In an effort to appeal to a much wider range of shoppers, Chevrolet has announced that its turbocharged Sonic models will now be available with a six-speed automatic transmission. Up until now, manual-averse customers were stuck with the 1.8-liter naturally aspirated inline-four – by our opinion, the worse of the two engines offered in the Sonic.

Under the hood of the Sonic, Chevrolet's 1.4-liter turbo-four is good for 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. That's seriously good power for the 2,700-pound subcompact, especially when you consider that when paired with the manual 'box, the Sonic carries EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 29/40 miles per gallon (city/highway). Of course, adding the automatic transmission reduces that economy, though the slushbox Sonic is still rated at a respectable 27/37 mpg.

The automatic Sonic Turbo is on sale now. LT models start at $16,835 for the sedan and $17,635 for the five-door, with the high-zoot LTZ trims commanding $18,625 and $19,325, respectively (not including $795 for destination). Hit the jump for the official press blast.
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Chevy Sonic Turbo Now Available with Six-Speed Automatic

Good news for the stick-shy: Automatic-equipped turbos are on their way to dealers


DETROIT – The Chevrolet Sonic's fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine will now be available in either manual or automatic transmission, bringing the increased torque of turbocharging to drivers of automatics.

"Providing the option of a turbocharged engine to our non-stick driving Chevy customers allows us to offer everyone the thrill and power of a fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L powerplant," said Jim Danahy, vehicle line director and vehicle chief engineer for North American small cars. "Both in the Sonic and Cruze, the engine enables better fuel economy without sacrificing power or performance. It's really a winning combination."

Sonic's Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission achieved a 0-to-60 mph time of 7.8 seconds, according to independent AMCI testing – faster than the comparable 2012 Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Hyundai Accent. The Sonic with the turbo-automatic combination went from 0 to 60 in about eight seconds.

"Traditionally, turbocharging was used to enhance the performance of engines, but today it is as much about fuel economy as a 0-to-60 time," said Bob Benedict, assistant chief engineer for the Ecotec 1.4L engine. "The turbocharger provides high-pressure airflow for high torque to boost the vehicle and give the driver a fun driving experience with improved fuel efficiency."

The 2012 Chevy Sonic Ecotec 1.4L turbo six-speed automatic delivers an EPA-estimated 37 mpg highway and 27 mpg in the city, while the manual gets 40 mpg on the highway and 29 in the city.

To learn more about the all-new Sonic, visit the Chevy Sonic Facebook page; follow on Twitter at @ChevyLife or check out letsdothis.com.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


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  • 44 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Glynn Hadskey
        • 2 Years Ago
        Depends on the automaker. Fords autos do better than their manuals by GM goes the other way.
      over9000
      • 2 Years Ago
      angry hamster is angry
      2o6
      • 2 Years Ago
      The price still leaves me cold. For around the same price (if not cheaper, with dealer incentives) you can get a Cruze Eco with the same engine, a manual transmission and more room than the Sonic. Shame, I really liked the one I drove. But for the price, I'm left very cold.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Much better than its predecessor Aveo.
      TruthHertz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lets see, the Accent AND the Rio have 138 horsepower and net better fuel economy with or without a slushbox. Not to mention they don't have to deal with the added complexity of a turbo. Also, they aren't rebadged Daewoo's.
        Danaon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TruthHertz
        Well, they have better fuel economy RATINGS. That doesn't necessarily it will return better fuel economy. Also, the Sonic isn't a rebadged Daewoo. It's a brand new car built on GM's new Gamma2 platform. And it's built in Ohio. Basically, maybe you should actually know what you're talking about before you run your mouth.
          darkness
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          Lake Orion Michigan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          [blocked]
          TruthHertz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          It's ASSEMBLED in Ohio. This car is also ASSEMBLED in South Korea, China, and Venezuela. The Gamma II platform was engineered by "GMDAT" which is GM Daewoo Auto Technology Company. The engines are Opel derived. This is a Daewoo with a Opel engine. Congrats! Maybe you guys should know what YOU'RE talking about before you run YOUR mouth.
          breakfastburrito
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          ^ what Danaon said. The Sonic may not be everybody's cup of tea, but it's a reliable, gas saving car, built by Americans. Chevy seems to finally have their act together. The Chevy Lacettis (cruze) have been very strong in BTCC racing, they have great concept cars (130s and TRU), and they've turned my opinion around.
          hudkina
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          How can these be "rebadged" Daewoos when, Daewoo doesn't even exist anymore? Opel, Holden, Daewoo, etc. are all still GM. It doesn't matter where the car was engineered or the styling was penned, the final rubber stamp comes down in Detroit and the profits from the vehicle gets funneled through Detroit. Also, lots of design and engineering work for Toyota is done right in Metro Detroit. Is the Venza not a Japanese auto because much of the design and engineering occurred in the U.S.?
          Jerry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          Wrong! The Sonic is made in Lake Orion, MI. It is Gamma 1. Gamma 2 is next get (2015 or so). It is 100% Daewoo/Opel. The operated as a seperate entity from GMNA on the Cruze and Sonic. The platform is not that new. It is a revision of the Aveo's old platform despite what GM marketing says. It is not a quality vehicle because of the unreliable Fam 1 and Fam 0 engines that it comes with (amongst other horrors bestowed by Opel/Daewoo). The M32 6-speed MT is a POS as well. If you think I am wrong, go buy one and put 50,000 miles on it. When you have had one or more of the many fluid seals in the engine go, the clutch burn up more than once, and the synchros fail, come back and let us know what you think. For those of you saying that Daewoo no longer exists, you are wrong. The brand was killed because it was know globally as cheap and inferior. Why do you think Top Gear mocked the Lacetti so bad during the "Celebrity Lap in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment for so long? All of Daewoo's facilities are still running full steam to make the same grade of crappy car and to further diminish the Chevrolet brand globally. Hopefully GMNA gets the picture soon and sells Opel (there is no hope for them) and reels Daewoo back in. Opel is not Daimler and Daewoo is not Hyundai. Daewoo and Opel would go the way of Saab in no time flat if they were not able to suck the blood out of GM. Opel has lost $BILLIONS/year for the last decade and Daewoo went bankrupt twice before GM bought them out.
        breakfastburrito
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TruthHertz
        so Mr. TrollHertz, you're upset that the parts are tooled in different parts of the world? What's your point? You want every single part to come from an American factory? And then you suggest other Korean brands? sooo... you're ok with Korean fabrication, as long as profits go to Korea? are you a Korean kid?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @breakfastburrito
          [blocked]
          Jerry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @breakfastburrito
          Much of the car is tooled in the US to feed Lake Orion Assembly, but the car was engineered and developed in Korean and Germany by Daewoo and Opel respectively. But as the saying goes, garbage in equals garbage out.
        Woody Becker
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TruthHertz
        Actually the sonic is made at the Orion assembly plant in MI
        Renaurd
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TruthHertz
        You are an idiot, certified and craptifide.
      NKonline
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think I'd go with Hyundai Veloster... Just cost a little more.
        tipdrip215
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NKonline
        I could go for the Sonic or Veloster. Both are very cool looking.
      Jason Golden
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Sonic 5-door remains one of the few "sub $20K" new cars which I would ever consider. It's just a preference based on exterior styling and the way the interior fits me...and I'm not interested in sparring on those points. But, perhaps more relevant to discussions here: how many budget buyers lose sleep over a couple of MPGs here or there? Do people really fixate on the numbers and miss the rest of the car?
      Perry Harrington
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chevy Sprint Turbo, take 2!
      flychinook
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why would anybody want to pay to upgrade the engine, then pay more to downgrade the transmission?
      KelperFoxWolf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thanks. I'd rather wait for the Ford Fiesta ST to come over...
        CBJMNWLD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @KelperFoxWolf
        Good you and your mom can go down to the dealership. With your job at Wendy's and her co-sign you should be able to get one. Until then just keep riding your bike to school. But I bet you're an awesome driver on Forza.
          S.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @CBJMNWLD
          Wow. Resorting to your mom jokes. Aren't you just the epitome of class
      Brian D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Turbo sales will see a big bump in sales from an automatic option. So far almost 14,000 Sonics have been sold in 2012. Sixspeed, Just because it could be built online doesn't mean it was available at dealerships. Right now you can build a Camaro ZL1 online, but the vehicles aren't even being built yet.
      tipdrip215
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've seen several Sonics so far, but not one of them has been turbo. Cars that get 40 mpg are supposedly a "big trend" for the American B and C-segments, but funny, no lazy Americans cared about that with the Sonic as long as we could only have a manual tranny.
        tipdrip215
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tipdrip215
        Now watch turbo Sonic sales take off with the slushbox being available.
          tipdrip215
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tipdrip215
          @Matt I understand that. But it just sucks that we've become so lazy. My next car will be manual, but currently the only person in my family who has a stick is my Dad with his '07 Tacoma regular cab. Sad.
          Matt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tipdrip215
          Well yea...most American's don't know how to drive stick. So why would they buy a car they dont know how to drive?
        spa2nky1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tipdrip215
        I searched for the 1.4l turbo version in the metro Detroit area...none to be found...not one in a 100 mile radius from Detroit
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