Chevrolet Sonic Reviews
Model Overview:The Chevrolet Sonic comes loaded with personality, and is available in enough configurations to suit most buyers.
For starters, buyers can choose between a 5-door hatchback or 4-door sedan, with LS, LT, LTZ and RS trims available. Two engines power the lineup: a naturally aspirated 1.8L 4-cylinder is standard and produces 138 hp and 125 ft-lb of torque, while a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder available on LT, RS and LTZ trims puts out the same number of horses, but a healthy 148 ft-lb of torque. Both engines come from the larger Chevy Cruze, and in the smaller, lighter Sonic, they are decidedly sprightly. The 1.8L comes paired to a 5-speed manual, while the 1.4L sends its power through a 6-speed manual. A 6-speed automatic is optional for both engines.
The Sonic benefits from an incredibly stiff steel chassis, with MacPherson struts up front and a torsion-beam axle in the rear. Stability control and traction control are standard, but can be switched off.
Standard amenities include 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power locks and keyless entry, as well as a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. LS trim adds heated side mirrors and special exterior appointments, while LTZ trim includes 17-inch wheels, fog lamps, perforated leatherette seating surfaces with heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with stereo controls, cruise control and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.
The Sonic RS has a unique front fascia, unique 17-inch wheels and turbo badging compared to other Sonic trims. The car is also lower than the standard Sonic and features sport tuned suspension. Performance is further enhanced by shorter gear ratios and four wheel disc brakes. Other features on the RS include leather seating, a leather shift knob and a unique flat bottom steering wheel.
Many of the features of the LTZ are options in the Connectivity Plus Cruise Package and are available on LT-equipped Sonics. Optional on LTZ cars is a power sunroof.
Standard safety features include ten airbags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensor and traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and panic assist, OnStar and hill start assist.
Model Changes:The Sonic RS is a new trim level for 2013 and is available only as a hatchback and only with the 1.4L turbocharged engine. Featuring unique looks and a lowered stance, the Sonic RS is sure to please buyers looking for a sporty drive in the subcompact market. For those who care less about performance and more about the environment, a partial zero emissions vehicle (PZEV) version of the 1.8L base engine is also available this year.
A couple of new trim options are also new for 2013. A new 6-speaker premium sound system is now available as is a new infotainment system, which comes standard on the LTZ and the RS. It features a 7-inch screen and is capable of streaming music via Bluetooth or Pandora.
Model Value:The subcompact segment seems to get larger by the year, and the 2013 Sonic faces stiff competition from established players like the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit. With its nimble chassis and turbocharged 1.4L engine--the only turbo in its class--the Sonic offers a spirited driving experience its rivals can't match. Sedan or hatchback body styles also give it the edge, and with a low entry price and plenty of convenience options just a click away, the Sonic stands out as a real bargain for shoppers on a budget.