A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic | YourMechanic Advice

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic

The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is not only the only domestic subcompact sedan (or hatchback) on the market today, but it’s also one of the most versatile models in its class. This entry-level subcompact car – available in both sedan and five-door hatchback body styles – may look a lot like it’s comparable to the Honda Fit or the Nissan Versa, but it feels like it should be in the compact or even midsize car class. It has room to spare, and it’s a lot of fun to drive, too.

Key Features

A lot of models include Bluetooth audio in their higher-end trims, but this feature actually comes standard in the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. In addition to this, Chevrolet has also included a digital readout for the speedometer, which makes it easy to tell when you’re driving within the speed limit or when you need to back off the gas a bit. It also comes with a six-month subscription to OnStar, so you can try before you buy the navigation and emergency services feature.

Changes for 2012

2012 was the first year that the Chevrolet Sonic was introduced. Everything about it is brand new!

What We Like

We love that this subcompact car isn’t just a practical around-town vehicle. It’s sporty and zippy, and it won’t make you or your passengers feel cramped, either.

What Concerns Us

Other models are more established than the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, which makes us think that some drivers will choose the Honda Fit or the Ford Fiesta over the Sonic simply because they’ve been around longer. Also, the interior isn’t the most luxurious in the world, so some car buyers may prefer to upgrade to a higher-end model.

Available Models

If you buy a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, you’ll have your choice of two engines, a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with 138 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque or a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with the same horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Unlike most other models, the more turbocharged engine is not only faster but also more fuel efficient, too, with an EPA fuel economy rating of 29/40 MPG (city/highway).

Major Recalls

As can be expected in the first model year of almost any car, there have been a few recalls for the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. These have solved issues with the driver-side frontal airbag failing to deploy, a fracture in the transmission turbine shaft, and damage to the engine block heater power cord.

Common Issues

The most commonly reported problems with the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic involved the interior accessories, including sticking shifter buttons, intermittent radio problems, and heated seats only working part of the time.

chevrolet sonic 2012 interior


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I hired Chris to inspect a car I wanted to purchase. He arrived on time and gave me a very detailed report, took the time to call me after to review details, and share his impression of the car. He was great and very knowledgeable, I would highly recommend him!
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Jason came on time, explained the procedure and immediately started the pre-purchase inspection on my 2012 Dodge Charger. Very thorough, very knowledgeable! I’ll be using YourMechanic for the suggested maintenance and repairs.

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