Luxury subcompacts are nothing new in Europe, where customers appreciate luxurious features but often need smaller, easier-to-park, cheaper-to-run cars.

The idea is less familiar in the U.S, where subcompacts are generally associated with basic, frills-free transportation--but Chevrolet wants to change that perception.

The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic Dusk concept is set to be unveiled at the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and takes the Sonic to as-yet unseen levels of luxury.

Based on the Sonic sedan, the Dusk is endowed with 18-inch, multi-spoke alloy wheels, a subtle body kit and a Pearl Nickel paint finish.

Grilles and door handles have a matte finish, while stainless steel accents pick out the windows.

Inside, the Dusk's trim is a step above the usual Sonic fittings.

Jet Black leather seats with Mojave tan inserts replace the usual cloth, and Mojave accents also appear on the door and instrument panels. You'll also find a Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, which integrates a smartphone and stored media with the radio system.

Chevy says the Dusk is the more demur, sophisticated alternative to the sporty Sonic RS, while using the same drivetrain. That means a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine, capable of up to 40 mpg highway with the six-speed manual, 37 mpg with the automatic.

But the Dusk begs the question: Just how luxurious can small cars get?

As customers look to reduce fuel bills but don't want to sacrifice comfort and convenience features, will small luxury cars become more common?

The MINI already offers some fairly upscale options, but will we see Ford's Fiesta going the same way? And, perhaps inspired by the Aston Martin Cygnet with which it shares a platform, will the Scion iQ gain a luxury model?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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