Chevrolet's compact Sonic got a major refresh for last year. That got it updated styling front and rear, along with a new dashboard. A new MyLink infotainment system was added with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto. Big changes last year mean very small changes this year, limited mostly to the colour palette.
The Sonic is a sporty-looking compact, with hatch and sedan body styles available. The base engine is a 1.8L four that makes 138 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a five-speed manual, but a six-speed auto is available too. That's good power for the class, with 8 hp and 11 lb-ft more than the Honda Fit and 15 hp more than the Ford Fiesta. If you're looking for a bit more oomph, Chevrolet offers a 1.4L turbo-four that makes the same power but 23 lb-ft more torque and comes with a six-speed manual instead of five. It spreads that torque over a wider range too, making for a quicker drive. As a bonus, the 1.4 improves fuel economy, by 0.9 L/100 km combined with a manual and 0.6 with the auto.
For added sportiness in the handling department, a lowering suspension is available on LT models and as part of the RS package on Premier trim.
The Sonic hatch fits into the middle of the segment as far as interior size. It has 879 mm of rear legroom, about 50 mm more than Fiesta or the Hyundai Accent hatch, but 100 mm less than the cavernous Fit. It has better headroom back there than the competition and falls within 25mm of the competition for front headroom. For a small hatch cargo space is king, and the Sonic delivers. It has 879 L with the rear seats in place and 1350 with the seats folded. That's second only to the Fit. The sedan offers 422 L in the trunk.
The base Sonic is the LT, available in hatch or sedan. The hatch can be had with the manual or auto, but the sedan is auto only. LT gets satellite radio and OnStar with 4G LTE hotspot as well as CarPlay and Auto. This is an inexpensive car but has air conditioning, power locks and windows, as well as heated seats and a leather-wrapped wheel. A sunroof is available, as are 17-inch alloys. 16-inch alloys are standard. The 1.8L four is standard with the 1.4 optional.
Premier is hatch and auto only. It adds a standard power sunroof and remote start. The wheels are black-painted 17-inch alloys.
1.8L Sonics with an automatic are rated at 9.7 L/100 km city, 6.9 highway. The manual is rated at 9.2/7.1. Step up to the 1.4 and the ratings are 8.8/6.6 for the automatic and 8.4/6.3 for the manual.
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