2019 Chevrolet Sonic
For decades, Chevrolet always offered a small car for drivers who do not need a lot of vehicle to get around in. They were made for the city, as well as the country.
Lucky for us, the Chevrolet Sonic is still around. During a time when its competitors are disappearing from showrooms across this country, this little car provides much more than basic transportation.
But, is the Chevrolet Sonic the right small car to buy?
Its basics still hold up in today’s subcompact car segment. A design that began in 2011 has been updated over the years to its current state. The front end shows current design trends for Chevrolet, while the rear end received some upgrades a couple of years ago. Our Premier sedan model is pretty handsome, in an unassuming way.
The Premier model adds 17-inch alloy wheels with some chrome trim all around. You can also get the Sonic in a hatchback model, alongside the sedan.
Inside the sedan model is a cabin that looks straightforward but offers some quirks. For example, the information screen on the instrument binnacle is controlled by the left stalk – something General Motors had done away with on most of their models. Yet, the rest of the dials are clear, including the fuel gauge that is lit up digitally on the extreme left.
The center stack is a mix of the latest Chevrolet infotainment touchscreen and a mish-mash of controls that dot the space all the way down to the center console. The climate controls are low and behind the shifter. The steering wheel controls might be confusing, except for anyone who had a five or more year-old GM product.
This Premier tester came with a perforated leatherette upholstery that looks luxurious. However, you only get a power adjustment for the rake and height, along with a manual adjustment for the recline. There is no lumbar adjustment available. Therefore, the seats have some support, but could use some give in the seatback. Rear seat room is great for children – possibly for average-sized adults. Trunk space starts off with a sizeable 14.9 cubic that expands into the cabin with the rear seatbacks folded down.
Power in the Sonic Premier comes from a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque on tap, this engine is just fine for normal traffic and, maybe, some long distance driving. You can mate this engine to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, driving the front wheels. Our tester had the latter, which shifted just fine.
As for fuel economy, we averaged 32.4 MPG.
The ride quality was in the middle, with the suspension working overtime to keep things on an even keel. Handling is pretty decent, though you may find some lean and roll. It corners quite well, which is attributed to the tire/wheel package on this tester.
Steering the Sonic through tight maneuvers was quite easy, thanks to its small size. The action feels a tad numb and on-center feel is simply OK. Brake pedal feel is quite good, sending solid power down to the wheels. We experienced good stops in normal and panic situations.
The Chevrolet Sonic lineup starts with a LS sedan, equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission. This model has a base price of $15,420. Our Premier sedan tester came with a sticker price of $21,595. This model will be available in a 2020 model with just a price increase of just a few hundred dollars across the board.
With Chevrolet remaining in the subcompact class, it has a few contenders that you can consider. The Sonic is matched up against the Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Mitsubishi Mirage and G4.
If you are looking for a small car, the Chevrolet Sonic might be a good choice to make. You can find an affordable subcompact, but how about one that is actually sweet to drive? That is exactly what the Chevrolet Sonic is all about.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors