The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is Chevy's first re-entry into the subcompact market in many years. Now, prices for the new Sonic and its various options are out, with the 2012 Sonic starting at $14,995 including delivery.

That price applies to the standard Sonic four-door sedan with a 1.8-liter "Ecotec engine." The five-door hatchback version starts $400 higher.

All Sonic models come standard with such safety features as 10 airbags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and a six-month trial of OnStar.

Moving up to the LT model gives Sonic buyers some luxury features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, heated seats and side mirrors, a six-speaker sound system, a connectivity package for mobile phones and MP3 players through USB and Bluetooth, and steering-wheel mounted audio controls.

The top-tier LTZ adds perforated leatherette seating, chrome accented exterior, and remote start standard for automatic transmissions.

The Sonic's standard 1.8-liter engine, delivering 138hp and 125 pound-feet of torque, comes fitted with a five-speed gearbox. That can be upgraded to a six-speed automatic transmission for $1,070.

LT and LTZ buyers can also opt for a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and six-speed manual gearbox, costing $700, which can supposedly sip gasoline at 40 mpg on the highway.

Among the Sonic's competitors is the slightly more expensive 2011 Nissan Sentra, starting at $16,060, but also equipped with a slightly more powerful 140-horsepower 2.0-liter engine.

There's also the 2012 Hyundai Accent powered by a 1.6-liter direct-injected (GDI) four, delivering the same 138 hp and going for a much lower $12,445.

The hatchback model of the 2012 Sonic runs up against the 2011 Ford Fiesta at $15,500, the 2011 Toyota Yaris priced at $13,115, and the 2011 Honda Fit starting at $15,100.


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