By Cars.com EditorsDecember 1, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Bruzek takes a look at the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. It competes with the Ford Fiesta and Nissan Versa.
(energetic music) <v Narrator>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi. This is Joe Bruzek from Cars.com. We've shown you the all-new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic styling and interior in Cars.c
om auto show coverage, but we've had a chance to drive it now, and we're going to tell you if its driving experience matches its matured styling. (upbeat music) Chevrolet wanted the Sonic to be fun to drive, and they nailed it. For a small car, it feels extremely composed and planted to the road. When you go over a bump, the car doesn't twitch around or make any harsh noises like a lot of small cars do. They feel cheap, but the Sonic suspension doesn't feel cheap at all. It feels very solid. There's a feeling of heft to the car, which is a good thing. It's very similar to the way the Ford Fiesta rides, which is also impressive. Under the hood of the Sonic are the same engines found in the Chevrolet Cruze. Now they're good engines in the Cruze, but in the lighter Sonic it's a little peppier. Feels more responsive. The base engine is rated at 35 miles per gallon on the highway, which isn't as competitive as some of its competitors' based model engines, like the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent. You have to pay an additional $700 to get that 40 mile per gallon mark with the turbocharged engine. The turbocharged engine is slightly more fun to drive than the base engine. Partly because, for now, it only comes with a six speed manual transmission. You won't be able to get an automatic transmission with the turbo engine until Spring 2012. With the starting price of $13,735 without destination, the Sonic's price may seem high, but it does come with a lot of features for the money. It's a similar approach that Chevy took with the Cruze, and that's definitely paid off for them. Of the standard features, a tilt telescoping steering wheel and a driver's arm rest are the most welcomed. Air conditioning, power door locks, and remote keyless entry are also standards. What you won't find on the Sonic are steel wheels with plastic covers. Every Sonic comes with alloy wheels. Now they're not these nice 17 inch wheels from the LTZ, but the 15 and 16 inch wheels on the LS and LT models are also alloys. The Sonic is available in sedan and hatchback body style. At our auto show coverage, we got to take a look at the hatchback, but now we're here with the sedan. There's 14 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk. And that is a lot compared to the competition. And a 60/40 split-folding rear seat is also standard. If Chevrolet could squeeze just a few more miles per gallon out of the Sonic, it could be a much more competitive package in its base form, which the majority of people will buy. Otherwise, it's fun-to-drive nature and look at me styling are compelling options for the price. <v Narrator>For more car-related news, go to cars.com or our blog, KickingTires.net.
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