The number of entries in the highly-competitive B-segment continues to grow, and the latest manufacturer seeking a piece of that big pie is Chevrolet, who has just launched the all-new Sonic earlier today. With its motorcycle-inspired styling and affordable price tag, Chevrolet is aiming to capture the hearts and orders from young and trendy buyers.
Available in sedan and hatchback bodystyles, the Sonic is in actual fact a replacement model of the Aveo that was quietly discontinued some years back, whilst the Chevrolet brand in Malaysia was still under the custody of its previous distributor. The Aveo nameplate is in fact still active in certain markets, but Chevrolet has decided to use the Sonic name in a number of markets including Malaysia and the ASEAN market in general.
Built on General Motors’ Gamma-II platform, the Sonic has independent MacPherson strut front suspension coupled with a rear torsion beam. From a global line-up of four-cylinder engines ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 litres in displacement, Chevrolet has selected a 1.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine for the Malaysian market offered exclusively with a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
Featuring dual camshaft phasing and variable valve timing technology, the 1,398cc Ecotec engine churns out 100hp and 130Nm to propel the Sonic’s 1.2-tonne kerb weight to a top speed of 175kph and a century sprint of 12.9 seconds. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is rated at 8.1 l/100km. The engine’s 9-month/15,000km service interval is worth highlighting and will be a plus point for high-mileage drivers.
Standard equipment covers the basics with ABS, EBD, and dual airbags taking care of safety. Items of convenience include front and rear fog lamps, electric side mirrors, steering-mounted controls, 60:40 split-folding rear seats, and Bluetooth audio connectivity.
The Sonic is being offered to Malaysians at what local distributors Naza Quest calls a ‘special introductory price’ of RM77,508 for the four-door sedan and RM79,508 for the five-door hatch, both prices on-the-road without insurance. Both bodystyles are offered with identical equipment and a 5-year / 200,000km warranty.