CHEVROLET Aveo / Kalos 5 Doors
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
GM introduced the facelifted version of the Aveo/Kalos lineup in 2008 as an alternative for the budget car market, which was increasing due to the world financial crisis.
Like most of the other carmakers, General Motors had financial troubles. Its cars were filling the storage areas, and there were no customers. Its only solution was to sell more affordable cars and the Aveo/Kalos was just the car it needed. Kalos came from Greek and means beautiful. It looked closer to its name in a three-door version, but in the five-door version, it was just as bland as most other cars from its segment.
The refreshed Kalos looked very different than its predecessor. Its swept-up headlights and the redesigned grille that resembled Audi’s single-frame one made the car looks more aggressive. On the sides, the ascending line connected the front wheel-arches to the taillights. Its rear doors were wide enough for average-sized adults and excellent for children.
Inside, the 2008 Aveo featured the same hard plastic materials for the dashboard. It was a budget car, and no one expected leather seats or soft materials in it. At least, the carmaker provided steering wheel buttons for the audio system, which was carried over from the Opel Corsa. Depending on the trim level, the AC unit was fitted as standard.
Under the hood, Chevrolet installed two engine choices, both with gasoline. A four-speed automatic transmission was available as an option for the 1.4-liter engine, while the 1.2-liter was paired exclusively with a 5-speed manual.
Chevrolet desperately tried to save its European branch by introducing a budget car able to increase the sales in a drowning market.
GM bought the Daewoo remains and used its already planned models to expand its market share on the European continent. The times were tough, and the world financial crisis cut sales all over the world. A small-segment vehicle with a good-looking design seemed to be a good idea, but it didn’t work well for Chevrolet Aveo/Kalos.
Kalos (beautiful in Greek) was designed with the help of Pininfarina studio. The Italians tried to give the car a shape that would distinguish itself among the other competitors on the market. With its straight-cut headlights and the split-grille, its image was good. From the side, the hot-hatch appearance looked better in pictures than in real life.
While the exterior promised a vehicle with good qualities, the interior was fitted with a bland design and budget materials. Its connection with the former Daewoo models couldn’t be hidden by introducing a new steering wheel and a new CD-radio (only on top trim levels). The instrument cluster, in particular, offered a cheap-looking design with fake plastic pieces that mimicked aluminum.
Under the posh-looking bodywork, GM used the same old platform from Daewoo. There was a choice of new engines, including a 1.2-liter 16-valves, paired to a 5-speed manual. The upper version, which featured a 1.4-liter unit, was available with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Chevrolet tried to make its presence on the European market as long as possible and offered a budget vehicle based on the old Daewoo platform.
While the Daewoo brand was phased-out from the European market, Chevrolet took its place and introduced the Aveo/Kalos lineup as a bigger brother for the Chevrolet Spark, formerly known as Daewoo Matiz. Giugiaro Studios penned the new lineup, and it was available as a four-door sedan or a three- and five-door hatchback.
It was considered a good city vehicle for a family that needed a car to take them back and forth from their work and leave the kids at the school in the process in its five-door version. Its narrow, horizontal headlights were complemented at the bottom by a set of bumper-mounted turn signals. An additional turn-signal found its place on the front fenders. Chevrolet knew how to attract its customers and played it safe with body-colored door handles and mirrors.
Inside, it was room enough for four adult-sized passengers of average European height (1.75m – 5.75 ft). The tall and slim seats allowed enough legroom for the rear passengers. Thus, despite the short wheelbase, the Kalos/Aveo hatchback provided enough legroom for the rear occupants.
Under the hood, Fiat installed a choice of four engines, depending on the market. Their power ranged between 71 hp and 105 hp. A 4-speed automatic was on the options list for specific models, while the standard gearbox featured a 5-speed manual.