2012 Chevrolet Sonic Priced at $13,735

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Chevrolet priced its all-new subcompact Sonic today at $13,735, excluding a $760 destination fee. That’s nearly $2,000 more than the starting price of the Chevrolet Aveo – the model the Sonic replaces — but comparisons between it and this model will be unfair.

The Aveo wasn’t widely available with antilock brakes, and it didn’t have side curtain airbags; both are standard on the Sonic. Furthermore, the Sonic has standard electronic stability control and 10 airbags, including dual front knee airbags and front and rear side thorax airbags. That’s the most in the subcompact class.

Pricing is surprisingly straightforward on the Sonic. There are only three well-equipped trims at launch — LS, LT and LTZ — as well as two separate mechanical upgrades available. 

The base $13,735 LS model gets you the sedan with a 135-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission, 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power door locks, remote keyless entry, and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. 

The hatchback body style costs an extra $900, or $14,635. A six-speed automatic transmission costs an extra $1,070.

If you want power windows, you’ll have to upgrade to the LT trim, which starts at $14,935 for the sedan and $15,735 for the hatchback. That trim also gets you heated power side mirrors and a six-speaker stereo.

The LTZ trim starts at $16,535 for the sedan ($17,235 for the hatchback) and adds a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted controls, heated front seats, cruise control, fog lamps and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The LT and LTZ trims can be optioned with an available 138-hp, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed manual transmission for $700. The powertrain can achieve 40 mpg on the highway, GM says.

If you look at the competition, the Sonic is less of a value compared with the 2012 Hyundai Accent. Equipped with an automatic transmission, the Accent costs $15,195 and gets you features like a USB port and power windows and mirrors. A similarly equipped Sonic would cost $16,005 and still would lack features like a USB port. Also, if GM is touting the 40-mpg figure on the uprated engine, we’d have to assume the base powertrain will be less fuel efficient compared with the Accent’s 30/40 mpg city/highway rating. The 2011 Ford Fiesta is slightly less expensive with similar equipment, costing $15,595. Even a 2011 Honda Fit is less expensive, at $15,900 with similar equipment plus added goodies like cruise control.

Again, this is not to say the Sonic isn’t competitively priced; it’s within $100 to $900 of its competition. Also, some people will be enamored by the fact that the Sonic is the only American-assembled subcompact offering. And did we mention the 10 airbags?

Full assessment on the Sonic’s value will have to be made once safety and fuel economy ratings are released.  Production of the Sonic begins in August, and it is expected to arrive at dealerships a few months afterward.



As long as the Sonic isn't a pos like the Aveo was it will warrant the $2,000 increase. The issue I have with the car is the awful looking corporate grill. When will GM realize it does not work on every model!?


Cars in this class are hideous. The only ones that are good looking are the Fiesta and possibly the Mazda2. *Shudder*


Gotta pay $$$$ if you want power windows...and pay more if you want cruise control. That's what will set this car apart in price from the kia or hyundai.


now ALL GM cars will have Automatic Headlamps!


Why don't you compare everything before proclaiming that this is less of a value or is more safety equipment not considered valuable?

Amuro Ray

Conspiracy theory here, but it looks like that GM's pricing the Sonic to be a sales failure. There are just too many "cheaper" choices, with some even larger in size than the Sonic! For example, 2012 Versa. There are also the Fit (similarly priced), Mazda2 as someone has already said, Fiesta, etc.

Remember, this is the B-segment here. Price is King, any other features (x'tra airbags) are luxury items. Other than greenies like myself, those who purchase vehicles in this segment are most likely price-conscious folks.


The cost is high because they are building this former-Korean car in Michigan.


Was very impressed with the design of this car at the Chicago AutoShow. Very roomy and seemed to have a good interior. We'll have to see how it drives. Don't forget, who pays sticker?


Anyone who claims people don't care about features should note fiesta is currently top selling subcompact and its far from the cheapest. It is however the best equipped. Price isn't the only factor here


I've been looking at audi A3, but this looks like a more interesting alternative. Definitely going to compare the two and will probably go with sonic.


Wow this car got hit with one big ugly stick. And more than once.


The look reminds me of a VW Golf or Rabbit.

Idaho Guy

Pat - your opinion will change when you drive the A3. The Sonic will not only not be in the same league as the A3, it will be in an entirely different sport.

I really like the front lower facia and rims.I can't wait to test drive it.Color and engine like a great combination!!


Lmao about the guy cross shopping the A3 with the Sonic. They are completely different. Going for a premium car then opting for a subcompact Chevy? lol!

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