Car Review

2012 Chevrolet Sonic LT - Real World Test

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LS Hatchback
Used 2012 Chevrolet Sonic
$5,388
RELATED READING
See all Chevrolet Sonic articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Brian Moody December 2011

I was all set to NOT like the 2012 Chevy Sonic. At first glance, it appears to be yet another uninspiring subcompact. Then again, I sort of have a bias against small cars so maybe the Sonic never stood a chance with me.

Still, the Chevy Sonic has a base price of about $14,000, which seems remarkably low. For that price you get a fairly basic economy car. However, one of the main things the Sonic has going for it is a strikingly fresh exterior look. Even the interior has a little style sporting a large, round analogue tachometer attached to a small digital screen that displays all other relevant vehicle info. The arrangement has a sort of motorcycle gauge cluster look.

But all the style in the world doesn't matter if the car has a cramped interior. Thankfully, the Sonic seems to have adequate space, especially up front. Front seats are comfortable but the rear seats can feel a little slight when it comes to legroom. However, this largely depends on how far back the front seat is. Since the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split there's plenty of options for hauling stuff. Even with the rear seat in place there's more than enough room for a week's worth of groceries in the rear cargo area.

We opted for an LT version, which means you get upgrades like a six-speaker audio system, better quality cloth covering the seats, power windows and mirrors and the availability of even more upgrades. Opt for the connectivity package and you get Bluetooth, a USB input and steering wheel mounted audio controls. Our tester did not include the Connectivity package, which would add an extra $375 to the LT's $16,000 base price. We did get the $295 fog lights and wheels package. It's probably worth the money since it gives the Sonic LT sharp looking 16-inch alloy wheels in addition to front fog lights.

The Sonic LT's 1.8-liter engine doesn't feel overly powerful but, in fact, has more horsepower than many other competitors including the Ford Fiesta, Scion xD and Nissan Versa. There's an available 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that makes the same amount of horsepower but boasts a little extra torque so it feels peppier. EPA fuel economy estimates for the Sonic LT with an automatic transmission and the 1.8 liter engine are 25 mpg city / 35 highway. The turbo model is expected to earn up to 40 mpg on the highway. After driving the Sonic LT for a week, we were averaging about 25.5 mpg.

The Sonic also has a remarkably sporty disposition. The steering is light and quick with great road feel and the suspension is just tight enough to be fun without sacrificing comfort. As small, inexpensive cars go, the 2012 Chevy Sonic certainly worth considering. However, don't be fooled by the Sonic's low base price. The LT's combination of equipment and still reasonable price make it the best choice.

That's our quick take on the 2012 Chevy Sonic LT - here's what you think:

"Chevy finally did something right. I tested the Fit, and Fiesta. When I got into this car I knew it was going to be mine. It handles like a champ, and I live on a golf course with all types of bends and curves. The car is very quite and smooth." - Benwa in Mississippi via KBB.com

"Great fuel economy, I get 41 mpg, has plenty of room and its very fun to drive. I really like the Bluetooth and the buttons on the steering wheel" Alex in Texas via KBB.com

"The Honda Fit is more flexible in terms of useful space but the Sonic has more attitude and better features." Randall22 via AutoTrader.com

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LS Hatchback
Used 2012 Chevrolet Sonic
$5,388
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Chevrolet Sonic LT - Real World Test - Autotrader