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GM Adds Automatic Transmission Option To The Sonic

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On: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 11:31AM | By: Chris Weiss

GM Adds Automatic Transmission Option To The Sonic

The Chevy Sonic must be one of the most advertised vehicles of 2012. I no longer turn on my television without expecting to see the "We are Young" montage of the Sonic. The subcompact has jumped out of a plane, dipped its head in a pool of water after a bungee leap and been kick flipped by one of the world's most recognizable skateboarding icons. It's all over the place.

Well, the purpose of great advertising is to inspire interest and sell products. And we're guessing the big Sonic campaign is working, because Chevy is adding a six-speed automatic transmission to the Sonic 1.4L turbo. Many of the people watching the Sonic's adventurous ad campaign probably want the sportiest engine, but may prefer an automatic.

While the Sonic's 1.8-liter Ecotec engine has been offered with both automatic and manual options, the turbo was previously available in manual only. Chevy announced earlier this week that it will now offer buyers the option of manual or automatic, broadening the turbocharged Sonic's appeal to drivers that may not want to shift gears on their own.

"Providing the option of a turbocharged engine to our non-stick driving Chevy customers allows us to offer everyone the thrill and power of a fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L powerplant,” said Jim Danahy, vehicle line director and vehicle chief engineer for North American small cars, in a press release. "Both in the Sonic and Cruze, the engine enables better fuel economy without sacrificing power or performance. It’s really a winning combination."

The fuel economy drops a few notches in automatic Sonics. According to GM's numbers, the Sonic turbo with automatic gets 37 mpg highway and 27 mpg city, while the manual transmission delivers 40/29 mpg. The automatic is negligibly slower to 60 mph - GM cites a round 8-second time for the 1.4-liter turbo Sonic with automatic and a 7.8-second time for the manual version.

According to the Detroit News, the starting price for the automatic Sonic turbo is $16,835 (the manual Sonic turbo is $15,765).



Ian | 12:43PM (Fri, Mar 23, 2012)

This is as stimulating as the old name "Aveo". Hopefully with this inflated gas economy, the advertising pays off better than "New Coke"


Ian | 2:10PM (Fri, Mar 23, 2012)

Has the emergence of smart phones decreased the number of cars being sold with manual transmissions? After all, it is much harder to text or comment if you have to shift all the time.

  • Ian

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