2012 Chevy Sonic LTZ Turbo Review / Test Drive = MPGomatic

Uploaded by mpgomatic on 12.11.2011

MPG-o-Matic 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Turbo Review Summary: What
a difference a year makes. While the outgoing Chevy Aveo ranked at the bottom of all the
cars we’ve tested over the years, the 2012 Sonic LTZ Turbo has muscled its way into the
top of the sub-compact class. The sleeping giant has awakened. While the Sonic Turbo
might not be the golden egg - nor a beautiful swan - it’s surely a blast to drive and
American-built, to boot.

Hi, I’m Dan Gray for MPGomatic.com and this is a Chevy Sonic LTZ Turbo.
Available as a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback, the 2012 Chevy Sonic can be equipped
with either a naturally-aspirated 1.8-liter or a turbocharged 1.4-liter four cylinder
engine. The turbo 1.4-liter produces 138 HP and 148
foot pounds of torque and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission
The official fuel economy estimates for the turbocharged 1.4-liter 2012 Chevy Sonic are
29 city / 40 highway MPG. The standard 1.8-liter Sonic is rated at 25 city / 35 highway with
the six-speed automatic transmission and 26 city / 35 highway with the five-speed manual.
We covered well over 500 miles in our six-speed manual Inferno Orange five-door Sonic LTZ
Turbo review unit and had no problem meeting the official mileage estimates, achieving
a average of 41.5 MPG on the Interstate highway and 34.3 MPG combined in temperatures that
ranged from the high-forties through the seventies.
Leave the line a bit too hot, and the turbo four will provoke plenty of wheelspin.
The monochrome LCD Driver Information Center provides trip computer functions, an Average
Fuel Economy display, and an upshift light. We’d like to see a real-time fuel economy
display, added to next year’s model.
The improvement over the outgoing Aveo is like night and day. It isn’t just that the
Sonic rides and handles well ... it’s genuinely fun to toss about, whether darting through
city traffic or out in twisties.
Chevy describes the Sonic’s design as being motorcycle-inspired and that’s clearly evident
in the unique dashboard arrangement. The Sonic LZ’s interior features a leather-wrapped
steering wheel with audio controls, leatherette seating surfaces and one-level front seat
heating. The driver’s bucket seat offers four-way manual adjustment.
A dual glovebox arrangement includes USB input and audio line-in ports in the upper glovebox,
with provisions to either route the cable out, or store the phone or media player within.
Bluetooth is standard, with phonebook downloads to the head unit. The six-speaker sound system
includes XM Satellite Radio and Bluetooth audio streaming. iPod support is well done,
with full access to playlists, albums, and artists. Three months of XM Radio and GM’s
OnStar service are standard.
The single 12-volt outlet is located between the front bucket seats.
The Sonic hatchback’s second row seats allow 38.1 inches of headroom and 34.6 inches of
leg room. The four-door sedan provides slightly less headroom (37.8 inches).
The five-door Sonic provide 19 cubic feet of storage with the rear seat up, and 30.7
cubic feet of storage with the 60/40 seat folded down.
Wish List: The Sonic lacks adjustable lumbar support.
All-in-all, the 2012 Chevy Sonic doesn’t just win the most-improved award, it’s muscled
its way into the top of the sub-compact class alongside the Fiesta and Fit. While there’s
room for improvement when it comes to fuel economy, there’s never been a tiny Chevy
as fun to toss about, nor as well outfitted. The Aveo is dead. Long live the Sonic.
For more reports and reviews, come to MPGomatic.com, where mileage matters.