in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $14,170 - $21,610
Invoice: $13,816 - $20,530
MPG: 26 City / 35 Hwy
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Chevrolet Sonic Review

The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic ranks 11 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Chevrolet Sonic, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is ranked:

The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic’s smooth ride, spacious cabin and great handling make it a standout in the subcompact class, reviewers say.  

The 2014 Sonic is available with two engine choices, and test drivers say that the standard four-cylinder engine is competent around town, while the optional turbocharged, four-cylinder engine delivers a satisfying amount of power and brisk acceleration. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available. Test drivers say that the manual transmission makes the Sonic fun to drive, while the automatic offers quick, smooth shifts. The base Chevrolet Sonic gets an EPA-estimated 25/35 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, which is poor for the class. However, the Sonic gets up to 29/40 mpg city/highway when equipped with the turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, which is good for an affordable small car. The automotive press agrees that the Sonic handles nimbly, with responsive steering and good road manners, noting that these are significant attributes for a subcompact car. The Sonic also earns a strong safety score and comes standard with 10 air bags, which is more than what most cars in the class offer.

Some critics think the Chevrolet Sonic’s interior could use more premium materials, but they also say that it’s functional and uncluttered. They say that the front seats are well-bolstered, there’s plenty of legroom, even in the rear and getting in and out of the cabin is easy. Cargo space is terrific for a sedan and the hatchback offers similar cargo room to other cars in the segment. Standard features include an auxiliary input, Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar, steering wheel-mounted phone and audio controls and remote keyless entry. Features available on higher trims include remote start and Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen and Bluetooth audio streaming. Test drivers say the Sonic’s interior controls are easy to access and simple to use and they are impressed with the number of features available on the infotainment system, including streaming Bluetooth audio. Power windows and a USB port are also optional, though they come standard on many other cars in the class.

  • "The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is one of our top picks for a subcompact sedan or hatchback thanks to its blend of power, comfort and feature availability." -- Edmunds
  • "Available as both a sedan and a hatchback, it offers a refined cabin and surprisingly good driving dynamics." -- Left Lane News
  • "It's fun to drive and offers a surprising depth and breadth of features. Lackluster as-tested fuel economy is the only significant black mark on an otherwise excellent small car. Sonic merits serious consideration in a class that's becoming ever more competitive." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Sonic is a good car: useful, easy to drive, a good value. It's just not the high-class, scintillating little scooter we were expecting. For many buyers, though, it could hit the sweet spot." -- USA Today (2012)

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Other Cars to Consider

Like the Sonic, the Ford Fiesta is a subcompact that’s available as a sedan and hatchback. Reviewers like the Fiesta’s athletic handling, and they note that it offers an upscale interior with comfortable front seats.

The Volkswagen Beetle offers dramatic styling and more standard features than the Sonic, including heated front seats. When equipped with an optional turbodiesel engine, the Beetle gets good fuel economy for the class.

Compare the Sonic, Fiesta and Beetle »

Details: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic seats five and has standard front-wheel drive. The base model has a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automatic are available, as is a turbocharged, 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. The Sonic comes in sedan and hatchback body styles and is available in four trims: LS, LT, LTZ and RS (hatchback only). For 2014, the Sonic gains a few new optional safety features, including a rearview camera, forward collision warning and lane departure alert. Aside from these additions, the Sonic is unchanged for 2014. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012, 2013 and 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Chevrolet Sonic specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/16/14

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