2012 Chevrolet Sonic — Flash drive
This 2012 review is representative of model years 2012 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Chevrolet Sonic is well built and has a mechanical sweetness you'll rarely find anywhere, let alone in a bargain Chevy. Acceleration isn't too strong on the freeway, but around town it's smooth, handles gracefully and just plain feels good. But it's ugly. It's a little bit ugly on the outside, but hideously ugly on the inside. The instrument cluster looks like a terrible custom "skin" for a Windows media player; it's just terrible. Only the Scion tC looks worse from the driver's seat. Other automakers have suffered with good engineering and ugly styling — I'm looking at you Subaru — and they didn't see their fortunes improve until the whole package delivered. The Sonic is not bargain-priced, so the looks could really make or break a sale. I have my fingers crossed that in the future Chevrolet will deliver a complete package worthy of the car hidden within. — Paul Hagger
It's official: Chevy actually can build a small car that can hold up to the competition. The Sonic looks sporty and stylish with an interior to match. Our tester was the top-level LTZ trim, which means it was fully loaded with leather, sunroof, Bluetooth, and, of course, OnStar. The tiny 1.4-liter turbocharged engine didn't put out a lot of power, but with the 6-speed manual transmission, it did make the Sonic fun to drive. Peak torque came and went pretty quickly, but for a moment acceleration is not bad. A small engine in a small car should produce impressive fuel economy, and I wasn't disappointed. I didn't make the advertised 40 mpg, but I was in the low 30s with mostly city driving. A usable back seat and reasonable cargo space add to the value. Overall, the Sonic is definitely worth considering. American car companies haven't done small cars very well in the past, so the Sonic is a nice surprise. — Perry Stern