The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic earns a strong Total Car Score.
New to the scene, but impressing reviewers with its high level of standard amenities and safety equipment in this entry-level category, the Sonic breaks many preconceptions about what a subcompact should be — and it raises the bar several levels above the Aveo, its predecessor. The standard engine delivers decent power, but the optional turbocharged engine is preferred. It is slightly smaller when it comes to displacement, but the 1.4-liter delivers more torque and better fuel economy in real-world driving — that is what really matters to drivers.
Its freshness in the marketplace may also be considered a downside, as some reviewers are concerned that the glow encompassing the new Sonic may fade with time, especially as other competitors move their products upscale. Only time will tell.
All-new for 2012, the Chevrolet Sonic replaces the outgoing Aveo. It is sold worldwide.
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is an economy-oriented subcompact vehicle offered in both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles.
The Sonic is available with a choice of two engines. The standard engine is a naturally-aspirated 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. An optional turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder, only offered on the LT and LTZ models, is rated at 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque — it only comes with a six-speed manual gearbox. A front-drive powertrain is standard on all models.
Each of the body styles, both sedan and hatchback, are offered in three trim levels. Standard equipment on the LS trim includes 15-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, OnStar telematics and an entry-level four-speaker sound system. Bump up to the LT trim to receive full power accessories, upgraded cloth upholstery and a six-speaker audio package. The LTZ trim includes premium upholstery (leatherette vinyl), cruise control, Bluetooth phone and 17-inch alloy wheels. Major option bundles, offered on the higher trim levels, include the Connectivity Plus Cruise package (standard on the LTZ) and a sunroof.
The EPA estimates the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic's 1.4-liter inline-four with the manual transmission will earn 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined. The 1.8-liter inline-four, with the manual gearbox, will deliver 26/35/29. With the optional automatic, the 2012 Sonic is rated at 25 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined.
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