With a starting price of $14,495, including destination fee, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic remains one of the most affordable new models on the market. Yet this time GM has equipped its entry-level Chevy to avoid disappointment; even the base LS comes with air conditioning, power locks, remote keyless entry, and a til/telescopic steering wheel.
The mid-level Sonic LT adds a six-speaker sound system plus XM satellite radio, as well as power heated mirrors and driver's side auto-up/down, while the top-of-the-line LTZ gets heated leatherette front seats, cruise control, fog lamps, and large 17-inch alloy wheels.
Connectivity is one area where Chevy fails to keep up with many of the other latest models for availability, even if high-end tech features are optional or included on higher trims. A Bluetooth hands-free interface, steering-wheel audio controls, and a USB port for iPod music access are only offered in top LTZ models, as part of a Connectivity Package.
The one item that's missing from the options list, for now, is a navigation system—though GM says that will be remedied by the end of the model year. Also, we found the leatherette seats to be every bit as good as the type of leather that goes into inexpensive cars, but it still might not be quite enough for those who absolutely must have their cow.