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Chevrolet Sonic (photos)

Chevy has been developing a new small car for a few years now, and seems to have finally settled on the Sonic. As a replacement for the Aveo, the Sonic would be the company's smallest car, and unlike its predecessor, it is made in the U.S.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 11 Josh Miller/CNET
Replacing the Aveo at the bottom of the Chevrolet lineup is the all-new Sonic, a car that has been in development for quite some time. GM has shown little faith in past small cars, but the economic climate suggests the company may get behind this one. Its margins might not be high, but it will introduce entry-level buyers to the brand.

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Chevy makes two engine choices available for the Sonic, a 1.8-liter variable valve timed four-cylinder or a turbocharged 1.4-liter. The former engine produces a respectable 135 horsepower.

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There isn't much cargo space, but five people could certainly squeeze into the car. The rear door handles are set into the side graphic, conveniently placed up high.

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Shown is the hatchback model. The Sonic can also be had as a small sedan.

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Like all GM cars, the Sonic comes with OnStar, giving drivers emergency services and turn-by-turn directions. A USB port for iPod connectivity and a Bluetooth phone system are also available.

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Chevy says the instrument cluster was inspired by motorcycle design. This simple unit shows an analog tachometer and digital speed read-out in the screen to the right.

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The car can be had with a six-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission.

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Chevy also demonstrated how a few accessories can transform the Sonic with this Z-spec version. This version would probably use the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, which produces 138 horsepower.

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A spoiler and custom wheels give this Sonic a rally car look. Chevy boasts that its Corvette tuners worked on the Sonic's suspension, giving it nimble handling.

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These nice-looking leather seats probably double the price of the car.

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The Z-spec appears to have a six-speed manual transmission, a nice touch for precise shifting.

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