2012 Chevy Sonic Review | Globe and Mail
2012 Chevy Sonic
By Jeremy Cato, Globe and Mail, Toronto
Chevy looks to create a Sonic boom
The smallest car in General Motors’ lineup may also be its most important, at least in terms of convincing the world of how serious the company is about becoming a major player in the small-car segment.
Speaking to an overflow crowd at the Detroit auto show in January, CEO Dan Akerson said, “Our goal is to make Chevrolet one of the industry’s fuel-efficiency leaders.” What he didn’t say is that GM and Chevrolet in particular have long been synonymous with gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs.
“The Chevrolet Sonic is designed to turn heads when it arrives with the more-established nameplates this fall,” said GM North American boss Mark Reuss.
What’s to notice about the Sonic?
It’s a subcompact to replace the Aveo in the current lineup and will be produced in sedan and four-door hatchback models. The Sonic joins the Cruze as the second of a trio of small cars from General Motors. The Cruze was introduced late last year, the third will be the even smaller Spark minicar due in 2012.
“The Sonic represents a new beginning for Chevrolet in the small-car segment and so we felt it was time to give it a new name,” Chris Perry, head of GM’s North American marketing, said in a statement. “The new car is roomy, stylish and fun to drive, and Sonic is a youthful, energetic name that helps convey what this vehicle is about.”
The Sonic allows GM to turn the page on the Aveo, a truly unpleasant econo-box from GM’s South Korean Daewoo unit. This time, GM thinks the Sonic will compete head-to-head with the likes of the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Accent.
The Sonic is the first car to use GM’s new worldwide small car platform. It is longer and wider than the current Aveo and has almost as much cargo space behind the rear seats as the Honda Fit. Power comes from the same engines in the new Cruze. The standard engine is a 135 horsepower 1.8-litre with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Also available is a 138 horsepower 1.4-litre turbocharged engine and six-speed manual.
No critic has driven the Sonic, yet, but its looks are a huge improvement over the Aveo.