What is it? Chevrolet's new Sonic replaces the unlamented Aveo, which consistently had one of the lower customer satisfaction scores in Consumer Reports' survey. Like the Aveo, it is available either as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. It is three to four inches longer than the Aveo, depending on the body style, with a one-inch longer wheelbase. GM claims the sedan has a bigger trunk than many larger compact sedans. The Sonic has a standard 1.8 liter, four-cylinder engine and is available with the 138 hp 1.4-liter turbocharged Four from the larger Chevrolet Cruze. The 1.8-liter is available with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The smaller Turbo with the automatic or a six speed manual.
What is new or notable? In a rare move for a small car, the Sonic will be available with heated seats, a sunroof, and remote start. Standard features include Bluetooth connectivity, and XM satellite radio.
CR's take: This new Aveo replacement appears more substantial and relatively roomy for the subcompact class. With modern engines from the Cruze, it should be miles ahead of the inferior Aveo. The hatchback and sedan designs are quite distinct from one another, unlike the Ford Fiesta and Nissan Versa variants. The Sonic will be built in the United States, rather than imported from Korea. as was the Aveo.
When will it be available? Late 2011.
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