Consumer Reviews Summary
15 of 16 (93%) customers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.
2013 Chevrolet Sonic Overview
Chevy crashed the subcompact party for 2012 with the U.S.-produced Sonic, a replacement for the outgoing Aveo. And for 2013, a sporty five-door RS model joins the lineup of sedan and hatchback versions.
Subcompacts are no longer the barren vehicles they once were, and the Sonic offers several high-tech features to keep pace with competitors such as the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta. A new package for the mid-level trim adds cruise control, Bluetooth audio streaming, USB port, second auxiliary jack, and audio controls on the steering wheel.
The Sonic carries styling characteristics found on the larger Cruze, including a split front grille with black honeycomb inserts, round head and tail lights, and character lines along the hood that sweep into the windshield pillars. Five-door hatchback styling has an up-swept beltline running to the back end and a roofline that falls away giving it the appearance of a truncated coupe. Adding to that look are rear doors with the handles concealed in trim surrounding the rear window. The Sonic rolls on standard 15-inch steel wheels, with 16- and 17-inch alloys available, as are fog lamps and a rear spoiler.
Chevy offers a choice of two engines with the Sonic. A 138-horsepower, 1.8-liter, inline-four cylinder engine producing 125 pounds-feet of torque pairs with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. The more interesting powerplant is the 138-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 148 pounds-feet of torque mated to a six-speed manual or automatic. While it’s more than a match in power to the larger four-banger, the turbo paired with the six-speed manual delivers 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. The numbers dip to 27/37 mpg city/highway with the six-speed automatic. With the 1.8-liter and manual transmission the ratings are 26/35 mpg city/highway, while the automatic drops 1 mpg in city driving.
Inside the five-seater a large analog tachometer and digital speed readout sit in an LCD display for clean, modern look. The split rear seat folds flat for easy cargo hauling; cloth or leather upholstery and heated seats are available depending on trim level. The most notable feature is Chevrolet’s MyLink system, optional on the lower two models and standard on the upper pair. The AM/FM/SiriusXM, six-speaker audio system provides Bluetooth or plug-in connectivity with smartphones, providing hands-free calling, streaming audio and use of Pandora or Stitcher Internet radio apps. A navigation function using a smartphone app is in the works and will allow storage of maps and routes on the phone for easy retrieval even in poor signal conditions.
Safety is of particular concern to buyers of small cars. Sonic’s performance in crash tests earned it a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Features that helped it earn those distinctions include 10 airbags, stability and traction control, and antilock brakes with emergency braking assist.
The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic offers great fuel economy, a more engaged than you’d think driving experience, and plenty of features to go with unique style in a package that has great appeal for younger drivers.