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Quick Spin: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ 1.4 Turbo – More Power and Efficiency 2
Aug
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Sonic, Test Drives on 08 2nd, 2012

Earlier this year we had a chance to get our hands on the new 2012 Chevy Sonic hatchback. At the time, Chevrolet only offered a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine. As we noted in our review, Chevrolet played their cards well in the small car game with the introduction of the new Sonic, somewhat of a large-proportioned subcompact. Recently, we had the chance to take a spin in the newly introduced Sonic with a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder Turbo engine, proving to give the new Sonic a performance and efficiency edge.

Although the new 1.4-liter Turbo Chevy Sonic isn’t exactly a thrill ride, having the same horsepower figure as the 1.8-liter engine, it does stack on an extra 23 ft-lbs. of torque to the equation for a total of 148 ft-lbs. With the added torque, the Sonic has a noticeable improved eagerness to scoot the 2,800 pound sub compact around.

During my time with the new 2012 Chevy Sonic Turbo, I was surprised at its agility and stable ride for a sub compact. Even though the Sonic carries some extra heft to it when compared to other sub compacts, it tends to mange it very well. The Turbocharged engine has very little lag and tends to surge just enough power to the front wheels barely breaking the loose on pavement.

Having 138 horsepower, in both the 1.8-liter NA and my 1.4-liter turbo, torque steer is not much of an issue even when the turbo kicks in its 148 ft-lbs. at just 1,850 rpm. The turbocharged engine, however, does give you an extra bit of confidence in overtaking other cars on the highway. Not to mention, the 1.4-liter turbo is a much better mate for the Sonic than when equipped in a heavier Chevy Cruze. In acceleration tests, the new Sonic Hatchback Turbo 6-speed manual mustered out a 0-60 mph time in 8.1 seconds, almost a full second quicker than the 1.8-liter naturally aspirated engine Sonic.

With Chevrolet now offering the 1.4-liter Turbo engine with a choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, it really adds an attraction for consumers in the market for a subcompact. Fuel consumption is also another shining point of the new Sonic Turbo getting as much as 40 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg city with the manual transmission. During my week’s time pushing the Sonic considerably hard in heavy traffic, I saw 29 mpg on average with my best figure of 37 mpg with my automatic transmission Sonic LTZ turbo. As a direct comparison, the 1.8-liter engine gets 25 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. My automatic Sonic LTZ has an EPA estimated 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.

The new Chevy Sonic virtually eliminates any preconceived notions consumers and enthusiasts once had about the Chevy Aveo, the vehicle that the Sonic proudly replaces. Offering up a comfortable cabin, enough space for 6-foot-plus adults up front, decent space in the rear seats, and just enough cargo space, the Sonic hatchback proves to be quite versatile.

The Chevy Sonic hatchback is currently available with the original 1.8-liter or 1.4-liter turbo engine. Three trim levels are offered, LS, LT and LTZ. The LS trim only comes with the 1.8-liter engine while the LT and LTZ trims offer the 1.4-liter Turbocharged engine as a $700 option. If you ask me, the $700 bill is definitely worth the price of admission considering the performance and efficiency gains. All trims can be had with the standard 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

A base 2012 Chevy Sonic LS manual transmission starts off at just $14,765 including $795 destination charge. My Sonic LTZ automatic climbed to a base price of $18,625 landing an as-tested price of $20,445 including the options of the 1.4-liter turbo engine and Crystal Red metallic tintcoat paint. Entering into the $20K figure for a subcompact may be a hard pill to swallow, but you can easily consider that the Sonic ventures into the bigger compact segment with its decent interior space, excellent efficiency and agile road-going manners.

Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Sonic LS Hatchback  $14,635 As-Tested Sonic LTZ Turbo Hatchback $20,445
  • Engine: 1.4-liter Turbocharged 4-cylinder DOHC Ecotec 16-valve 138 horsepower @ 4900 rpm / 148 ft-lbs. torque @ 1850 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 99.4in.
  • Total length: 159.0in.
  • Total width: 68.3in.
  • Total height: 59.7in.
  • Fuel tank: 12.2 gallons
  • Headroom: f/r-38.7/38.1in.
  • Shoulder room: f/r-53.4/53.0in.
  • Curb weight: 2,804 lbs. (6-speed automatic)
  • 0-60mph: 8.1 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 27mpg/city, 37mpg/highway (automatic transmission)


2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ (2LZ) Review & Test Drive 30
Jan
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Sonic, featured, Test Drives on 01 30th, 2012

For years Chevrolet played the small car game, but their cards were often coming up short when vetted against the over-seas competition. This year, Chevrolet introduces the 2012 Sonic.  An all-new small car from the ground up that is poised to compete worldwide.

The all-new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic brings the subcompact segment back home for General Motors in a way that reaches across the pond. The 2012 Chevy Sonic is essentially a replacement for the ill-fated Daewoo-breed Chevy Aveo. Without even driving the Sonic, at first glace, I can say with a certainty that the Sonic will be a much needed improvement.

As a world market competitor, the new Chevy Sonic will have no problems keeping up with the competition. The new Chevy Sonic gets a choice of two fuel-efficient yet peppy 4-cylinder engines. My 2012 Sonic LTZ was equipped with a 1.8-liter 138 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque engine, same as found in the base Chevy Cruze. A 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is available on two out of six specific trim levels (1LT, 1LZ) for the Sonic with a late availability. With the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Ecotec engine mated to a 6-speed automatic, I was able to muster out a solid 33 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg in the city.

For a subcompact vehicle the Chevy Sonic has many trim levels, six total. Quite possibly Chevrolet’s explanation for this is giving consumers plenty of personalization options. Sure, a subcompact hatchback should have a wide array of trim levels and configuration options. The 2012 Chevy Sonic does not disappoint providing a long list of options including my (LTZ) 2LT trim level test vehicle’s heated ‘leatherette’ seats, Bluetooth connectivity w/ streaming audio, remote vehicle start, and front fog lights. This list is not abundant by any means. This is after-all, a subcompact vehicle.

When I think of a subcompact vehicle, I tend to think of something like the Fiat 500 I had a couple weeks ago. The Chevy Sonic is rather large for a subcompact, which is a good thing considering how well I can fit my 6-feet 3-inch frame into the driver’s seat. Interior volume on the Sonic rivals that of a compact vehicle. The rear seating area is also decent for a vehicle classified as “small”. The place where space may be considered somewhat compromised, is in the rear cargo hatch. Over-all, the interior of the Chevy Sonic is comfortable and refined, especially for its class.

At over 2,600 pounds, the new Chevy Sonic may be considered heavy for its class. Surprisingly, that does not upset its drivability. The new Sonic is still nimble enough to throw around corners and with the 1.8-liter engine mated to a competent 6-speed automatic transmission, the Sonic performs considerably well. Some of the Sonic’s performance attributes are due to its well-weighted steering along with its 17-inch wheels and tires.

The all-new Chevy Sonic is gaining momentum in the aftermarket world. Having driven the new Sonic, I can conclude that it has an excellent foundation to build off of. This may be a special note to the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine option for the Sonic. Not to mention, the aggressive design of the Sonic will make it easier for aftermarket aesthetics to be pleasing to the eye of a critical enthusiast.

Outside of the new Chevy Sonic is an original design. The front headlights bulging from the front fascia make it one of the better looking Chevy designs. Even the larger front fog lights add a sporty style to the Sonic’s over-all appeal. The sheet metal lines across the hood and down the side blend well making the Sonic look sleek and daring. The rear end is probably my only quarrel with the Sonic’s design. It is almost as if Chevy needed to make a compact car into a subcompact so they just cut off the rear hatch area.

The new Chevy Sonic’s interior is familiar especially after having driven the Chevy Cruze just weeks ago. Where the Sonic changes things up is in the gauge cluster. The new cluster has a large rpm gauge with a digital LCD screen including the speedo and readouts for other pertinent vehicle information. The cluster is rather simplistic but works well to give the Sonic a performance perception.

Over-all the all-new Chevy Sonic manages to exile those preconceived notions that Chevrolet’s subcompact cars are cheap. The Aveo, on the other hand, was a vehicle that may have helped tarnish a growing brand. Now that General Motors has taken the crown for the #1 seller in the world, vehicles like the Chevy Sonic will do wonders to keep them on top when it comes to fun, economical and cute small cars.

The new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic 5-door hatchback has a starting price of only $14,635 for the base model while my Sonic LTZ test vehicle came with an as-tested price of $19,255.

 

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Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Sonic LS Hatchback  $14,635 As-Tested Sonic LTZ Hatchback $19,255
  • Engine: 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Ecotec 16-valve 138 horsepower @ 6300 rpm / 125 ft-lbs. torque @ 3800 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 99.4in.
  • Total length: 159.0in.
  • Total width: 68.3in.
  • Total height: 59.7in.
  • Fuel tank: 12.2 gallons
  • Headroom: f/r-38.7/38.1in.
  • Shoulder room: f/r-53.4/53.0in.
  • Curb weight: 2,684 lbs. (6-speed automatic)
  • 0-60mph: 9.0 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 25mpg/city, 35mpg/highway (automatic transmission)


2012 Chevrolet Sonic Official; Just Ahead of Detroit Debut 10
Jan
Posted by Alex Ion in 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, Automotive News, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Sonic, Event Coverage, MacPherson strut, North American International Auto Show on 01 10th, 2011

Chevrolet has officially unveiled the Chevrolet Sonic. Available as four-door sedan or five-door hatchback, the vehicle was officially announced before its debut at the North American International Auto Show.

The interior comprises Spark-inspired cockpit with a two-tone design, spacious rear seat with options such as USB/Bluetooth connectivity, remote start, heated front seats and a sunroof.

Two engines will be offered, one being the 1.8-liter producing 135 hp (101 kW) and 125 lb-ft (168 Nm), mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

The other with turbocharged 1.4-liter produces138 hp (103 kW) and 148 lb-ft (200 Nm) of torque and is connected exclusively to a six-speed manual.

MacPherson strut front suspension with stabilizer bar and a semi-independent torsion beam rear have been installed to ensure a sporty drive. Beside, it features rear drum brakes and an electronic power steering system.

The company hasn’t released full details. The car will go sale later this year.

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