2012 Chevrolet Sonic 1LT Hatchback review: Killer ‘B’

2012 Chevrolet Sonic 5DR 1LT, prices and specifications, as tested
Base price: $15,735
Comfort/Convenience: Power windows w/express driver up/down, deluxe cloth seat trim, 4-way driver seat adjustment, rear seat split/folding, floor mats front & rear, air conditioning, air filtration system, steering column tilt and telescopic, XM Radio (6-month trial subscription), AM/FM CD w/auxiliary jack, premium sound w/six speakers, air bags front, side, head curtain
* Engine 1.4 liter Ecotec Turbo w/six-speed manual transmission: $700
* Victory Red exterior: N/C
* Jet Black/Dark Titanium cloth interior: N/C
* Connectivity Plus Cruise Package includes cruise control, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth and USB Port: $375
* Destination: $760
Total: $17,570

Body style/layout: 5-door hatch, front engine/front-wheel drive
* Type: 1.4-liter 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
* Displacement, cc: 1364
* Block/head material: cast iron/aluminum
* Horsepower: 138 hp @ 4900 rpm
* Torque: 148 lb-ft @ 1850-4900 rpm
* Recommended fuel: unleaded 87 octane
* Fuel economy, EPA est.: 29/40 mpg city/highway
* Fuel economy, observed: 29.9 mpg (closed course, professional driver – reckless speeds)

Transmission: 6-speed manual trans standard with 1.4 Turbo


*Suspension,front/rear: MacPherson struts with stabilizer bar/semi-independent torsion beam with coil springs
* Wheels: 15-inch alloy
* Tires: 195/65R15
* Brakes: Front disc/rear drum; 10.8-inch diameter front/9.0-inch diameter rear
* Steering: electric power steering
* Turning circle: 34.5 cubic feet
* Wheelbase: 99.4 in.
* Length: 159.0 in.
* Height: 59.7 in.
* Width: 68.3 in.
* Curb weight: 2,810 lbs
* Trunk volume: 19.0 cu. ft. (behind rear seats)/30.7 cu. ft. (rear seats folded)
* Fuel tank: 12.2 gal.
Warranty: Chevy 100,000 mile/5-year transferable powertrain/three years or 36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper.

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David began his automotive career in a BMW showroom (1979 thru 1985), followed by management positions for Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo dealerships. He moved to automotive journalism in 1993, building an automotive section for a small network of Dallas-area community newspapers. In the almost twenty years since, David has written for a variety of regional and national outlets, and managed media relations for a Japanese OEM. Away from the laptop, he enjoys motorcycles (his current ride is an ’04 Guzzi V11 LeMans), bicycling (Salsa road bike, Soma hardtail) and reading (CarBuzzard.com). His wife Tina is an executive director for an accounting firm. Tina and Dave have two adult children; son Sean is in the U.S. Army, while daughter Lauren pursues a LA-based career in dance.