2012 Chevrolet Sonic
- Fuel economy: 33 mpg combined
- Starting price: $13,865
- Zero to 60: 7.8 seconds
Replacing the Aveo, the 2012 Sonic is a zippy subcompact with sharp handling that sips on regular-grade gasoline. This sporty car is offered as a sedan or hatchback. The top Sonic model, the LTZ, comes with 17-inch aluminum wheels and a three-spoke steering wheel design.
The Sonic fits its name when it comes to power and speed. The standard engine is a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder that cranks out 138 horsepower. But for better fuel economy, you'll want the available turbocharged 1.4-liter engine with the same amount of horses. It gets 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined when paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The six-speed, turbocharged automatic will get you 27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined. With the manual, you'll go from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, according to Chevrolet.
This sports car is no slouch when it comes to safety. Standard features include stability control, traction control, antilock brakes and 10 air bags.