2012 Chevrolet Sonic Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2012 Chevrolet Sonic - Road Test Specs

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

(1.8L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)


Model year2012
Base MSRP$17,235
Options on test vehicleEcotec Turbo 1.4-Liter Four-Cylinder Engine ($700 -- includes six-speed manual transmission and 3.65 final drive).
As-tested MSRP$17,935 (plus $760 destination)


Drive typeTransverse, Front-engine, Front-wheel Drive
Engine typeTurbocharged, port-injected inline-4, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,364/83.2
Block/head materialCast iron/cast aluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)9.5
Redline (rpm)6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)138 @ 4,900
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)148 @ 2,500
Fuel type87 octane recommended
Transmission typeSix-speed manual
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I = 3.82, II = 2.05, III = 1.30, IV = 0.96, V = 0.74, VII = 0.61, R = 3.54, FD = 3.65


Suspension, frontIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearSemi-independent twist beam-axle, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, integrated stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assist, speed-proportional, rack-and-pinion power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)14.0
Tire brandHankook
Tire modelOptimo H428
Tire typeAll-season
Tire size, frontP205/50R17 88H
Tire size, rearP205/50R17 88H
Wheel size17-by-6.5 inches front and rear
Wheel materialCast-aluminum alloy
Brakes, front10.8-inch one-piece ventilated cast-iron disc with single-piston sliding caliper
Brakes, rear9-inch drum

Track Test Results

Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)3.0
0-45 mph (sec.)5.7
0-60 mph (sec.)8.8
0-75 mph (sec.)13.4
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)16.5 @ 84.2
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)8.5
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)31
60-0 mph (ft.)123
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)66.1
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.84
Sound level @ idle (dB)44.0
@ Full throttle (dB)75.9
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)67.5

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsWhat's the point of all this turbocharged torque if it's not available from a stop? Tried to launch (traction control off) at 3,500 rpm, but electronics pull revs down. Squeezed throttle almost to the floor and got just 4,000 rpm. Let the clutch out quickly, but obvious torque-reduction measure(s) cause the car to bog, bog, bog no matter what I tried. Slip the clutch; bog. Get clutch out ASAP and go to WOT; bog. Infuriating. Must have a fragile drivetrain to be so heavily protected by software. Finally, there's some sort of shift-shock reduction happening between upshifts that encourages slow, smooth shifts and otherwise punishes by taking throttle away, then returning it -- long delay. So disappointing overall because of all the potential, but that's why we test on track -- to find limitations.
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsCompletely normal, adequate brakes without a hint of fade in distance or pedal feel. Like the Mazda 2 (tested the same day), it also jacks the rear up, then "falls" back to level after I release the brake.
Handling ratingGood/Average
Handling commentsSkid pad: Plenty of grip, but with so little off-throttle engine braking, it's less responsive to steering with the throttle. Mild understeer at the limit is met with throttle closure first, then brake check (that remains on for much longer than it should). Heavy-handed ESC. Steering weight is appropriate and offers some sense of pending understeer. Slalom: The suspension was apparently tuned to have an aptitude for predictable oversteer in a single corner/event... not for six quick transitions. By the 3-4 cone mark, the rear of the car is feeling like a caboose that's close to coming off the rails. A perfect run, catching the rear with opposite lock at each and every cone might be possible, but the sun might go down first. ESC is heavy-handed and long-lingering. I do like the steering.

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (°F)82.2
Relative humidity (%)24.1
Wind (mph, direction)24.1

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)29 city/40 highway/33 combined
Edmunds observed (mpg)29.3
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)12.2

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)2,743
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)2,775
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)62.9/37.1
Length (in.)159.0
Width (in.)68.3
Height (in.)59.7
Wheelbase (in.)99.4
Track, front (in.)59.4
Track, rear (in.)59.4
Turning circle (ft.)36.1
Legroom, front (in.)41.8
Legroom, rear (in.)34.6
Headroom, front (in.)38.7
Headroom, rear (in.)38.1
Shoulder room, front (in.)53.4
Shoulder room, rear (in.)53.0
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)19.0
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)30.7


Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/100,000 miles
Corrosion6 years/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance5 years/100,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard
Head airbagsStandard
Knee airbagsNot available
Antilock brakesFour-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsEmergency braking assist
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard
Rollover protectionBeing researched
Tire-pressure monitoring systemStandard
Emergency assistance systemBeing researched
NHTSA crash test, driver5 stars
NHTSA crash test, passenger5 stars
NHTSA crash test, side front5 stars
NHTSA crash test, side rear5 stars
NHTSA rollover resistance4 stars
IIHS offsetGood

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