The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic offers a well-designed cabin and several very useful features, like MyLink. Its engine choices are not bad either, but the two powertrains are nearly identical in terms of power output. Another point of contention is the car’s questionable exterior design, which is far too reserved to be appealing; though luckily it’s not ugly enough to scare anyone off.
The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is the third incarnation of the vehicle that defies size conventions by placing itself between a mini-car like the Chevrolet Spark and compact like the Chevrolet Cruze. The result is a relatively small car that’s just a touch bigger than its competitors, like the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent, in theory making it the more appealing option. But, size is not everything.
Despite being bigger than the Fiesta or Accent, the 2014 Sonic’s design is surprisingly reserved, though we wouldn’t call it controversial. There are a few bits that stand out, like the rear door handles hidden in the black compartments of the C-pillars, which make the car look like it has only two doors. It also comes with aluminum-alloy wheels; though the LS trim level does not get them. Overall, you won’t hate the way it looks, but you won’t love it either, and that’s that.
If you want to see an example of good design, look inside instead. You’ll find a motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster that looks unlike anything we’ve found in other cars. But, the best part about the cabin is that nothing looks unpolished or cheap; Chevrolet has clearly invested a lot of time and effort into the finer details of the design, which is always a plus in our books. We liked the MyLink system, which us here to replace your regular stereo, offering a seven-inch touchscreen interface and voice controls. It’s compatible with most smartphones but not all of them, and provides access to apps like Pandora and Stitcher. One of the complaints that we can throw at it is the fact that the cup holders are located too far in the back between the front seats. Otherwise, everything is convenient and within the driver’s reach.
What’s also surprising is the amount of space you get in the back, especially for a subcompact vehicle. There’s plenty of legroom and headroom, even for a taller individual. However, if back seats are not your main concern, then you’ll be happy to know that the cargo area is rather impressive too. It is 14 cubic feet in size, which puts it among the largest in this segment. The hatchback offers 19 cubic feet of cargo space, but if you fold the back seats flat, you will get 30.9 cubic feet, which is actually less than what you’d get in cars like the Honda Fit and Hyundai Accent.
The Chevrolet Sonic offers a choice of two engines, both of which are above average but not much else. The 1.8-litre base four-cylinder offer 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. It’s a decent amount of power for a decent amount of fuel economy. The more expensive engine is the 1.4-litres turbocharged four-cylinder, which cranks out 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to the added torque, it goes faster and also offers better fuel economy. That said, the advantages of this engine are not enough to warrant a higher price, so we recommend staying with the base engine. Both engines can be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 1.8-litres engine can also be combined with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.4-litre option can get a six-speed manual transmission. All the transmissions do their job well, so there’s no reason to recommend one over the other.
Overall, whether you like this the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic or not will depend entirely on you. Its price point of $13,995 is very reasonable so, but only if you value a decent cabin and a rich feature set over exterior design. So, if you’re looking for something pretty or outstanding, then try another car.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|LS 5-Door||$14,495||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LS 5-Door 6AT||$16,495||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LS Sedan||$13,995||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LS Sedan 6AT||$15,995||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LT 5-Door||$18,445||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LT 5-Door 6AT||$19,945||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LT Sedan||$17,445||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LT Sedan 6AT||$18,945||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LTZ 5-Door||$21,670||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LTZ 5-Door 6AT||$23,120||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LTZ Sedan||$21,170||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LTZ Sedan 6AT||$22,620||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|RS 5-Door||$23,995||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|RS 5-Door 6AT||$25,445||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||4|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
The standard engine on most 2014 Chevy Sonic models is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission, which includes a hill holder feature, is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available as an option. EPA fuel economy estimates are 30 mpg combined (26 city/35 highway) with the manual and 28 mpg combined (25 city/35 highway) with the automatic. Both sets are below average for the subcompact segment.
A turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder is optional for the LT and LTZ. Though its 138-hp output is the same as the base engine, it feels more potent, thanks to its 148 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional.
In Edmunds performance testing, a Sonic LTZ hatchback with the turbo engine and manual transmission went from zero to 60 in 8.8 seconds, a quick time for a car in the segment. EPA fuel economy estimates are also better than those of the base engine at 33 combined (29 city/40 highway) with the manual and 31 combined (27 city/37 highway) with the automatic. However, during a yearlong Edmunds test of a Sonic with the turbo engine, we found it difficult to match those fuel economy estimates in real-world driving.
The Sonic RS comes standard with the turbocharged engine. It also has the same six-speed transmission choices as the LT and the LTZ, though the gearing is slightly different to provide quicker acceleration. As a result, though, fuel economy drops to 30 mpg combined (27 city/34 highway) with the manual and 28 combined (25 city/33 highway) with the auto.
Originally appeared on Edmunds.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
There's a lot of fresh thinking inside the Sonic and we like it, starting with the motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster that's unlike anything else on a car's dashboard. Another strong point is that there are no weak points, no spots that look like they just didn't quite care enough to finish it. A few things worth mentioning are that the cupholders are good but placed too far to the rear between the front seats. The rear seat is one of the roomiest in the subcompact segment. And we really liked the dual glovebox arrangement, which is particularly thoughtful for those who use a dedicated music player, with the USB port located in the smaller, upper glove box.
Originally appeared on Kelley Blue Book.
The Sonic boasts a slew of standard safety features, including a class-leading 10 airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and crash-collapsible pedals to protect the driver's feet and legs. New safety options include a forward collision alert system, a lane departure warning system and a rearview camera.
The Sonic has received a 5-star overall crash-test rating from the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To earn that rating, it scored five stars in frontal- and side-impact tests and four stars in rollover tests.
Originally appeared on Auto Trader.
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