Chevrolet Sonic

The first generation of the Chevrolet Sonic debuted in 2002 under four different brands. It was initially manufactured by GM Daewoo, the South Korean GM subsidiary, with further GM companies and subsidiaries getting involved in the second generation. Depending on the market, the first generation sold as the Daewoo Kalos, Holden Barina, Pontiac G3, Pontiac Wave, Suzuki Swift+, and the Chevrolet Aveo. When the second generation launched in 2011, a fifth brand joined the mix with the rebranding of the vehicle to the Chevrolet Aveo or the Chevrolet Sonic.

More on the Chevrolet Sonic
About the Chevrolet Sonic

The Chevrolet Sonic is a subcompact car that has a front engine, front-wheel-drive layout. Unlike most subcompact economy cars, the Sonic sacrifices few luxury features of larger vehicles, which explains why it starts at a higher price than most of its direct competitors. The Chevrolet Sonic is one of the smallest cars Chevrolet offers, and it sells in the entry-level market to younger drivers looking to purchase their first vehicles. With the second generation of the Chevrolet Sonic, GM aims to produce a stylish and sporty car that also gets great gas mileage, maintains safety, and serves practical needs, all for a lower price.

Chevrolet Sonic Features

As of the 2011 model year, Chevrolet renamed the second generation of the Chevrolet Aveo the Chevrolet Sonic. This name change applies to the North American market and several other markets, where it is made domestically, while the rest of the world continues to use the name Aveo. The Australasia market is an exception, where both generations of the car are sold as the Holden Barina.

The second generation of the Chevrolet Sonic has been in production since 2011 and is available for the 2012 model year. For the North American market, the Chevrolet Sonic contains a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower as its standard engine or a more efficient 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that makes an identical 138 horsepower, but adds more torque. The 1.8-liter engine can pair with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The 1.4-liter turbo engine has come only with a six-speed manual transmission, but Chevrolet is adding a six-speed automatic option in 2012.

This generation of the Sonic comes as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback body style. Both body styles can be equipped with the base engine or the 1.4-liter turbo engine. Both also come in several different colors and with several different trim levels to choose from. OnStar, SiriusXM satellite radio, and Bluetooth capability are available in different trim levels. Other features and options include an increase from 15-inch to 17-inch aluminum wheels, power windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and fog lamps. All trim levels have 10 airbags and an electronic stability control system with a rollover sensor and traction control. The new Chevrolet Sonic is the first car in the subcompact class to offer 10 airbags standard.

With the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet began using a three-paint, water-based process. With this technique, the car does not need to be placed in the primer bake oven. As a result, the energy used to build each car shows a reduction of 50 percent compared to those that do not use this technique. Chevrolet is the first car manufacturer to use the water-based, three-paint process in the U.S. The Chevrolet Sonic is also the only car in the subcompact category sold in the U.S. that is also built in the U.S., at the GM plant in Lake Orion, Michigan.

Chevrolet Sonic Evolution

When Chevrolet launched the first generation in 2002, the Aveo came in two different body styles: a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. A third body style, a three-door hatchback, was added in 2005 for some European markets.

In 2005, the first generation of Aveo sedans underwent a refresh, under the dual supervision of GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. Changes implemented in the refresh included updates to the exterior styling of the cars, a new instrument panel inside the vehicle, and some minor changes to the equipment used in the car. Sound deadening increased in these models, and adjustments to the location of the antenna and shape of the vehicle reduced the amount of drag experienced during driving.

The first-generation hatchbacks underwent a refresh in 2007, giving the hatchbacks have the same instrument panel as the 2005 sedans. The current version, much improved and renamed as the Chevrolet Sonic, went on sale for the 2011 model year.

Select a Chevrolet Sonic Year

2019 Chevrolet Sonic

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2016 Chevrolet Sonic

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2015 Chevrolet Sonic

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2014 Chevrolet Sonic

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2013 Chevrolet Sonic

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic is a solid entry in the subcompact market.

2012 Chevrolet Sonic

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

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.