Chevrolet Malaysia has posed a question on its Facebook page, asking us if the Sonic will be one of the hottest new cars by the end of 2012. This is the first hint that Chevy’s new B-segment contender will be heading our way. The Sonic was launched in Thailand late last month.
The Sonic receives the Vios/City fighter baton from Chevy’s old Aveo. Like the Aveo, the Sonic is available in both five-door hatch and four-door sedan form. Like big brother Cruze, the Sonic is a global model for GM – the car made its world debut at last year’s Detroit show.
The American company’s Rayong plant in Thailand rolled out its first Sonic last month, the fifth GM facility in the world to do so. If the Sonic is coming, it will be from Thailand.
In the Land of Smiles, the Sonic is available as a basic LS (sedan only), LT and top spec LTZ. There’s only one engine, though – a 1.4 litre Ecotec four-cylinder with 100 hp and 130 Nm at 4,000 rpm.
This DOHC 16v motor can be paired to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. The latter is class leading in terms of forward ratios, but manual override is via toggle switch, a layout that we didn’t quite like in the new Ford Focus.
Size wise, the Sonic sedan has a slightly larger footprint than the Vios (99 mm longer, 35 mm wider), but its 2,525 mm wheelbase is 25 mm shorter than the Vios’. Boot volume stands at 466 litres for the sedan and 253 litres for the hatchback.
The highlight of the Sonic’s cabin is the motorcycle-style instrument cluster, which combines an analogue rev counter with a digital speedometer. The dashboard is otherwise conventionally styled, and there are many elements that Cruze owners will be familar with. The Sonic also has a two-tone dashboard.
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