CleanMPG Reviews the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by xcel, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG]The sedan is cute and the hatch adds utility but load them up with even the basics and the price gets out of hand quick.

    [fflash=left][/fflash]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Nov. 24, 2011

    The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic with the 1.4L Turbo and tall ratio’ed stick - $17,195 as tested with a 29/40 mpgUS city/highway rating.

    Chevrolet’s new entry in the B-Segment is not about to set the world on fire but it may attract far more attention and possibly sales from the hotly contested B-Segment competitors than its predecessor, the Aveo. While the Aveo sold well over the years, it was only because it was relegated to price leader status on dealership lots across the country thanks to an outdated design that had not really changed since its release as a 2002 over a decade ago.

    2012 Chevrolet Sonic Specifications

    The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic will be available in two body styles and three trim levels. Complete specifications, pricing, standard and optional equipment including a standard and optional list of features can be found on the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Specifications page.

    2012 Chevrolet Sonic Drivetrain(s)

    The all-new 2012 Sonic is powered by two engines we have become quite familiar with as of late since they are both directly out of the Chevrolet Cruze. The normally aspirated 1.8L base engine and the turbocharged 1.4L offer up 138 HP with the turbo adding quite a bump up in torque to 148 lb.-ft. at just 2,500 RPM by comparison to 125 lb.-ft. at 3,800 from the 1.8L. With an ability to run up from 0 to 60 mph in less than 9-seconds, anyone that would complain that this sub-compact does not have enough giddy up and go in today’s stop and crawl traffic situations has their head firmly planted in terra firma.

    What really distinguishes the Sonic from the rest of the B-Segment pack is its tall ratioed 6-speed stick that can only be acquired if you opt for the $700 more expensive 1.4L Turbo. This addition not only allows the Chevrolet Sonic to cruise down the freeway at a blissful 1,800 RPM’s with the speedometer needle pointing solidly at 60 mph, it allows the compact to achieve an easy 40 mpg highway rating without much in the way of driver input. To see GM leading the segment with a potent 1.4L mill mated to a well spread out MT with ratios that make sense is actually quite refreshing. The Sonic drivetrain design makes the rest of its competitors including the highly regarded Honda Fit Sport (2,825 RPM@60 mph) and sporty Ford Fiesta SEL (2,625 RPM @60 mph), both with 5-speed manual transmissions, look both outdated and silly.

    2012 Chevrolet Sonic Ride and Handling

    While the Sonic does not quite have the handling characteristics of a Corvette ZR1, it was tuned by the same individuals. For North American first time buyers, the MacPherson Strut with stabilizer bar equipped suspension up front and basic torsion beam in the rear provides a competent overall solution. As GM's least expensive new car, I was not expecting much but with the few miles I drove it yesterday afternoon, the tall hatch rides firm enough to allow little body roll -- far less than I had expected given the tall hatch structure -- yet subdues the standard roadway undulations and expansion joints we all experience on a day to day basis with little in the way of an ill-handling surprises.

    The Sonics all electric power steering was not only designed to save fuel, it was also designed to surprise. A drive into the local USPS parking lot reveled that the Sonics steering was heavily boosted at slow speeds to remove even a hint of strain yet once underway, the assist was progressively reduced in such a fashion as to allow more road feel. This is an area that many sub-compact competitors have not quite yet figured out. Kudo’s to GM’s electric power steering design team.

    We will have more on the Sonics handling prowess when I take it to the local empty mall parking lot -- at least I hope it will be empty sometime during Thanksgiving week -- accident avoidance area and of course a particular subdivision entry way with small but sharp curb that has revealed glaring flaws in some of the best handling automobiles on the road today.

    2012 Chevrolet Sonic Exterior

    With the now common Chevrolet inspired chrome accent surrounding a black honeycomb grille, swooping hood lines flowing down from the outer edge of the windscreen and mating with each other just above the grille surround, and projector like dual headlamps to either side, the Sonic reveals a purpose oriented expression but with a playful face.

    A Chevrolet Signature Grille attached.​

    From the sides, two pronounced parallel character lines, one beginning from the front wheel well arches, through the door handles and sweeping through the rear tail light lenses and the other, beginning at the bottom of the front door and rising into the rear wheel arch brings about a sportiness not seen from a GM B or C-Segment in “forever”.

    On the hatch, the rear door handles took a page out of the European Honda Civic 5-door hatch’s playbook with the rear door handles mounted within the C-pillar itself.

    2012 Chevrolet Sonic Interior Features and Appointments

    With > 90 cu. ft of passenger volume and 14/19 cu. ft. of cargo volume (Sedan and Hatch respectively), the Sonic gives the first time buyer a vehicle that includes the necessary size to accommodate the driver and passengers and a lot of room to tackle life’s cargo needs head on. A large number of cubby’s including an upper and lower glove box (ala Prius), two small cubby storage areas to each side of the head unit, a small opening underneath the climate controls and even a tray on top of the dash can store a large number of small items that would normally be placed in the glove box alone. Missing is a standard sunglass holder at the front of the headliner, a center console storage box and useable length sun visors that only cover but a fraction of the space needed up front or when swung to the sides when the sun is low in the sky to do much good.

    Spartan but livable if you purchase in black ;) And a good number of storage spaces too.​

    A huge positive regarding the Sonic’s overall size, a particularly strident comparison arrives when comparing the B-Segment 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan and the larger C-Segment 2012 Ford Focus. The sonic has an EPA rated passenger and cargo capacity of 91 and 12 cu. ft. respectively while the Focus is rated at just 90 and 13 cu. ft. respectively. That is a very interesting comparison and one I found to be eye opening.

    From the driver’s perspective, if you are tall, this has to be one of the longest legged B-Segments ever created. Slide the front seat back to the rearward stops and this 6 footer could barely touch the pedals! Side to side room was a little cramped as all B-Segment vehicles are but nothing was protruding. And unlike many of today’s B and C-Segment offerings, the Sonic’s front seats do not have an overly intrusive seat bolstering on the lower cushion. Good for GM and thank goodness as I am getting real tired of this inclusion in most other smaller vehicles that pretend to be sports sedans to the chagrin of the driver who actually has to drive the car for the next 150,000 miles.

    Taking a seat in the rear while snapping the front interior shot, I found the leg room ample and the seats support adequate. I will not be spending much time back there but will snap the standard front to back shot for comparison sales.

    The Sonic’s headliner has a cloth like texture and appearance which is actually is a step above most in the class that use nothing more than an egg carton like cardboard lining. While not quite the same as the higher quality cloth like headliner in the all-new 2012 Kia Rio, the Sonic provides a nice upgrade over and above that included the Fiesta, Mazda2 and Fit.

    The interior is ok for the highly price sensitive B-Segment with enough small grain texture plastics to warm the interior up a touch but it is not a new LaCrosse, Passat or an Audi A8 by any stretch.

    I have read more than a few comments about the motorcycle inspired add-on instrument cluster. It is functional with a youth oriented design and so far, my only complaint is it is hard to immediately pick up the blue fonts on the black background in bright light and the fact it is a pain to cycle through the various functions using a menu button, the forward and back toggle ring on the left stalk and a rest button on the end of the same stalk.

    A miscue was discovered when it comes to the 5-door hatch’s useable cargo capacity. While the hatch has a somewhat roomy on paper 19 cu. ft. of cargo space (to the ceiling) with the rear seats upright and almost 31 cu. ft. with the seats folded, the interior designers must have lost a battle for more useable cargo volume at an early stage. The back of the hatch was quite literally cut off at least 4” to short and the privacy cover takes up at least 4” of much needed cargo height. There is actually very little space between the closed hatch, back of the rear seats, floor and privacy cover to accommodate more than two smaller carryon’s. Even with the 60/40 split fold down seats and the privacy cover removed, there is not a prayer of holding more than two full sized pieces of luggage while allowing room for three in the passenger compartment.

    The hatch lacks useful cargo capacity.​

    With this in mind, I would consider the sedan over the hatch due to everyday cargo space needs even though the hatch has more utility once the rear seats are folded down.

    About the space available when the rear seats are folded down, there is an almost flat floor and a large hatch opening to fit all sorts of items one might try to fit over the course of the vehicles lifetime. An area that both the Rio/Accent contingent and Fiesta competitors must have forgotten about.

    2012 Chevrolet Sonic Connectivity and Infotainment

    In our short time with the MyChevrolet app, it did provide a location-based service including a parking reminder that allows drivers to save their parking location to a GPS-enabled map, set a timer to track how much time they have on the parking meter, and even add a note or photo with details about their parking location. What it does not allow you to do however is find your car in a vast Christmas shopping ladened parking lot after fact in case you did not setup your parking location prior to leaving your car which would prove to be far more useful.

    The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic’s MyChevrolet app in action.​

    The owner’s manual is also supposed to be only a click away but we found it was not currently available.

    MyChevrolet also integrates with the OnStar MyLink app so that you can remotely unlock or lock the doors or start the engine. This service was unfortunately also not yet available.

    Sirius XM Satellite Radio is standard equipment with the LT trim but USB and Bluetooth functionality are unfortunately extra. Hopefully the lack of a Bluetooth enabled phone system will become a thing of the past as this is probably the most important safety device that can be installed in a vehicle other than shielding all cell signals from being received or emitted from within the car itself which has not yet been invented yet. Of course there is always the on-off switch but that is not how 100 million drivers use their phones on a daily basis in the US.

    [fflash=right][/fflash]2012 Chevrolet Sonic Safety

    The new for 2012 Sonic earned top ratings across the board in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluations, qualifying as a Top Safety Pick with good ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection. On the new Small Overlap as shown in the video however, it performed marginally.

    The Sonic is also one of the safest vehicles in the segment thanks to a class leading 10 air bags, (2) Front, (2) Side, and (2) Side Curtains plus front driver and passenger knee airbags and (2) rear passenger outward seat side airbags.

    Nearly 60 percent of the body structure uses high-strength steel with ultra-high-strength steel strategically integrated in the forward portion of the rockers and the center cross bar. Together with the front bumper system and the engine compartment rails, cradle bars absorb the brunt of a frontal crash and redirect the crash energy around the safety cage protecting occupants in the event of a “worst case scenario”.

    Additionally, the Sonics systems attempts to keep you out of harm’s way with electronic stability control (ESC), Traction Control (TC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBFD), power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes with brake assist (BA).

    Other Sonic safety features include the obligatory LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for Children); six months of complimentary OnStar Directions and Connections service, including stolen vehicle assistance and automatic crash response.

    Another standard feature is Sonic’s hill-hold technology. A pitch sensor detects the tilt of the body when the car is stopped on a slope and sends a signal to the stability control system. This triggers the electronically controlled brake hardware to keep the wheels clamped for up to two seconds after the driver releases the brake pedal.

    Every stick driver has been in the uphill to start situation and no matter how good you are, there is always anticipation while wondering am I giving it enough gas, letting out the clutch fast enough to the grab point and then not over reacting by letting out fully upon first grab and stalling the engine. The all-new 2012 Sonic with the Manual transmissions relieves that stress which makes navigating hilly terrain as effortless as an automatic.

    2013 Chevrolet Sonic IIHS Crash Test Ratings


    2012 Chevrolet Sonics Competitive Comparisons

    YearMakeModelTrimEngineTransmissionsPassenger Volume (cu. ft.)Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)EPA mpgUS (city/highway/combined)Pricing (MSRP)*
    2012ChevroletSonicLTZ Hatch (1)1.4L Turbo6-speed MT901929/40/33$17,995
    2012HyundaiAccentSE Hatch (2)1.6L DI6-speed MT902130/40/34$16,650
    2012KiaRioSX Hatch (3)1.6L GDI6-speed AT881530/40/34$18,450
    2012FordFiestaSES Hatch (4)1.6L5-speed MT851529/38/33$18,295
    2012ToyotaYarisSE Hatch (5)1.5L4-speed AT851630/38/33$18,140
    2012HondaFitSport Hatch (6)1.5L5-speed MT912127/33/29$19,051

    * All top level trims and include D&H.[/center]

    1) Sonic LTZ includes 1.4L Turbo, CC, PW/PL/PM, Fog Lights, 17” alloys, tilt and telescopic wheel, steering wheel mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth.
    2) Accent SE includes CC, PW/PL/PM, Fog Lights, 16" alloys, tilt wheel only, steering wheel mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth and 4 wheel discs.
    3) Rio SX includes CC, PW/PL/PM (folding), 6-speed AT, 17” alloys, UVO, tilt and telescopic wheel, steering wheel mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth and 4 wheel discs.
    4) Fiesta SES includes CC, PW/PL/PM, 16" alloys, tilt and telescopic wheel, steering wheel mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth and SYNC.
    5) Yaris SE includes CC, PW/PL/PM, 16" alloys, tilt wheel only, steering wheel mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and Bluetooth.
    6) Fit Sport includes CC, PW/PL/PM, 16" alloys, tilt and telescopic wheel, steering wheel mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

    2012 Chevrolet Sonics Fuel Economy

    We have a few days to figure this one out and considering the tall ratio 6-speed MT, a curb weight some 266 pounds less than the Cruze ECO (Sonic hatch compared to Cruze sedan), low RRc based Hankook Optimo’s vs. the Cruze’s really low RRc Goodyear Assurance FuelMax’s, I have high hopes. During a quick 6 mile RT drive in mid 40 degree temps with only basic techniques used during a typical Chicago suburb rush hour on the day before Thanksgiving (read lots of traffic), the fuel miser allowed 46 mpg per the OEM aFCD and 47 per the SGe. Since the OEM aFCD is not capable of recording advanced techniques, I kept it basic. Later today I may perform the standard measured distance and top off to top off drive loop from the local Speedway to west Milwaukee and back to see just how good the Sonic can be.

    Manufacturing - American Made and Proud of it!

    Another feather in the Sonics cap is that it is the only American made sub-compact with production occurring at GM’s Orion Assembly Center in Michigan.

    Early Conclusions

    I like the sedan’s appearance and useable trunk space far more than the boxy and way to short hatch. Regarding passenger volume, the Sonic is an absolute hit. I also really enjoy all the storage cubby’s in the interior and the cloth like headliner but it really needs much larger sun visors and I would appreciate a sunglass holder.

    The lack of Bluetooth on the LS trim is a huge disappointment. It should be standard on the LT trim as well.

    Fuel Economy at steady state, on the test loop and the odometer study has yet to be completed.

    About the price… Read the specification page in detail and you can see where the product planner’s lost it. The LS now appears as a loss leader since you cannot order anything with it. Add $1,200 for the LT and you receive "heated power mirrors, a chrome beltline molding and trunk/hatch handle"? That "upgrade" is the largest pricing for the least amount of additional content I have seen in the B-Segment ranks.

    Add an additional $2,000 on top of the LT for the LTZ and receive 17” painted alloys vs. the 15” or 16” alloys standard on the LS and LT, chrome door handles, fog lamps, perforated "leatherette" (read vinyl) seats, heated front seats, leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio/Bluetooth controls and cruise control.

    While the low upfront price of the LS is attractive, it is the LTZ that we will all live with and when you are talking about a $18,000 + B-Segment automobile, I can think of a number of far better equipped B, C and almost a much larger D-Segment automobile (think 2012 Sonata GLS) that are far more comfortable, larger and even better equipped while offering similar fuel economy capability.

    The Sonic is certainly one of the class leaders with an excellent drivetrain and larger than life size in some respects but it is the price that takes the bloom off the rose. Within a year, I expect to see a few more $’s on the hood to make it content competitive with the likes of the 12 Rio, 12 Accent, 12 Yaris and even the 12 Elantra.

    For more on the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, feel free to peruse the following Sonic specific write-ups at your leisure.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Since I have been working on this review all night, maybe it is time to get some sleep before I load up on Tryptophan, starch and gravy to top it all off later today ;)

  3. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    So far-Nice Car- but typical GM inflated MSRP?
    Why has the new GM not "wised up" in that respect??
    Happy Thanksgiving
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Everyone, enjoy your Tryptophan and red wine feast.. cut back on the carbs.

    Wayne, it would be nice if you could snag a test of a stripper LS.. I bet it would have more than adequate power and economy... and save quite a few $$
  5. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    In addition to the LS vs LT comparison above...

    Sonic LS has AM/FM radio with digital clock and aux jack, and speakers only in the front doors.

    Sonic LT has AM/FM/XM radio with CD player w/MP3 playback plus digital clock and aux jack, and speakers front and rear.

    You can upgrade the LS to the LT's radio for an additional cost.

    On the LT, Bluetooth is not included but is available in the "Connectivity Plus Cruise" package along with cruise, USB port, steering wheel audio controls and remote start, for $525. You cannot add this to the LS.

    LS comes with front floormats only. LT adds rear floormats.

    You cannot order an LS with the 1.4L turbo engine. There is no apparent reason - structurally or electronically - why the LS chassis cannot accommodate the 1.4T powertrain. Their marketing people are expecting people to want the 1.4T and so they're using it as the worm to hook people and run them up the price range to the LT or higher.

    GM has had this pricing strategy for a while. The LS is there to allow the ads to have "Starting at $xxxxx MSRP*" and for people who want basic transportation and have a strict car payment limit. The LT adds a nicer radio, power mirrors, and an extra pair or mirrors and floor mats, but what you're really buying is the opportunity to add what you really want, with the desirable options (turbo engine, Bluetooth) unavailable on the LS.

    The Aveo LS model, at least early in its lifecycle, could not be purchased with an automatic transmission. It was 5MT only. If you want or need an automatic, you had to go to the LT model. Since the Aveo was priced for first time buyers, with many of today's young drivers not knowing how to 'drive stick', dealers sold a lot of Aveo LT's with automatics and chrome garnishes here and there.

    And the other manufacturers are doing the same thing, so I can't single out GM as the lone wolf. There are plenty of others who make you buy leather to get Bluetooth, or get a larger engine to get cruise control, or other "package" deals.
  6. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Does any manufacturer let you add cruise control to the "el cheapo" trim?
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    The 2012 Elantra GLS with the 6-speed AT (6-speed MT as well) comes with CC as standard equipment. With the AT and preferred equipment package, the price jumps up to $18,900 USD and arrives with the AT, 16” alloys, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth and foglights and some illumination additions. To get the leather, you have to go Limited and that costs a whole bunch more :(

    First FE drive loop is complete with decent results...

  8. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Ok, thanks.

    It figures it'd be one of the Koreans. $17k for the gls 6mt seems like a fair price.

    CC ought to be standard equipment these days and it kind of irks me that most OEM's want to kick the price up another $1500 or more with a "special package" just to get cruise control in the car.
  9. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Looking forward to the SS results. With gearing like that, I would expect the Sonic to beat 40 mpg at a 65 mph steady state. I'll guess 43 to 45 mpg with temps in the 40's.

    I suppose the turbo should show a bigger increase (than normally aspirated) in warmer temps.

    /Even with the turbo, still not a ton of torque, so I would expect mpg to deteriorate rapidly above 65 mph ... especially if it's cold and into some wind.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    It is going to be even windier tomorrow so I will have to save the steady state results until this weekend. Unfortunately, the temperatures here are supposed to drop into the 30's with a chance for snow vs. the mid 50's tomorrow :(

    The FE drive loop is finally complete. Temps held within a tight range of 44 to 45 degrees F and while not optimal, it is better than 20 degrees F ;) RR of tires doubles from 70 to 20 degrees F and I will tell you how the Sonic did below the results. Winds unfortunately were not too helpful. While there was a 10 to 15 mph wind out of the S by SW when heading north yielding 67.5 mpg per the SG-II (73 + mpg actual), that same strong wind was harsh coming back where the SG-II settled in over the last 15-miles between 62.5 and 62.8 mpg during the various gyrations of SS w/ DWL and P&G.

    97.2 mile test loop…​

    I reset the single Trip to 0.0 at the station after the initial top off. That fill consumed almost 2.5 gallons after first click so G. Schmitz, the press fleet handlers, are going to get some free fuel on me.

    Initial and final top off.

    Results. 97.2 miles actual/1.450 gallons = 67.034 mpgUS​

    SG-II read 62.7 while the OEM read just 50.6 as it, like all GM vehicles does not update during a FAS. I sure wish they would fix that :(

    Odometer offset: 97.2/96.8 miles yields a .4% offset which is about as close as it gets!

    All told, anything over 60 is a positive. In the relatively poor conditions driven with a 67.0 mpgUS result, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is a winner in my book. While it will not keep up with the Civic HF or Civic Hybrid (77 and 78 mpgUS respectively in much warmer and overall better conditions), it will hold its own against the Elantra GLS with a stick and walk all over its larger namesake, the Cruze ECO (59.9 mpgUS in freezing temps) in a shootout.

    Now about the OEM Hankook Optimo’s shod on the 12 Chevy Sonic… They do not have the same low RRc as a Bridgestone Ecopia, Goodyear Assurance FuelMax or Michelin Energy Saver A/S. During a test glide down a 7/8 mile long, 120’ elevation drop 40 mph roadway this afternoon, the Sonic was only able to terminal at 18 mph (a really poor result) from essentially a standstill at the top in mid 40 degree temps. The Accord with the Goodyear Assurance FuelMax will reach 35 mph. The Civic’s with their Bridgestone Ecopia’s reached an incredible 38 mph on this same stretch in high 60 degree temps.

    Temperature is extremely detrimental to RRc as it doubled between 70 degrees F and 20 degrees F but to have to crawl down that double hump slope at 18 mph was excruciatingly painful. If only GM would have spent the $’s to put some real low RRc tires as listed on the Sonic, its highway FE in particular would add another mpg or two!

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  11. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    Unless your pictures are deceptive, I'd say you are hyperbolizing unless you have huge luggage. Ditch the privacy cover and the hatch area looks pretty standard. Once you fold 60% of the backseat down you should have plenty of space for 3 normal full sized bags, though one or two of them might need to stand on end to use more of the vertical space freed up by removing the privacy cover. I've done it lots of times in other small hatches (e.g. Aveo).
  12. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    "Now about the OEM Hankook Optimo’s shod on the 12 Chevy Sonic…"

    My only experience with Hankook's is the original set that came on my pickup.... they sucked.

    Very soft tires with very soft sidewalls. I ruined 2 in less than 15,000 miles (one on a curb rub and another on a dirt road, a rock punched through it. They also handled bad in corners as you could feel the pickup shift on the weak sidewalls. I'm sure the softness wasn't helping FE either.

    Much happier with the Michelins I replaced them with.
  13. X2. I had a set. They sucked and hankook customer service was worse
  14. FXSTi

    FXSTi Well-Known Member

    The Hankook Optimo is OE on my Fiesta, Lost one at 8500 miles. I picked up something on the road and it went right out the sidewall. At the rate I'm racking up miles they will likely only last a year or two.

  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rich:

    There is 7 cu. ft of cargo cap beneath that privacy cover if that helps? The depth is what it is and if you have to ditch a cover to squeeze a bit more and take some passenger volume out, it looks like vacations are out for a small but growing family. The sedan's much more usable 13 cu. ft. with four or in a pinch 5 in the cabin is much more doable. I should have taken a pic of the sedans trunk as it was larger than you would imagine for a B-Segment. I will also have to take a pic of my carryon and my garment bag in the 10 Prius for comparisons sake the next time I am in that as well.

  16. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    I really dont need all of that stuff that you mentioned, and I definitely want to get away from the turbo. Eventually an aftermarket CC will be available for it, probably around $300.. if you want it bad enough.

    It would be nice if Wayne took a hit for the team and tests the penalty box version. Lots of young people out there that look up to him with sad puppy eyes :)
  17. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    A possible solution... that could get complicated/frustrating/more $ than planned. An airbag, vehicle programming and warranty issues could be involved. I'd do my homework before planning on an easy aftermarket install.
  18. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    So this weekend we get the 60 mph results?
    And this Sonic tested- so far -better than you expected? It has Cruze EPA numbers, but it beats the Cruze-hurray for GM- 2 good small cars
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  19. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Off topic,

    What are you seeing for a 70 mph steady state in the fiesta 5mt?
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Herm:

    I would love to test the LS but those cannot be equipped with the 1.4L Turbo. Too bad that tall ratioed 6-speed MT did not arrive with the 1.8L in the LS because I bet the 1.8L would do pretty well with it! With the short ratio 5-speed, it is going to be tough to see great FE from the masses because they simply are not going to go advanced to get it.

    The LT with the 1.4L Turbo is the one to watch and it has nothing to do with the turbo. It is that tall ratio’ed 6-speed stick.

    The Sonic is growing on me more so than the Cruze ECO. Its lighter weight means the engine does not struggle at lower R’s to launch and surprisingly, the Sonic is quiet at highway speeds. It handles reasonably well, has better than expected steering response and feel, the headliner material is not a classic mid-size cloth unit but has a cloth like texture vs. pure egg carton like some of its competitors. Most importantly as yesterdays drive proves, it can play in the thin air of upper 60’s and low 70’s out on the super slab. We already saw what it could do in the suburbs while going advanced in warm temps a few months back which was truly impressive.


    And the OEM aFCD when not going advanced is a lot closer to actual vs. the Cruze’s almost 10% over report! During the first drive to the post office and back two days ago, the OEM aFCD yielded - 1 mpg from the SG-II and the SG-II under reported yesterday. Good stuff here to say the least.

    Along with the smallish useable rear cargo cap of the hatch, the pricing and content structure, the cheap Hankook’s, short sun visors and no sunglass holder next to the interior lighting switches, no iFCD and inability to FAS with the OEM aFCD keeping up, I am also not fond of the seat belt buckles. The Cruze’s buckles were buried and I disliked them from day one since I could not readily get in and buckle up or unbuckle and get out without scraping knuckles. The Cruze buckles were simply located far too low next to the seats to get at them easily. The Sonic’s are better but they are still about half inch to short for easy manipulation.

    I have to complete the Motorola Atrix2 review with an auto journalist POV in the Sonic today and I am actually looking forward to the drive. Just 5-years ago, there were few B-Segments that any of us really “wanted” to drive if we had the choice of much nicer larger vehicles that provided the same or better fuel economy. The old penalty box adage comes to mind here and fortunately those days are over as the all-new 2012 Sonic is not your father’s Aveo, Metro or Chevette from decades past. And I liked my Chevette too ;)

    All told, the Sonic can go toe to toe with anything in the segment including the Fit, Accent, Rio and Fiesta. And from a safety perspective, buries them all because GM is finally serious about protecting you while in their products vs. simply selling you their product as was the case just a few short years ago.

    And I would personally consider the Sonic LTZ Sedan with the “toys” and of course the 1.4L Turbo and 6-speed MT for a daily driver.

    Carcus, you are right. Today’s automobiles are not meant to have a consumer aftermarket CC install although I bet there are a few certified Chevy mechs that would be glad to cobble in the OEM for a few hundred bucks ;)

    Charlie, I will do the 60 mph results this weekend and yes, I like this car. More so than the Cruze in fact. Because I have only spent a few hours in the 12 Rio and only a few minutes in the 12 Accent, I will hold judgment on my “best in class” opinion. From a ride perspective, the Sonic is a bit more sorted out than the Rio. From a handling perspective, the Rio may have the edge due to the monster meats that were shod on the EX and SX’s we were driving in Austin a few months back. From a fuel economy perspective, the Sonic owns the Rio. From a value perspective, the Accent probably takes the cake but its lack of a telescopic wheel negates it to the “cheap” seats.


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