Chevrolet Sonic To Join 40 MPG Club

Chevrolet SonicGeneral Motors was mum about the new Chevrolet Sonic’s fuel economy when it debuted at the Detroit auto show last week. Now, the automaker states that the subcompact vehicle will offer up to 40 mpg when it goes on sale in the fall.

That figure isn’t too much of a surprise, considering that the Sonic is carrying the same powertrains found in the Chevrolet Cruze, which gets a maximum rating of 24/36 mpg city/highway. A Cruze Eco model is estimated to get 28/42 mpg, but those numbers haven’t been finalized by the EPA. The Sonic’s predecessor, the Aveo, achieved a 27/35 mpg maximum rating, with a manual transmission.

Overall, the Sonic’s 40-mpg figure, which is assumed to be highway gas mileage, would be on par with the Ford Fiesta and better than the Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris.

By Colin Bird | January 18, 2011 | Comments (46)


Tyler Lipa

If it doesn't at LEAST get 40mpg I will kind of feel let down by GM.


i hope the automakers start to aim higher for compact and subcompact fuel economy. the midsized crowd has started achieving fuel economy numbers (at least highway) that are traditionally compact/sub-compact territory. If a 3700lbs mid-sized sedan can achieve 35mpg, a compact weighing less than 3000lbs should be able to get 45mpg.


Unfortunately, when it comes to GM the EPA mileage is always over-estimated.


Unless you have direct experience with your GM car not meeting EPA estimate then I suggest you stop spreading misinformation.

And please don't reply about how every car review as-tested mileage is below EPA estimate or how all owner comments talk about subpar mileage claims. This is a minute sampling of the entire population group driving GM cars.

Amuro Ray

Misinformation is when something's not true. Car-reivews is one way to reflect the actual data, be how minute the number of reviews there are. If 1 review does reflect a lower than EPA est result, which THERE IS AT LEAST ONE, then it is NOT misinformation. So I suggest you to stop telling people not to reflect on some sort of unfavorable findings against GM, H.

BTW, it is also impractical for you to state that for sthg to be valid, it has to come from the entire population. Only a small portion of people will speak out (including auto reviews sites like, so data can only be gathered from such. BLAME IT ON THOSE WHO DON'T SPEAK. This is the same case as to how the president of the US (and many other democratic countries) is elected. Never have it been once that 100% of the population have voted; or are you implying that none of the US presidents were/are legit?


I like to learn from other people mistakes. So I don't have to buy GM vehicle to see if it is matches EPA numbers.
OK, I've rented Malibu on my trip to California and it didn't match any EPA numbers and any PRO review you take, you end up with similar problem - GM vehicle has actual mileage well below advertised. And to reach 40MPG GM has to go hoops while Hyundai got it right - made a car which makes 40MPG with any trim (Elantra). And then, some of you here may think GM, talking Cruz but in reality it is as far from GM as I am from Spain. This is a car made by Daewoo and Opel. Neither is a trusty car maker. Come on!



Look up the word "always" as in "when it comes to GM the EPA estimate is ALWAYS overestimated". Get back to me what you find out.


Yes, "ALWAYS" is over-generalization but this is how it feels to me.



I won't respond further as you are impossible to reason with no matter what I say.

Amuro Ray

Or maybe you should read a bit more careful on how I criticize your choice of words on "spreading misinformation," H.


For any of this to make sense we would need proof that 1) there is proof that every gm vehicle fails to meet epa standards across the board and b) proof that every other automakers products meet the epa figures. The folks making the accusations have provided evidence of niether which makes their claims absurd. On this site no post about a domestic product can go unpunished. Its sad that these are the kinds of avid supporters that attracts. These people have no regards for the truth and all they care about is bashing anything domestic.


Amuro, after reading your rambling diatribes, it's clear you know even less about politics and grammar than you do about cars.


That is one odd looking "car".Sorta looks like a Hedgehog.

Troy S.

If the Sonic doesn't get it's promised MPG rating, it wouldn't be a big suprise at all. GM over-exaggerated the Volt as getting various Electric and gasoline MPG ratings over the last couple of years it's development was used for marketing the 41,000 vehicle. Can someone answer the big question: Has it achieved any of the claimed ratings yet? For 41K a customer expects what is promised.

The Sonic will face stiff competition in the small car market. There are plenty of established models to compete with.

The Sonic has one thing going for it though... It's a big step above subpar yet cheap Aveo.



What are you talking about? Gm said the volt would get up to 40m of range and the epa rated it at 35m on average. I'm sure you can get up to 40 as gm said. Gm never released estimates for gas only mpg but the car is rated at 37mpg in ext range mode. What false claims are you talking about? Th volt is a new kind of vehicle and gm was largely guessing how the car was going to be rated before the epa came out with its final test procedures. Get your facts straight if you are going to make accusations.


Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the aveo has been a decent seller in the class for a while. Probably in top 3 in sales in the class. I would think a mucch better model would do even better.


On this site no post about a domestic product can go unpunished. Its sad that these are the kinds of avid supporters that attracts. These people have no regards for the truth and all they care about is bashing anything domestic.
-This is nothing but misinformation. Trying to discredit the site because you can't actually prove a point... sad.

For any of this to make sense we would need proof that 1) there is proof that every gm vehicle fails to meet epa standards across the board and b) proof that every other automakers products meet the epa figures.
-This is also, like usual, completely incorrect.

I would think a mucch better model would do even better.
-Again, this doesn't follow. The reason GM sold so many Aveos is because of price.

Troy S.

@belly and Sheth,

There's a difference between misinformation and displacement. Some people have an image of Domestic autos that simply does not support their last 3 decades of performance, the bailouts, results from cash for clunkers and current resale values.

People's memories are better than you think and Detroit has a long road ahead of them in gaining millions of customers back that they themselves ran away from their own brands.

This falls under the displacement category. Blaming others for faults. I hate to tell you but you simply cannot mimick an Osterich and hope things turn out alright at taxpayers' expense.


Mr. Bird: The Kicking Tires blog itself (November 11, 2011) reported the 28/42 mpg figures for the Chevy Cruze Eco 6MT ARE the EPA estimates.



I know all about that stuff. You are still confused and bigoted. Gm provided that estimate based on how they thought the volt would be tested . You can get that mileage if you charge every night and drive less than 40m a day. The shorter your commute the less gas you use. Its even possible to use NO gas at all which the epa test really can't account for. You are confusing the potnetial mpgs with the mileage in extended range mode. Gm was never saying the car would get 230mpgs in extended range mode. Do some more research and you might figure all this pot eventually.

Domestics gained marketshare in 2010 so your statements about americans holding them accountable for cars from 1980 ring hollow. Many younger folks don't even remember the bad cars from decades ago even if you are obsessed with them. Poor resale? The fusion has better resale than camry and chevy led all brands in increased residuals in 2010.


This car is very ugly and destined for the rental lots. It most certainly does look like a hedgehog! I'm not sure why anyone would buy a Chevy over a Hyundai, Kia, or Honda. Probably someone not very intelligent.


Amuro Ray: just wondering, do you actually even own or drive a car? Or is your life entirely devoted to bashing everything GM has ever done in the past, present and future? To date I have owned 7 GM vechicles and every one has always met or exceeded it's EPA rating. Do you really think I'd keep buying GM cars and trucks if they were as bad as you claim. I'll be the first to admit GM has made some stinkers in the past, but truthfully name one automaker that hasn't. Also Sheth, thanks for trying to bring some common sense and fairness to light.


So is Chevy still going to produce the Spark? And if so will it have better than 40mpg?


Spark comes in 2012 and nothing has been said about mileage yet.

Troy S.

@ Sheth,

Just because I don't share your opinions, doesn't make me bigoted.

Your comment simply implies that you lack the flexibility and breadth of view of others.

Step outside of your sheltered world and see for yourself. You may become enlightened if you so choose to open your closed mind.

In the meantime, I'll continue to post my views and comments about automobiles as I see fit and you'll just have to deal with it. Enjoy.

Troy S.

From an article..

"GM says that Chevy is the only company building a small car in the US and Sonic will help restore about 1,000 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area."

So...according to GM, no other company makes a small car in the US..

Seems to be yet more mis-information eminating from GM. One has to wonder if anything else they say is true... Dishonesty isn't the best way to lure in customers. I'm sure they "mis-spoke".

The article for those interested, gives some more deatails about the Sonic.



This posting process sucks. I wrote 5 paragraphs yesterday, it said" Your comment has now been posted".

Only to find. .. all my time was wasted.

@$##%** Thanks guys!

1- "Only a small portion of people will speak out" -> Cocksure authors who may also be aggressive drivers?

2- At highway speed it's aerodynamics more than car mass. A motorcycle pushes much less air at 60mph, can get double the gas mileage, and fit less than half the stuff you can get into a car.

3- The posting rules are nice. Thanks for having them there.

4- when writing paragraphs to post, try a text editor then pasting.

5- This car looks great. I'm proud of GM. I'm happy with international parts production and assembly and even happier if this re-creates some lost Detroit jobs. My wife and I hope to buy one when they're out.


If you want my money, make it in America. Even the Camaro is made out of the country. The American taxpayers bailed you out, the least you can do is bring the jobs back to America.


the volt is a joke in my eyes. on any extended trip, it uses just as much gas as many ohter vehicles on the market costing less than half what it does.

a 40 mile range on electric only makes it useful only for city driving/short commutes. why does anyone want to spent $40,000 for a city car? a hybrid seems like a much more economical choice, costing much less AND using less gas on any longer commutes.



Your GM hatred is out of control. Sonic will be only subcompact built in USA. Just because you don't know the facts doesn't mean GM is lying. When you find another car in this class built here let us know. Most subcompacts aren't even built in north America.


I wish Hyundai would bring over the new Morning/Picanto...57mpg. That would be game changer for the subcompact market.

davd andryscyk

bring back the GEO metro mine got 62 miles per gallon in 1993 when I first bought it. At the end of its life it got 55 miles per gallon.Whats up every one, they thinks we are all to stupid. They don't want to make better gas saving cars because they want to sell you electric for a lot more.

The Shih

"And please don't reply about how every car review as-tested mileage is below EPA estimate or how all owner comments talk about subpar mileage claims."

I would say please don't reply about that for the following reasons.
- The 2010 Golf TDI is rated at 30/42 mpg by the EPA. People are reporting over 50 mpg on the highway and an AVERAGE mpg of around 42 to 45. This is without hyper miling techniques too. I myself got exactly 36 mpg on a highway trip(some 60 mph, mostly 70 mph) in my stock 1994 civic ex. The EPA rates it at 32 highway. I also got 27.4 on another full highway trip in my 300ZX (cold air intake, modified test pipes and sport flywheel). The EPA rated it at either 22 or 24 mpg highway. I forget which. The new EPA test procedures are very conservative. They blast the AC and drive more harshly than a lot of people really do. Example: Fiestas rated in the high 30's are getting mid to low 40's with no special hyper miling or anything like that.

Dereck, the Volt is a hybrid. It is a series as opposed to parallel (prius) or electric motor assist (hondas). If you remember the prius was approaching $30,000 when it first came out. GM called it a publicity stunt and laughed at it. Well, technology has improved and costs have come down and Toyota had the last laugh and the same thing will happen with the Volt. Besides, it isn't $41,000, it is $33,500 because of the tax credit.

Ziggy and Davd,
I totally agree. Cars like the Metro, CRX HF, old diesel Golfs, Del Sol and Plymouth Horzon were getting fantastic mileage in the 80's and 90's. It has just gotten worse since then.

Can't forget about the new Picanto you mentioned either.
...or the 70 mpg Polo tdi, or the lupo tdi, or the diesel fiesta, or the diesel mini cooper. I could go on for a while...

The Shih

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I was moving with the Z and it still got that mileage even having to haul about 200 lbs of extra crap.

The Shih

Devin, I'm not trying to hate but the comments about mass vs pushing air at highway speeds are true. I would suspect that this is a rebadged Opel or Vauxhall from Europe and a fantastic car but the Fiesta is also time tested and looks to be much more aerodynamic. I mean, look at the huge grill on that Chevy, and this is coming from a huge Corvette fan and GM guy! GM is doing well but Ford is doing an awesome job. Ford just seems to have the edge in everything but full sized trucks and against the vette lately, as much as I hate to admit it.



Like your references to the plethora of highly fuel-efficient, exciting-to-drive vehicles that it seems we'll NEVER benefit from here in the US.

What about Chevrolet's Matiz?

ANY of the Japanese KEI-class vehicles?

Sorry, but - intelligently - in today's day and age, who really gives a rat's-a** about "0-60", when 60+ MPG should be everyone's target???

I actually own a 2008 Aveo 5 LS, and am very pleased with everything about it ... EXCEPT it's fuel "economy": Best I've ever been able to achieve is 30 mpg (AT/AC, all accessories of course - it was a program vehicle from Santa Fe, NM)...

Looking forward to Fiat's 500 TwinAir, if and when it ever arrives here.. especially the anticipated hybrid iteration - with it's two-cylinder and in-line electric motors!


i have a saturn sc1 and i get 41mpg on the highway at 70 mph and it is rated at 36 by the much for have to consider the driver too


All the estimated ratings today have been lowered from what they were for the same cars about 8 years ago. I drive a 2002 Impala, (with 206,190 miles on it) at the speed limit, or five above, I am constantly passed by folks who just don't obey speed limits. When I bought the Impala it was posted with 28 mpg hiway and 21 city. On trips I consistently get 30 mpg unless I go ten above. So what's going on? Drive the speed limit! Well folks can't be bothered to do that so the EPA said they had to make estimates on real world driving...for idiots who exceed the speed limit as you all do. "Fine," Automakers said, and they lowered the ratings. And what happened? People are driving faster and less efficiently and still not meeting the lowered estimates...

Oh, about those European and Asian cars with great gas mileage?
Those cars all have to be altered to meet the U.S. pollution and crash test standards before they can be sold here. And when they do that, their mileage stickers look just like Doms. Unless you WANT to drive stripped down, noisey, no convenience vehicles? Most Americans don't. They all want electronics, quiet interiors, cup holders and burger holders and phone holders up the wazoo, and they want the power to keep someone from passing them who they think shouldn't.

We've cut pollution from cars by 98%. We've increased gas mileage despite even though the public won't dirve anything less than a rolling palace, and we can connect ourselves to the world in a hundred different ways while driving.

Sorry, but all this points to Americans as Ugly, Fat, Egotistical drivers, who won't pay attention to their driving or the folks on the road with them, except to see them in the rear view mirror.

Sad, sad, state this country is in. A little moderation, a lot of courtesy, and a helping hand out to strangers is what we need.

Mr J

We need a new President.

David A. Moehrke

I bought a Cruze back in march of 2011. I easyly get 42 mpg on us 17 between Wilmington NC and myetle Beach SC a distance of about 65 miles in both directions. Driving from Leland NC to Wilmington NC a distance of about 11 miles, then driving around Wilmington NC doing errends, then driving back to Leland NC again, and doing this at least 4 times per week I average about 31 to 34 mpg each and every time between the 2 times per week half tank fillups.


Derek, how is the volt a joke? Do you realize, even if you drive the Volt beyond it's electric range regularly, it gets 35 MPG on 10 gallons of gas? That means when you do have to fill up, you are still spending less at the pump than a regular mid sized car. My Ford Focus had a 15 gallon tank, for the same mileage. I test drove a Volt, and all I can say is WOW! what and awesome car. It also has a lot of get up and go. 273 lbs ft. of torque from 0-6000 rpm. I work exactly 22 miles from where I live. I would only need to fill up once overy month and a half with this car. If you haven't test drove one, no one should be knocking it. It is everything and more of what the car journalists say it is.

Car Lover

Lets all just be real here!! Its not just GM that the gas mileage has been incorrect. If anyone takes the time to watch the news or read it has been discussed how gas mileage estimates from companies have been off.


Do you really think everybody from 3 years ago still reads this post?


As a Sonic 2LT owner since 2012 I can attest to my mileage which I track myself and with the internal tracker and I get way over estimate. I drive 90% city and still get 36 mpg on the highway I can vary from 40+ down to 32 depending on speed limits. Overall i am pleased and surprised. I came from a disappointing aveo so this is a huge +*++

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App