By Clint Williams
Green Right Now

Some people buy a car looking for thrills. Others want a little prestige under the hood. A lot of folks, though, just want something to get them to work and to the grocery store as cheaply as possible.

The 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 Hatchback is a car for those people.

The Aveo5, and its sedan counterpart, get an EPA estimated 34 miles per gallon in highway driving and you can expect darn close to 30 mpg in your typical mix of run-around-the-suburbs driving. Aveo meets the ULEV II emissions standard.

Your upfront costs are also low. The starting sticker price for a bare bones Aveo is just over $12,000. Nearly everyone will spend more for the LT trim level that includes air-conditioning and sound system with a CD player.

The test car was a comfortably equipped 1LT trim that included power windows and door locks, satellite radio, cruise control and four-speed automatic transmission for less than $15,000.

But what do you get for $15,000? No thrills, certainly.

The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine generates just 106 horsepower. Merging onto heavy freeway traffic takes some finesse – you can’t just leap into a gap. The steering is nimble enough at slow speeds, but the handling grows more vague as the speedometer inches upward.

The cabin is comfortable, with good headroom front and back. The back seat is surprisingly spacious, offering decent legroom for anyone under 6′-1″ or so.

The knobs for the climate control system are large and easy to use while keeping your eyes on the road. Same for the audio controls.

Safety equipment includes side impact air bags for front seat passengers, but not for the folks in the back.

The Aveo5 won’t do much for your ego, but it will help your bottom line. If you’re looking for a commuter car, the Aveo is worth putting on your list.

Copyright © 2008 Green Right Now | Distributed by Noofangle Media