Like the Versa, the Sonic is a new edition for the 2012 model year. Offered in both hatchback and sedan configurations, it's a huge improvement of the Sonic it replaces, delivering decent handling and rather good performance, especially with the 138 horsepower, 1.4-litre turbo charged engine and six-speed manual gearbox, though even the 135 hp 1.8 and six-speed automatic aren't bad.
Clearly more youth oriented, the $14,495 Sonic is one of the best value small Chevrolets in years.
Part of the "One Ford" strategy, the $12,999 Fiesta became a global product once again for 2011. Like the Sonic, it comes as either a sedan or a hatchback, with much marketing emphasis on the latter.
A 120 hp, 1.6-litre, fourcylinder engine delivers decent response and the five-speed manual is one of slickest in the segment (the six-speed dual clutch is disappointing).
Good handling and responsive steering set the Fiesta apart, though the hatch doesn't boast much trunk space, and this little car can become quite pricey if you aren't careful with the options list.
Toyota Yaris Sedan
Although it gets a facelift for 2012, the Yaris sedan (not the liftback) is starting to feel its age, with limited features and a dated interior. Powered by a 106 horsepower, 1.5-litre, fourcylinder engine, with a fivespeed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, it's decently put together and still offers good value, starting at $14,400.
That said, it's even less fun to drive than the Versa.
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