I took my bride’s Subaru in for service yesterday and the complimentary rental car was a Chevy Aveo. It was reasonably competent, thrifty I’m sure, but…geez, talk about lack of personality. It’s the first car I’ve ever driven that has a message telling you the lights are off. Plus, as far as I can tell, everything on it was made of plastic.

That said, it’s pretty astonishing how competent even the cheapest cars are today. I bet this thing in real dollars isn’t much more expensive than the Yugo was in 1985, and yet it’s light years ahead of it from just about any angle you care to approach it from–safety, performance, fuel economy, even looks, homely as they are.