The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is GM’s newest addition to what’s called the 40 Plus mileage club. The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic delivers an EPA-estimated 40 mpg on the highway, it’s fun to drive, and has a starting price of just $14,995. No wonder sales of this well-designed subcompact are booming. Also, it just happens to be the only sub-compact car made in the USA, at the General Motors Orion Assembly facility in Lake Orion, Mich.
The Sonic’s highway fuel economy makes it one of the most fuel-efficient small cars in the market, on par with the 2012 Ford Fiesta SFE and the 2012 Hyundai Accent. Along with getting 40 mpg, the 1.4L turbo Sonic can reach 60 mph in an impressive 8.2 seconds. The Sonic also delivers city fuel economy 29 mpg with a six-speed transmission and the fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. There’s also a non-turbo 1.8L engine which gets fuel economy of 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with a manual transmission, and 25 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with the automatic..
The 1.4L Ecotec turbocharged engine is certified at 138 horsepower, which is 18 horsepower more than Ford Fiesta. It’s essentially the same engine as in the best-selling and slightly larger 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, so the Sonic’s smaller, lighter size gives you a greater feeling of performance, more like a compact sports car than a sub-compact sedan or hatchback. And the five-passenger 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is loaded with performance, safety and comfort features not often found on cars of this size and price, including VVT (variable valve timing), and ten airbags including a driver knee airbag to help reduce injury to lower extremities. Also, nearly 60 percent of the vehicle body structure uses high-strength steel, which GM says helps absorb the brunt of a crash.
Oh, and did I say stylish? The analog tacometer and digital speedometer were inspired by motorcycle design. And you can customize the Sonic with a variety of graphics packages. Find out more on the Chevy Sonic Facebook page, or on the Chevrolet Sonic .
- read my review of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, another best new car under $20,000
- read my review of the 2012 Toyota Yaris, another best buy new car under $20,000
- read my review of the 2012 Ford Focus, another best buy new car under $20,000
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