2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ 5 Door
1.4 L Turbocharged 4 cylinder 138 HP with 6 Speed Manual Transmission
Inferno Orange Metallic with Dark Titanium Leatherette
The photo gallery/slide show of the Sonic.
Its not a secret that small cars are a reinvigorated segment, in an atmosphere of less is more, small cars are totally cool, especially when they are multifunctional with 5 doors.
The 5 door Sonic has an appealing cool factor, and a refreshing street presence. Especially that one does not expect such a car from Chevrolet. By now we know that the small car platforms are engineered, and styled by GM in Korea for a global marketplace, with expectations and aspirations that are huge.
You expect the car to be "world class"...it is.
Our tester is the LTZ version (top of the line), the leatherette interior is well finished, the hard plastic surfaces are grey, not so hard, and with a pleasing texture. In this segment, at this price range one expects, and gets plastic, with the Sonic its "pleasing plastic". The interior is surprisingly spacious for a small car, with rear doors facilitating ingress, and egress will easily accommodate 4 adults for a period of time. The rear hatch, and folding rear seats increase the overall functionality.
The instrument panel with the sport bike look is unique, hyper cool, and grasps the attention. It caught our attention the fist time we saw this car.
The controls are intuitive, and easy, the sound system is acceptable, yes...you expect XM satellite, manual HVAC controls, the leather wrapped steering wheel is a pleasant surprise. The driver seatbelt buckle is encumbered by the hand brake lever, and somewhat annoying if you apply the hand brake prior to unbuckling the seat belt.
There is a wow moment...for a small car, its useful, functional, versatile...which increasingly is what you anticipate from a small package that is well executed.
The turbo motor with 138 PH generates the most power for this segment (usually 100 HP), has an interesting mid range from 2,500 to 4,500 RPM where the effects of the turbo are the most prominent.
All the specifications and configurator for the Sonic are...here.
How does it drive...
Although from our perspective its ideally suited for surface streets, and congested urban environments...yes all small cars must be good on urban surface streets. The Sonic does not disappoint, its solid, handles our stretch of rough pavement with aplomb, accompanied by on center steering, and good brakes.
The manual transmission is great for highway cruising with a tall 6th gear, this car can effortlessly cruise all day. Although we are of the opinion that the automatic version is perhaps better suited to the mid range of the engine. Put it this way...we would get an automatic.
If you are considering a versatile small car, we agree with you...there are numerous offerings...we agree with you that you would not expect a cool small car from Chevrolet. Until a few months ago, when we saw the Sonic for the first time, and had an opportunity to spend some time with the folks from GM that are responsible for the Sonic...we would have probably looked elsewhere for a small car.
If you are considering a small car, make it a point to experience the Sonic...its more than its small size!
The quick review