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Aggressive styling; fuel efficiency; available turbocharged engine; sedan or hatchback design to suit several needs; nimble handling
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is a front-wheel-drive 5-door hatchback or 4-door sedan in the growing subcompact segment. This successor to the Aveo benefits from GM's all-new global small vehicle architecture and comes powered by either a 1.8L 4-cylinder churning out 138 hp, or a 1.4L turbocharged four with the same amount of power, but an impressive 148 ft-lb of torque. They are the same engines available in the larger Chevrolet Cruze; the 1.8 is mated to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed auto, while the 1.4 is paired with either a 6-speed manual or the 6-speed auto. The Sonic is expected to return fuel economy numbers around 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, and pricing starts at $13,735.