It's always tough to go through changes and convince your friends you're different. For the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, making everyone believe it's not the Aveo (which it is replacing), is exactly what the sedan and five-door hatchback will attempt. Chevy looks to make a statement and shed its Aveo skin by going toe-to-toe with the resurrected Ford Fiesta.
The Sonic will offer multiple transmission packages, three different trim choices, and the option of a 1.4-liter engine that puts out 138 horses, 18 more than the Ford Fiesta. With what Chevy claims as "ompetitive fuel economy, the Sonic borrows its optional engine from the larger Cruze sedan. The use of the Cruze engine gives the Sonic a feeling of higher performance. An Ecotec 1.8-liter engine pushing 135 horsepower is matched with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. There is an option for an Ecotec 1.4-liter turbo available paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
Body styles: sedan, five-door hatchback
Engines: 1.8-liter (five-speed manual, six-speed automatic) inline-4/1.4-liter (five-speed manual) inline-4
Transmission: five-speed manual, six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Models: LS, LT, LTZ
The 2012 model is the first production year for the Sonic. Optional features that can be found include OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation, XM radio, a USB port, Bluetooth connection, the MyChevrolet mobile app, OnStar MyLink, a remote start, heated seats and a sunroof. An Ecotec 1.4-liter turbo and 1.8-liter engine and three different transmissions also give options to choose from under the hood. A low-mass hollow frame cast iron block, dual overhead camshafts with variable valve timing and chain driven cams will allow the Sonic to be durable and run smoothly. It is expected to weigh in at 2800-2900 pounds, and should be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in as quick as eight seconds.
The 2012 Sonic looks to step out of the Aveo's shadow with a wide stance and redefined look. Everything about the Sonic screams progressiveness, and this is present to anyone who lays eyes on the car. Clean bodylines on the car give the appearance the Sonic is moving when it is not. Fender flares along with sharply angled headlights add to the Sonic's aggressive look.
The motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster has a large analog tachometer placed within a lopsided LCD screen. The speedometer can also be found in the read-out. The mid-instrument panel surface comes in two colors, (dark titanium and brick), and disappears into the upper doors. There are compartments for storage in the doors and center stack. The manual shifter has a chrome knob and the automatic shift knob emulates a "cobra-head" design. Seat heaters are optional up front, and the rear-seats fold down laying flat so larger cargo can fit.
Performance & Handling
Chevrolet has called for all hands on deck and Corvette engineers even contributed to how the 2012 Chevy Sonic rides and handles. Every model rides on MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar. The front and rear tracks are spaced evenly apart to increase the Sonic's stability and balance. The Sonic has a body structure and "flat-top frame" cradle enabling engineers to tweak the ride and handling in particular. The "flat-top frame" cradle increases stiffness in the front of the vehicle. The rear axle in essence is a straight axel that reduces noise and vibration. A variety of rims and tires can be selected including 17-inch rims wrapped in sport tires.
The 2012 Chevy Sonic surrounds its occupants with 10 standard air bags, OnStar with Automatic Crash Response, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake force distribution. The Sonic comes standard with electronic power steering and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing.
EPA Fuel Economy
Sonic: 27 mpg city/40 mpg highway (estimated)
Sonic Turbo: 25-26 mpg city/35-36 mpg highway
- USB connectivity
- OnStar turn-by-turn navigation
- MyLink and MyChevrolet
You Won't Like
- Electronic power-steering
A compact Chevy heading in the right direction.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Fiesta
- Honda Fit
- Toyota Yaris
- Nissan Versa
- Hyundai Accent