This fall, Chevy waves goodbye to the little-loved Aveo sedan and hatchback. But will the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic be the right subcompact to pitch against car shoppers already infatuated with the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta?
The Sonic is a small four-door sedan or five-door hatchback, but it marks a big departure from the sleek contours of the next-bigger Chevrolet, the 2011 Cruze.
The Sonic sits on a 99.4-inch wheelbase; the sedan is 173.1 inches long overall, while the hatchback is 159 inches long. Compared to the Cruze, the 2012 Sonic is two inches narrower, six inches shorter and 500 pounds lighter, as well as 11 inches shorter overall.
It’s smaller than the Cruze, but the Sonic will share the larger sedan’s powertrains, which could relieve the one of the biggest fears of subcompact buyers, sluggish performance. The base engine will be a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with an estimated 135 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque; the optional 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder shares its 138-hp rating with the Cruze, as well as its 148 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual will be the base gearbox, with a five-speed automatic transmission offered–and with the six-speed manual of the Cruze on tap for turbo Sonics.