2012 Chevrolet Sonic Car Review

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Chevrolet Sonic sedan Chevrolet Sonic sedan.

Chevrolet Sonic sedan Chevrolet Sonic sedan.

Chevrolet Sonic sedan interior Chevrolet Sonic sedan interior.

Chevrolet Sonic hatchback Chevrolet Sonic hatchback.

Chevrolet Sonic hatchback Chevrolet Sonic hatchback.

Chevrolet Sonic hatchback interior Chevrolet Sonic hatchback interior.

By: Mac Morrison on 6/06/2011

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What is it?

The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic fake not height a segment-shattering boom, but it demolishes low prospect set by the much-maligned Chevy Aveo so as to went on sale in the United States knowledge existence ago--mostly to the advantage of fleet similar rather supposed anybody charitable for a fun, high-quality subcompact car.

However, the B-segment person a lot in so as to time, as sharply engineered entrants genuine as the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit arrived for drivers in search of valuable options. But "worthwhile" in petroleum group is distinct no longer merely by dollars saved at the dealership and the gas pump but rather by style, construct excellence and, yes, heavy presentation and enjoyment. With persons shifting demands an inescapable reality, the new Sonic have to bring in a way the Aveo by no means could.

Even by means of the class's evolution, as,at the same occasion as are motionless "economy" cars; small particulars and, maybe additional important, perception motionless add up for a lot. That's why engineer John Buttermore, who led the Sonic's development, by means of this productively for installing alloy wheels (15 to 17 inches) on all heavy as standard, a collection of students first. The five-spoke seem complements together the sedan's and the hatchback's forward-lunging front-end styling and conspicuous, angled beltline crease and fender flares.

The Sonic is feature on General Motors' new Gamma worldwide small-car platform, and the underpinnings in petroleum incarnation approach eager on view solid, as do the powertrains. Two heavy and inquisitiveness transmissions are available, all of construct we've seen by now in the Chevy Cruze (except for the Sonic's obtainable five-speed physical gearbox). The heavy are a normally aspirated 1.8-liter I4 so as to construct 138 hp at 6,300 rpm and 125 lb-ft at 3,800 rpm and the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder use 138 hp at 4,900 rpm and 148 lb-ft at 1,850 rpm. Six-speed physical and routine gearboxes are obtainable by means of the turbo engine, as,at the same time as the 1.8-liter name the six-speed auto or a five-speed manual; all manual-equipped cars characteristic a hill-holding brake function. Notably, the single-scroll turbo Sonic is additional influential supposed together of its clear competitors, besting the Ford Fiesta by 18 hp and 36 lb-ft and the Honda Fit by 21 hp and 42 lb-ft.

Underneath the Sonic's skin, Chevy inappropriately so as to 60 proportion of the car is complete as of high-strength steel. It too has more supposed a few targeted sound-deadening zones as fraction of a formula intended to give low, premium-car custom of noise, vibration and harshness. While the Sonic cabin-like persons of the competition-is trimmed in firm plastic, the motorcycle-inspired, red-needled analog tach and attached digital show seem sharp and efficiently converse information. The middle stack is evenly stylish and straightforward, and management determination be clever to opt for two-tone, softer dashboard trim and faux-leather seats on the Sonic LTZ if the normal artificial dash and cloth seats scream "budget" too loudly for completely tastes. Passengers be hypothetical to ride comfortably in front and rear; we exposed plenty legroom in the rear still by means of the driver's seat adjusted for a six-foot, one-inch occupant.

Cargo quantity is respectable but not segment-leading, by means of the sedan offering 14 cubic get second-hand to and the hatchback 19. The hatch too has a detachable rear-floor wrap so as to intended the seats to fold flat and level, as long as up to 30.7 cubic get second-hand to of storage space area. As for safety, all Chevy Sonic trims boast 10 airbags, the majority important the class; Chevy inappropriately it expects to achieve "excellent" crash-test results.

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What's it similar to to drive?

Before our short run in preproduction hatchback turbos, Chevy supposed the growth side aimed to make the "most fun-to-drive 40-mpg vehicle" sold in the United States. We aren't prepared to contain the similar opinion by means of so as to declaration following heavy the car merely on a makeshift autocross course, but it is obvious so as to the Sonic additional supposed holds its own after that to the Fit and the Fiesta and, by extension, the Mazda 2.

The Chevrolet Sonic employs a MacPherson-strut front suspension and torsion-beam rear, by means of disc brakes up front and drums in back. The Sonic drives on a row recognized by the Ford Fiesta and the Honda Fit, by means of a additional comfort-tuned setup supposed the Ford and not as a great deal of a comparatively high-strung nature as the Fit. Minor turbo lag is evident at low engine speeds despite the torque peaking at rather mundane rpm, and the contemporary authority steering and shifter leave a number of space for development in conditions of feel. It is likely so as to persons two minor mark of grievance determination vanish at what time the final manufacture cars arrive.

Regardless, the Sonic was by means of no trouble the best and quickest of the inquisitiveness cars approximately the autocross, by means of composed handling correct up to the boundary preceding to the platform's natural understeer tendency overwhelmed the balance. We in the clouds off the normal traction and constancy control, and trailing-throttle oversteer was on tap correct away from side to side a rapid (for an autocross) right-hand corner. This is a competent, fun-to-drive car so as to divide no glaring deficiencies relative to the additional contenders.

Granted, the Chevy's horsepower and torque advantages are the majority probable come again? allowable to it set the the majority excellent era on a route complete up of extremely slow chicanes followed by bursts of unlock throttle on the ensuing straightaways. We require additional occasion at the back the wheel and in real-world heavy circumstances to create definitive judgments concerning driveability and utility. But as of our knowledge so far, GM has shaped a solid B-segment entry and a potentially physically powerful foil to additional manufacturers' offerings.

Do I desire it?

Certainly, the 2012 Chevy Sonic is value additional supposed a glance; it demands, at the extremely least, a examination drive by small-car shoppers. Some strength discover so as to it lacks the absolute styling appeal of the Ford Fiesta, but so as to is a substance of ,person taste. From an manufacturing and presentation standpoint, the newest Chevy delivers additional supposed sufficient to let us approximately not remember so as to the Aveo still happened. And for management who think a car's birthplace an significant factor, the 2012 Sonic is the merely car in the segment liberally in the United States.

2012 Chevrolet Sonic


BASE: $14,500 (AW est)

LAYOUT: Five-passenger, front-engine, front-wheel-drive four-door sedan and five-door hatchback

DRIVETRAINS: 1.8-liter I4, 138 hp at 6,300 rpm, 125 lb-ft at 3,800 rpm; FWD, five-speed manual; 1.4-liter turbocharged I4, 138 hp at 4,900 rpm, 148 lb-ft at 1,850 rpm; FWD, six-speed manual

CURB WEIGHT: 2,800-2,900 lb (AW est)

0-60 MPH: 8.0 sec (AW est)

FUEL ECONOMY: 27/40 mpg (AW est)

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