Chevrolet will make a six-speed automatic transmission available on models of the 2012 Sonic equipped with the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. The turbo engine, which is more fuel efficient and has more torque than the Sonic's base 1.8-liter inline-four engine, was previously offered only with a six-speed manual.
The turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four in the Sonic produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet says models with a six-speed manual transmission return EPA fuel economy figures of 29/40 mpg (city/highway) and will reach 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Equipped with the new six-speed automatic, Chevrolet expects the Sonic to reach 60 mph in about eight seconds, while returning 27/37 mpg (city/highway).
Those economy figures mean the turbocharged engine is both more powerful and more efficient than the base 1.8-liter engine in the Sonic, which produces 138 hp and 125 lb-ft. It returns 26/35 mpg with a five-speed manual transmission or 25/35 mpg with a six-speed automatic.
Chevrolet says that turbocharged Sonic models with the new automatic transmission are available now. Opting for the automatic will add $440 to the price of a turbocharged Sonic LT sedan or hatchback, and $630 to the cost of a Sonic LTZ sedan or hatch.