Sunday, October 9, 2011

2012 Chevy Sonic LT 5-Door Hatchback: A Subcompact with Spunk and Style

Highlight: The instrument cluster, the headlights and the taillights of the all-new Sonic drew inspiration and styling cues from today’s motorcycles. Moreover, this is the only subcompact being made in America according to the folks at GM. Furthermore, the all-new Sonic, which offers two more airbags than the vehicles in its segment, bringing the whopping total to ten received high marks recently from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $18,580 (Base price starts at $14,495)

Major Standard Features: 10 airbags; 15-inch wheels; a 5-speed manual transmission; a hill-assist hold feature; automatic headlights; traction control; a driver’s seat armrest; remote keyless entry; a tilt/telescopic manual steering wheel; non illuminating vanity mirrors; sport cloth trim seats; and provides turn-by-turn navigation free for 6-month via GM’s subscription-based OnStar System

Standard Audio System: a 4-speaker AM/FM audio system

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes, depending on the model.

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder/138-hp

Standard Fuel Mileage: 25-city/35-hwy

What’s New: The Sonic is all-new to Chevy brand, replacing the Aveo.

Pros: Unlike the Aveo, the vehicle the Sonic replaced, Chevy’s newest subcompact is roomy, provides loads of standard amenities and style, especially in the top of the line LTZ hatchback trim with the optional 17-inch wheels. The Sonic is also available as a sedan too.

Also we were extremely impressed with the ride-and-handling abilities of the all-new Sonic. We had an opportunity to climb the steep hills of San Francisco effortlessly in both a manual with a turbo and a non turbo with an automatic transmission. Not only did the Sonic snap-up the roads in San Francisco, the spunky four-cylinder also glided through the coastline of California’s Redwood National Park, especially when we were behind the wheel of the fun-to-drive turbo. (Just as a side note, the Sonic turbo is currently only available with a manual, an automatic will be available soon.)

Furthermore, due to the size of the sporty subcompact, the roomy interior would have easily classified this vehicle as a compact, as opposed to subcompact a few years ago. In fact, the rear seats in the Sonic seemed to provide more rear legroom and comfort than the seven-passenger Chevy Traverse crossover when seated in the third-row. How ironic?

Moreover, the instrument panel of the Sonic mirrors that of both a motorcycle and the upscale Chevy Cruze. GM definitely spent time and money in this vehicle in hopes of delivering their first world-class subcompact.

Furthermore, depending upon one’s price point, the Sonic can be equipped such features as fog lights, leatherette seats (fake leather), a sunroof, heated front seats, an upgraded six-speaker premium sounding with a CD player and XM satellite radio, power windows and 16 (or 17) inch wheels. 

Cons: The pricing of the Sonic and all of its competitors can be somewhat unnerving. With pricing for a loaded-up Sonic nearing the $20,000 mark, some consumers may find that it makes more sense to back down to a two- to- three-year old midsize vehicle like a Chevy Malibu or Honda Accord.

And while the Sonic was loaded with a number of features, GM did manage to cut some costs in this vehicle by not offering an armrest for the front passenger seat or illuminated vanity mirrors. Also we surprised that this vehicle doesn’t achieve 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Verdict: The Sonic is leap years beyond the vehicle it replaced, the Aveo. We were pleasantly surprised with the overall fit-and-finish of the Sonic, along with the ride and handling capabilities. This is definitely a standout vehicle, offering everything from loads of safety features to many feature rich options to a world-class audio system, especially when one’s vehicle is outfitted with the upgraded audio system. This is probably one of the best audio systems we experienced in a GM vehicle. The audio system just doesn’t seem as if was an afterthought, as we’ve experienced in a number of GM makes.

Beyond what we mentioned, our only real major concern is the pricing of the all of the vehicles in this subcompact category.  Pricing bumps up against many pre-owned midsize vehicle. The success of this vehicle is will people be willing to dole out money for a brand-new subcompact or will they step-up to a larger used vehicle? Only time will tell.

Competition: Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Nissan Versa


Coach Factory said...

chanel handbags, true religion, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, burberry outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, louboutin shoes, kate spade handbags, prada outlet, nike air max, nike free, michael kors outlet store, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet online, nike shoes, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet, jordan shoes, prada handbags, louis vuitton handbags, red bottom shoes, longchamp outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, coach outlet, nike air max, ray ban outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, coach purses, longchamp handbags

Coach Factory said...

longchamp, nike roshe run, barbour, scarpe hogan, oakley pas cher, north face pas cher, ray ban uk, longchamp, nike air max, hollister, hermes pas cher, michael kors uk, guess pas cher, air max, burberry pas cher, ray ban pas cher, louis vuitton uk, tn pas cher, sac michael kors, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max, ralph lauren, converse pas cher, timberland, abercrombie and fitch, true religion outlet, michael kors canada, lululemon, sac louis vuitton, hollister, mulberry, louis vuitton pas cher, new balance pas cher, nike air force, vans pas cher, lacoste pas cher, longchamp pas cher, north face, sac vanessa bruno, nike huarache, nike free, chaussure louboutin, air jordan, air max pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike trainers, nike roshe, nike free pas cher, louis vuitton, true religion outlet

Coach Factory said...

uggs outlet, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs outlet, soccer jerseys, rolex watches, ugg soldes, mont blanc pens, ferragamo shoes, birkin bag, ugg outlet, babyliss pro, north face outlet, north face jackets, p90x workout, moncler, moncler outlet, herve leger, reebok outlet, canada goose, wedding dresses, moncler, abercrombie and fitch, lululemon outlet, celine handbags, valentino shoes, ghd, jimmy choo shoes, insanity workout, new balance outlet, roshe run, uggs on sale, asics shoes, moncler, beats headphones, canada goose outlet, nfl jerseys, canada goose outlet, instyler ionic styler, mac cosmetics, ugg, canada goose pas cher, vans outlet, bottega veneta, soccer shoes, chi flat iron, ugg boots, canada goose uk, hollister