New For 2014A rearview camera is now standard on the 2014 Chevroletn Sonic LTZ and RS models, but the most interesting safety-related gadgets are available as part of a new Safety Package. Offered on LT, LTZ, and RS trims, the package includes both lane-departure-warning and forward-collision-alert systems, both features not commonly found in this market segment.
Vehicle SummaryChevrolet was absent from the B-segment game for a while but elected to re-enter the segment in 2004 with the Aveo. The Aveo, built in Korea by Daewoo, was inexpensive and fuel efficient but was constantly criticized for awkward styling, a cheap interior, and subpar build quality. Its successor, the Sonic, launched in North America in 2011 and quiets virtually all of those complaints. Body styles include a four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback; the latter is available in a sporty RS trim. Power comes from either a 1.8-liter four-cylinder or a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder; both engines deliver 138 hp, but the turbo 1.4-liter offers more torque and improved fuel-economy ratings. A six-speed manual is standard on all trim levels while a six-speed automatic is a $1250 option.
OverviewIf the Cruze was the first indication that Chevrolet could finally shift away from building subpar small cars, the Sonic was confirmation. The small four-door sedan and four-door hatchback aren't necessarily likely to quicken the pulse or excite enthusiasts, but they are worlds apart from the Korean-built Aveos they replace.
You'll notice that disparity the moment you slide behind the wheel of a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic. The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is some eight inches shorter than the C-segment Chevy Cruze, but its interior space hardly suffers. Legroom is down a half inch in front and only eight-tenths of an inch in the rear seat.
Although the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic suffers from light, overboosted power steering, its chassis is taut, well balanced, and extremely compliant over broken roads. The base suspension setting is a little soft in corners, but the sport-tuned setup unique to the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS is firmer. Much as we'd like to see Chevy field a frenzied hot hatchback to counter the Ford Fiesta ST and the Fiat 500 Abarth, the Sonic RS makes use of the same 138-hp turbocharged four-cylinder available elsewhere in the Sonic lineup.
- Adult-friendly back seats
- Premium options
- RS is a decent sport compact
You won't like:
- Chubbier than its rivals
- Imprecise six-speed manual transmission
- Overboosted steering
- Ford Fiesta
- Hyundai Accent
- Kia Rio
- Nissan Versa