Aveo vs Sentra

Prefer utility/simplicity of 2008 Aveo interior in every way, but afraid of the reliability record of older Aveos.

OR 2008 Sentra - no armrest, dumb cup holder deal, bettter reliability record. a little more $$

Should I gamble on AVeo ?

I wouldn’t get either I’d go for a honda Fit-good utility, reliable and a nicer interior than either of the two you’re looking at.

If you simply must choose either the Aveo or the Sentra, then it’s the Sentra hands down. The Aveo is a horrible little car that is noisy, performs poorly and doesn’t even achieve particularly good gas mileage. If you like it because it’s American you should know its made in Korea and imported here where the Chevy name is slapped on it.

I have to agree with Dave on this one. The Sentra is much more car with a far better reliability reputation. Check out Consumer Reports New Car Preview at your local bookstore.

Older Aveos? There are no “older” Aveos. The Aveo is only a few years old. They will never become “older.”

Be that as it may, I’m tempted by the simplicity of the Aveo, a Daewoo product, but unless the price is substantially less than the Sentra, I’d skip it.

The Sentra has a MUCH better reliability record than the Aveo.

However, now that I’ve thought about this, I remember the '91 Pontiac LeMans 3-door hatchback (another Daewoo vehicle) I bought a few years ago (for next to nothing) with about 70K miles on it. Most people consider this a POS car, and in some ways it was, but mine was 100% reliable. I spent virtually NO money on that car (other than normal maintenance) during the time I owned it.

It was crude (4-speed manual, no power steering, no AC, no nothing) but it started and ran without problems every day for several years. I drove it, my daughter drove it, it never failed to start or run, and, after several years of faithful service, I sold it for almost as much as I paid for it. As far as I know it’s still running today.

So maybe a Daewoo-built Aveo can be a reliable car, but I wouldn’t buy one new, and I’d beat them down as far as possible on the price if you do, because as soon as you drive it off the lot it will be worth less than you owe on it.

You should be able to buy a two year old Aveo for HALF the price of a new one. The Aveo is not a car to buy new.

Sentra all the way. Consider a Honda Fit if you can find one for less than sticker. Or a Scion.

Older Aveos? There are no “older” Aveos. The Aveo is only a few years old.

Actually, the car has already been updated or redesigned or something. I forgot the technical term since redesigned, freshened, updated, etc. all mean something different. But with that said I don’t think it matters, it is still an Aveo.

actually, if you can get ANY Honda under sticker right now, jump on it. Good luck finding a Fit that isn’t “spoken for”, even my local dealership(Marion, OH) had like 6 of them coming in that someone had already bought, and I was lucky to find one that I don’t think even made it to pre-sale inspection. So, I took the time to sit in it and find out that it has even less leg room for the driver than my current 10 year old civic.
And, if I were to go for a GM “budget” car, I’d look at the Cobalt, the next step up in Chevy’s econo-cars, and even then, a few grand more will put you in a Pontiac Matrix…er Vibe. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Chevy Aveo is unique among small cars in that it does not get the type of gas mileage that it should get, given the small size of its engine. Consumer Reports terms the Aveo’s performance as “just adequate”, so it appears that this Daewoo-designed car has combined weak acceleration with mediocre fuel economy, and that combination is certainly not typical for cars of its class.

CR categorizes the Aveo’s reliability as “worse than average”, and the owner satisfaction rating is “much worse than average”. In its annual auto survey, one of the questions that CR that poses to their subscribers is, “Considering all factors, would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?”. The result of that part of the survey put the AVEO at the absolute bottom of all makes and models of cars in terms of both “how it drives” and in terms of its features.

On CR’s 100 point rating scale for its comprehensive road test of new cars, the Aveo has the distinction of getting the lowest ratings of all vehicles that were tested, with its LS model (automatic trans) scoring 32 points, and the LS with manual transmission scoring 30 points. All-in-all, it appears that it would be difficult to find a lower-rated car being offered for sale as a new car today. Of course, once the Smart car is fully evaluated, that could push the Aveo up into the second-worst position. Time will tell which of these vehicles is worse.

Maybe a larger engine would get better mileage? Isn’t that the problem the Smart suffers from, the small engine has to work harder to get it up to speed, so in turn, it uses more gas than it should.

The European model of the Smart uses a smaller engine than the US version and that European version gets gas mileage consistent with something that small. The US model is just not fuel efficient enough to justify buying something that small, IMHO. Why it doesn’t get better mileage is a mystery to me.

CR’s recent “quick take” on the US version of the Smart was that it struggled to get up to highway speed, although it could maintain highway speed once it got there. They also noted that the transmission (a manual trans that is shifted by an electric motor, I believe) “lurched” very badly every time it upshifted or downshifted, and it made the passenger lurch forward and backward each time that it shifted. CR also noted that the US Smart requires premium gas, thus making its so-so gas mileage not as economical as the owner would probably expect.

My chief concern with the Smart is the issue of safety. A few months ago, I was a passenger in an '01 Accord that was hit broadside by a Lexus SUV that was going about 40 mph. The Accord spun around about 180 degrees, the side air bag on the driver’s side deployed, and the car sustained enough damage to be “totaled” by my friend’s insurance company. Neither the driver or I were injured, due to the good construction of the Accord. Would we have fared as well in a Smart car? I think that the answer is very obvious.

No matter how well the Smart does in barrier crash tests, the fact remains that if that tiny vehicle is hit by a significantly larger vehicle, the Smart will become airborne and will go “flying” for a very long distance before it finally comes to rest. And, depending on where it finally comes to rest, the occupants could be exposed to an even greater danger than the original impact. In the case of the accident in which I was a passenger, I have no doubt that a Smart, if hit in the same way as the Accord was, would have landed at least 100 feet down the highway, likely in the path of one of the 18 wheelers that whizzed past us after we spun around on the shoulder and the right lane.

The Smart has the sole advantage of being able to be parked in an incredibly small parking space, thus making it very good for purely urban situations. It gets good, but not outstanding gas mileage, given its size. But, whatever postive qualities that it might have, the thought of being in a Smart in a high speed collision is just not something that I would want to experience, simply because the probable outcome is just so gruesome.

The laws of physics will not be denied. Just imagine how far a Smart will “fly” when it is hit by a larger vehicle, and then decide if you want to ride in one.

I don’t know why people get so worked up over the safety of cars. As a motorcycle rider I have nothing around me protecting me except the clothes and helmet I’m wearing. If I get hit I get hit. There are millions of us. The Smart car is a wonder of modern design given the safety cell, air bags, and the ability to take such tremendous impacts in tests. Is it as safe as an Accord? I suppose it depends on the hit, but then again I hear from some SUV drivers they would never want a sedan because it’s so unsafe compared to an SUV haha.

I’ve been in three totalled cars in my lifetime (two as a passenger) and all of the cars would be considered primitive and less safe than a Smart car by a large margin (Especially the 1984 Cavalier). I did manage to walk away from all three wrecks though. Something is better than nothing protection wise and I think people need to live their lives and not get too caught up if X scenario were to happen at Y place. In the end what gets us is usually the last thing we were expecting anyway.

“In the end what gets us is usually the last thing we were expecting anyway.”

Believe me, the last thing that my friend and I expected was for someone to hit us broadside while we were at a Shell gas station. Who would expect to be broadsided at ~40 mph when your vehicle is not even on a road?

I am very glad that we were in a car of some mass, unlike a Smart car.

The Sentra is a significantly better engineered and built car than the Aveo, which is a Korean Daewoo desingn originally for the less critial Korean and SE Asia market, where owners drive less and they don’t expect 300,000 mile vehicle life. When GM bought bakrupt Deawo, they inherted these desins. and the Aveo fills stopgap niche.

Agree with others that a Honda Fit would be a better choice. It is everything the Aveo is, only better and extremely well built.

Here’s another assessment of the Aveo:


Click on ‘user opinions’ for their insight.

You can chec gas mileage for this and any other car here:

In 2003 we needed a new minivan. I looked at Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, and the GM minivans. I decided to buy an Olds Silhouette because it represented the best value. The Odyssey did may things better than the Sihouette, but the cost differential was not worth it to me. I have not regretted the purchase and have ot spend even 1/10th the difference in price on repairs. See if you can borrow an Aveo from the dealer for a weekend, or rent one for the weekend. See if you can live with it. If so, buy it. Remember, too, that GM has Employee Pricing incentives; the Aveo LS 5-door discount is $870.

Don’t forget the resale factor between the Odyssey and the Silhouette. If you keep cars until the wheels fall off it’s probably not a concern, but if you replace vehicles every 5-6 years it’s a major consideration.