Chevrolet Sonic Gets 40 mpg Thanks to the Magic of Turbocharging

By Blake Z. Rong | September 15, 2011
With its little 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the Chevrolet Sonic manages 40 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in town. At those figures, the Sonic ties the Ford Fiesta SFE, and gives up just one city mpg to the Hyundai Accent. The figures were achieved with the Sonic's six-speed manual transmission, which is standard equipment on LT and LTZ models equipped with the 1.4-liter Ecotec engine. And unlike GM's previous small cars, the Sonic avoids the status of a cardboard-bodied penalty box. Don’t call it an Aveo anymore, Chevy says. The thrifty 1.4-liter gets 138 horsepower and 148 ft-lbs of torque with a turbocharger, enough to propel it to 60 mph in a little more than 8 seconds. A 1.8-liter non-turbo Ecotec is also available as a base engine, ripped straight from the Cruze. At 136 horsepower, it gives up a bit in both power and efficiency: 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, for both transmissions. When the Sonic hits dealers at the end of the month, buyers will have to decide whether the 1.4-liter turbo engine's added fuel economy is worth the extra $2,000 on top of the Sonic’s $13,735 base price. Source: Chevrolet