South Korea) that the car they were riding in was built in Korea. It surprised them as much as it did me when I checked. We reflected on how the world is shrinking and how homogenous America truly is.
As I think of it, America is not only the land of opportunity; it also exports opportunity to the rest of the world. Labor in China, is vast and currently much of the labor force is at about 60-90 cents an hour. Of course it is all relative and the cost of living is comparable. In Korea, Huan says the monthly income of most workers is about $300 in South Korea so that’s about double the prevailing wage in China. In any case it is so far below wages in the US for example that it makes total economic sense to export jobs there.
As to the wisdom of exporting the assembly of vehicles in Korea for economic reasons there are, or should be other forces at work for us to reach out to the rest of the world. Use of such labor forces not only makes products more affordable it raises the standard of living in other parts of the world. Toyota has recently built a large manufacturing facility in Tecate, Mexico and provides housing and jobs for thousands. Thousands who feel no need to go across the border for work. But to balance out the intentions of Toyota (now the largest car company in the world) they have just completed a huge facility in San Antonio Texas and depending on the success of that plant they will build another there as well. The present one employs about 4,000 people.
Parts – No information was available. Do you think they are Korean made parts?
Assembly – Bupyung Gu, IN Korea.
Class: – Compact
Cars: – Avalanche, Aveo, Aveo 5, Cobalt, Colorado, Corvette, Equinox, Express, Express Cargo Van, HHR, Impala, Malibu, Malibu Max, Monte Carlo, Silverado 15,25 & 3500, Silverado Classic, Silverado Hybrid, SSR, Suburban, Tahoe, Trail Blazer & Uplander.
Well the projections for the price of gas this summer are $4.00 per gallon. Ouch.
But it occurs to me that something good always comes from bad – in time. I believe people may well change their priorities and reduce their traveling by car to go somewhere that can be replaced by something closer to home. I think more people will go play softball in the local park, play board games at home and get closer to the family. I think they will get out in the back yard and plant a tree and BBQ a bunch of veggies (and a Rib Eye Steak for Richard).
Handling & Performance:
Back to the Chevy Aveo. The Crest Test was pretty convincing that it will keep up with the craziest of drivers around some of the hairiest turns in the world.
Commuter basic – but with a reasonable amount of roominess. In fact it passed my first cargo area test – my golf clubs (oversized bag) fits just right in the trunk.
Fit and Finish:
Consistent with even more expensive cars for which you’d pay three times the price of this Aveo to notice any significant difference in attention to detail.
Less is more in many ways. This compact Aveo is less comfortable than a large sedan, but it costs less to buy and operate and that should be the guideline for a commuter or simply a trouble free new transportation car for a young family or anyone with a limited budget. A new car ‘can’ be affordable.
Conveniences and comfort:
I must report that you will be aware of your seat bottom all too soon. I think they could have put a little more padding in the seats because after about an hour I am beginning to get a little uncomfortable. I wish car makers would pay attention to simple details. One example of out of touch little things is not providing sun visors that extend for side window use.
If on a limited budget this is a great transportation car. I wouldn’t want to drive straight through from LA to Denver, but it is fine for the short hops.
Chevrolet Aveo $12-14,000, Hyundai Accent $10-14,000, Toyota Yaris $11-14,000, Honda Fit $14-16,000, Ford Focus $14-17,000, Kia Rio $11-13,000, Suzuki Aerio $14-17,000, Nissan Versa $13-15,000.
Well priced is the most obvious, very good on fuel and it can carry 5 passengers.
It is not the most comfortable car for long hauls, sun visors will but you.
1.6 liter inline 4 cylinder 103 horsepower engine, 4-speed auto trans, front disc rear drum brakes, power rack & pinion steering, independent front strut suspension with stabilizer bar and rear torsion beam, stainless steel exhaust, front and side airbags, rear child seat latch system, daytime running lights, power heated fold away mirrors, 15” aluminum wheels, intermittent wipers, air conditioning, rear window, tilt steering column, remote keyless entry with alarm, cruise control, power windows and locks, reclining cloth seats with lumbar support, stereo with CD/MP3 player, 60/40 rear split folding seat, remote trunk and fuel filler releases.
$3.30/ Gal avg. Apr. 22 ‘07
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26 City and 34 Highway MPG
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