Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The Aveo is available with a choice of 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines, while a 1.3-litre diesel in three power outputs is also on offer. The petrol engines provide adequate performance but they do have to be worked hard when you want to overtake – at which point they become noisy. It’s around busy city streets and tight town roads that the Aveo’s engines work best, with good acceleration from 0-30mph.

The 1.2-litre manual delivers 86bhp and 115Nm of pulling power, allowing the Aveo to accelerate to 62mph in 13.4 seconds. With the more poweful 100bhp 1.4-litre the Aveo will get from zero to 62mph in 12.2s. Chevrolet expects the 1.2-litre option to be the most popular and with such close performance figures there’s not much benefit in picking the slightly bigger engine.

The diesels are all 1.3-litre units and are available in 75bhp, 95bhp and 95bhp ‘Eco’ specifications. They're a little more gruff and agricultural than you might expect, but at steady speed they're quiet and smooth. The diesel engines are more flexible and relaxing than the petrol versions, and surprisingly good fun to drive. The 1.3-litre diesel, with 95bhp, will accelerate the Aveo from 0-62mph in 11.7 seconds.

A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on most models, while a six-speed automatic is available on the 1.4-litre. The standard 95bhp diesel model gets a six-speed manual. The automatic gearbox is slower and less efficient than the manual versions, and it can cause a racket when accelerating, but the shift quality is acceptable and the gearbox operates unobtrusively around town.

Chevrolet’s marketing material claims that the Aveo offers a sporty driving experience that contributes to its appeal. Don’t buy one on this basis - the Aveo is not a car for those who want an involving drive. As a car to get from A to B, however, it proves very competent. There is some body roll in the corners, but it feels secure on the road with lots of grip.

The real criticism that can be levied against it – and why it’s not a car for those who want to be engaged – is the lack of feel and feedback through the steering. Despite this the Aveo is easy to drive and ideal for those who want to complete their journey with little fuss.