|2012 Sonic. Click to enlarge.|
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic with the Ecotec 1.4L turbo delivers an EPA-estimated 40 mpg US (5.9 L/100km) on the highway with a six-speed manual transmission and city fuel economy of 29 mpg (8.1 L/100km), resulting in 33 mpg US (7.1 L/100km) combined.
The Sonic’s highway fuel economy makes it one of the most fuel-efficient small cars in the market, with fuel economy equivalent to the 2012 Ford Fiesta SFE and on a par with the 2012 Hyundai Accent. (The Accent is EPA rated at 30 mpg city and 40 on the highway). Along with achieving 40 mpg, the 1.4L turbo Sonic can reach 60 mph in 8.2 seconds.
The Sonic’s 1.4L Ecotec turbocharged engine is SAE certified at 138 horsepower (103 kW)—18 hp (14 kW) more than Ford Fiesta and is essentially the same engine used in the Chevrolet Cruze in a smaller, lighter package designed for a greater feeling of performance. The turbo engine is also rated at 148 lb-ft (200 N·m) of torque between 2,500 and 4,900 rpm.
The wide rpm range for the maximum torque—a specific trait of turbocharged engines—helps the engine deliver a better driving experience and performance. Premium design elements give the engine smoothness and durability. Features include:
- Low-mass hollow-frame cast iron block;
- Dual overhead camshafts with continuously variable valve timing;
- Chain-driven cams;
- Roller-finger camshaft followers;
- Piston-cooling oil jets and integrated oil cooler;
- Variable-flow oil pump; and
- Electronically controlled thermostat.
The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A reinforced crankshaft and stronger connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.
The Sonic’s 1.8L manual delivers fuel economy of 26 mpg city (9.0 L/100km) and 35 mpg highway (6.7 L/100km) and the automatic gets 25 mpg city (9.4 L/100km) and 35 mpg highway.
The Sonic is the only sub-compact car currently built in the US. Production began earlier this summer at General Motors Orion Assembly facility in Lake Orion, Mich.
The suggested retail price of the Sonic begins at $14,495 including destination but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees.