Full sized fun in a smaller package
The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic four-door is a small car with a big attitude. It’s fun-to-drive, comfortable, seriously efficient, wildly well-equipped and quite affordable. Maybe that’s why it won the J.D. Power and Associates “Highest Ranked Appeal Among Sub-Compact Cars” award.
The Chevrolet Sonic is the only sub-compact on the market built in the U.S. For 2013, the Sonic lineup adds an all-new, performance-inspired RS five-door hatchback model, as well as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) version of the standard 1.8-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine. A new Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system is available and includes a seven-inch color screen, AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and phones, and voice recognition for compatible smartphones. New integral blind-spot mirrors have been added to the outside rearview mirrors on all models, and there are updated OnStar buttons.
With so many features packed into the Sonic, it’s not surprising it was chosen as one of the “Best Family Cars” of 2012 by Edmunds.com and Parents magazine, and its interior was named one of Ward’s “10 Best Interiors” for 2012.
The Chevrolet Sonic is available in four-door sedan (MSRP $14,185) and new five-door hatchback (MSRP $14,785) body styles and offers LS, LT, LTZ and RS trims. The RS is exclusive to the hatchback (MSRP $20,995). No matter what body style you choose, you will get class-leading roominess and cargo space.
Chevrolet Sonic models are powered by a highly efficient 1.8-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine that produces 138 hp and 125 lb/ft of torque. Also available is a turbocharged 1.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder with 138 hp and 148 lb/ft of torque. The 1.4-liter turbo is standard on RS hatchback models.
Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and a six-speed automatic with the 1.8-liter four, and a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic with the 1.4-liter turbo. The transmissions are equipped with a useful Hill-Start Assist feature which makes it easier to pull away from a stop on steep grades.
Suspension and Steering
Engineers who worked on the Corvette tuned the ride and handling of the Sonic to give it more precise handling. Sonic RS Hatchback offers stiffer, performance-oriented tuning, as well as a lowered (10 mm) suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.
From every angle the Sonic Sedan and five-door Hatchback convey strength, stability and refinement. Aggressive design cues that include fender flares and motorcycle-inspired round headlamps are blended with global design cues such as the dual-element grille and round taillamps. A range of wheel sizes, including 17-inch alloy wheels, reinforce the sporty demeanor of the Sonic.
Safety and Crash-Avoidance Features
With a strong body structure designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants, and more than 60 percent of the body structure composed of advanced high-strength steel, the Sonic is safe car. It’s the only car in its segment to achieve an overall “5-Star” safety rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash testing. The Sonic also earned a “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Other safety and security features include StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control and rollover sensors, standard four-channel antilock brakes, seatbelt pretensioners that minimize forward movement during a collision and power assisted front and rear brakes. Ten standard airbags includes side-curtain airbags to provide head protection for outboard passengers in the event of a side-impact or rollover crash. The standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System ensures tires will never get dangerously low on air.
OnStar with six months of complimentary service is standard. OnStar security and convenience services include Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Services, Remote Vehicle Unlock, Roadside Assistance, Turn-by-Turn Navigation and much more. There is also the OnStar RemoteLink mobile app, which allows a user to control Sonic functions, access vehicle info and send directions to the car. A new service, FamilyLink, allows family members to track vehicle location.
The Sonic cabin is not just stylish, it’s functional, too, with storage compartments in the center console and doors. The rear seats fold almost flat for carrying larger items. In fact the Sonic sedan offers more trunk capacity than most compact cars, and the hatchback and sedan offer better rear-seat room than the Ford Fiesta. Also, with the seats folded flat, the Sonic hatchback has greater cargo capacity than the Fiesta. Front bucket seats are standard.
The six-speaker MyLink audio system makes integrating your compatible smartphone and your stored media with the car’s radio. Just connect your smartphone via Bluetooth or a USB port and you can enjoy simple, safe and personalized media content, including Pandora Internet Radio and Stitcher SmartRadio.