Familiar with high-quality B-segment vehicles in Europe and Asia, the drivers of the North American continent is now entering the advent of motoring where we can expect more from less. As Scion, Nissan, and Honda applied themselves to a category that was unexplored through the early 2000s, the B-segment subcompact class became to take on greater importance as the automotive climate adjusted in the United States. Facing increasingly stricter fleet-wide fuel economy requirements from the government, American-based automakers have realized these smaller cars were a necessity as well as a demand. Welcoming the United States to the ‘World Car’ philosophy, Ford brought their widely-raved Fiesta subcompact to the marketplace this past summer while Chrysler’s new partner is supplying the Italian-styled Fiat 500.
Sold in the United States since 2004, the Chevrolet Aveo (companioned with the Pontiac Wave in Canada) was General Motors attempt to match B-Segment wits with the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit. For the past 6 years this vehicle (sourced from General Motor’s South Korean partner Daewoo) has made few friends within the media who easily spotted the just passable build quality and performance. For the 2012 model year, a renewed commitment by Chevrolet introduces a new subcompact car officially unveiled to Americans at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
With new, edgier exterior and interior styling, the 2012 Chevrolet enters with a name change from Aveo to Sonic. Shown first at the 2010 Paris Motor Show still named an Aveo, that vehicle gave us a reliable representation to how the Sonic would arrive. However, the 2011 North American International Auto Show was the first time that Chevrolet’s new B-Segment Sedan version was officially brought to life. Dimensionally, the 2012 Chevrolet is more than 2 inches longer in wheelbase than the current Aveo and is a subtle single inch wider in stance. To be offered as a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback in North America, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is given a curvier overall profile that accents the larger front grille and headlights. Optional alloy wheels spanning up to 17 inches joins a range of exterior enhancements owners of the 2012 Sonic can look forward to breaking the economy car appearance.
Changing drastically inside to compliment the new, sportier outer skin, the Chevy Sonic interior is also given a remarkably more spirited look. Driving the new subcompact, the motorist glances through the steering wheel at a stunningly-simple instrument cluster inspired by motorcycle design. The Sonic 5-door hatchback is set to feature class-leading rear seat room as well as cargo space. Standard inside all 2012 Chevrolet Sonic models will be 10 airbags and GM’s OnStar system.
For the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, power comes from four-cylinder engines near identical to that found on the larger Cruze. Standard equipped 2012 Sonic models come with a 1.8 liter engine with a 1.4 liter turbocharged inline-four available. While both engines are exceptionally more powerful than the current Aveo, engines are separated by only 3 horsepower. Matched with a 6-speed manual gearbox, 1.4 liter turbo engine provides significantly more torque (148 pounds-feet in total). The Sonic’s 1.8 liter engine be paired with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy figures for the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is yet to be released but expect results to exceed the results of the 2011 Aveo.
An exciting new small vehicle, 2012 Chevrolet Sonic buyers will find their pleasures for jiffy performance catered additionally with some optional equipment. Heated front seats, XM Satellite Radio, remote start and sunroof is all available to be included on the 2012 Sonic. There is also a MyChevrolet mobile smartphone App which can be utilized on the 2012 Sonic providing features such as a parking spot indicator and could even alert when metered parking spaces are running out of time.
Bringing a new attitude to the American B-Segment category, the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze will be built in the United States unlike other subcompacts in the same segment. Rolling out the General Motors Orion Assembly Center in the state of Michigan, the Sonic will be joined by the 2012 Buick Venaro (another vehicle that debuted at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit).