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by Brett Davis

The new Chevrolet Sonic, which will replace the Aveo as the new entry-level model in Chevrolet’s line-up, will come with a $2500 price hike over its predecessor.

Although it will remain Chevrolet’s cheapest car, the dearer Sonic steps into the market with a similar price tag to some European and Japanese rivals. GM has announced the new Chevrolet Sonic will hit the showrooms in the next couple of months with prices starting at US$14,495.

This makes it cheaper than the Japanese-made Honda Fit (Jazz) in the US but more expensive than the Ford Fiesta, which is built in Mexico. In 2009, GM agreed to be the only manufacturer to built a compact model as part of a deal with United Auto Workers. This plan was conjured up in efforts to save GM from heading into bankruptcy.

Now though, there’s the threat of the car not selling as well as hoped. And with a lot resting on the success of the model, some suggest this price hike certainly isn’t going to help. Bill Visnic, an analyst for car research firm Edmunds.com, said in a recent Wall Street Journal report,

“There is going to be a lot of scrutiny around this car and GM needs to hope that customers accept this [higher] price point. Everybody is trying to determine what people will pay for a subcompact car now.”

The outgoing Chevrolet Aveo currently retails for $12,000, but reports indicate most consumers spent around $15,000 on higher spec Aveos. The Sonic will come with more features than the standard Aveo, including 10 airbags for added safety.

The new Sonic-based Holden Barina will make its way to Australian shores in the coming months. CarAdvice contacted Holden’s Emily Perry who confirmed the model is scheduled for local release in the third quarter of this year, with the sedan coming in 2012. Official pricing will be revealed closer to the vehicle’s local launch. The current Barina hatch and sedan are priced from $16,290 before on-road costs.




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