The Chevrolet Sonic subcompact has launched, and to very good reviews. The Sonic replaces GM’s former entry in the segment, the Aveo, with an all-new vehicle. Those that have tested the car say it is impressive, with good driving dynamics and a class-leading interior. We’ve yet to test it, but given the improvements seen in GM vehicles over the past few years we wouldn’t doubt the good reports coming out. GM has proven it can do small cars right – the new Cruze has become the top-selling compact in America for the past two months. It is a dramatic turnaround in sales fortunes versus the Cobalt.
One thing we’ve been waiting for is a performance model of the Cruze, but it hasn’t came yet. The Sonic on the other hand should be getting some extra performance – just don’t call it an SS.
Chevy’s Super Sport “SS” moniker has carried a lot of weight in some circles. In the past decade though, it has been used in questionable applications that don’t truly live up to its iconic history. As such, GM has been very selective lately about what cars it slaps SS on. Speaking with Wards Auto, Sonic development engineer John Buttermore commented on this: “It would take a lot more air going through that engine for an SS, and there is no SS in the works….for 2013, we do have some sportier versions coming, just not an SS.”
A sportier version of the Sonic is a good idea. Its intent is to reach out to younger buyers, and the Sonic appears to have the right package to do the job. The Cobalt SS made a significant inroads before it was cancelled. The Sonic has launched exclusively with a manual transmission, another thing aiding its fun-to-drive appeal. It won’t be available with an automatic until early next year.