The Chevrolet Sonic is all-new for 2012. The new subcompact comes loaded with personality, and is available in enough configurations to suit most buyers.
For starters, buyers can choose between a 5-door hatchback or 4-door sedan, with LS, LT and LTZ trims available. Two engines power the lineup: a naturally aspirated 1.8L 4-cylinder is standard and produces 138 hp and 125 ft-lb of torque, while a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder available on LT and LTZ trims puts out the same number of horses, but a healthy 148 ft-lb of torque. Both engines come from the larger Chevy Cruze, and in the smaller, lighter Sonic, they are downright sprightly. The 1.8L comes paired to a 5-speed manual, while the 1.4L sends its power through a 6-speed manual. A 6-speed automatic is optional for both engines.
The Sonic benefits from an incredibly stiff steel chassis, with MacPherson struts up front and a torsion-beam axle in the rear. Stability control and traction control are standard, but can be switched off.
Standard amenities include 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power locks and keyless entry, as well as a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. LS trim adds heated side mirrors and special exterior appointments, while LTZ trim includes 17-inch wheels, fog lamps, perforated leatherette seating surfaces with heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with stereo controls, cruise control and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.
Many of the features of the LTZ are options in the Connectivity Plus Cruise Package and are available on LT-equipped Sonics. Optional on LTZ cars is a power sunroof.
Standard safety features include ten airbags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensor and traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and panic assist, OnStar and hill start assist.
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is a front-wheel-drive 5-door hatchback or 4-door sedan in the growing subcompact segment. This successor to the Aveo benefits from GM's all-new global small vehicle architecture and comes powered by either a 1.8L 4-cylinder churning out 138 hp, or a 1.4L turbocharged four with the same amount of power, but an impressive 148 ft-lb of torque. They are the same engines available in the larger Chevrolet Cruze; the 1.8 is mated to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed auto, while the 1.4 is paired with either a 6-speed manual or the 6-speed auto.
The Sonic is expected to return fuel economy numbers around 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, and pricing starts at $13,735.