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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Attila

19 years of experience
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Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
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Shawn

12 years of experience
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12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
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20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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