2013 Chevrolet Sonic Review Ratings
2013 Chevrolet Sonic LT Hatchback Review
1. Zippy, pyppy, fun to drive.
The only significant negative is the brake performance while turning: In my test, I quiclky decelerated from 64 mph to 25 mph on a highway offramp curve. The car can oversteer significantly (but not dangerously), and the nose dives enough for the front wheel to contact the fender. It should be mentioned that oversteer is generally preferable to understeer: While oversteer does slightly increase the risk of roll-over or spin-out, it greatly reduces the risk of going off the road or hitting a barrier (much more likely outcomes).
The Best 2013 Subcompact Hatchabck Is Also The Only One Made In The Usa. — This summer I've been shopping for a new car that meets at least three simple criteria: 1. Under $20K. 2. At least 35 mpg highway. 3. Able to fit my road bicycle inside. Other desired qualities include: - Reaches highway speed without embarassment. - Comfortrable for both 30-minute commutes and road-trips. - Good turning radius, easy to park. - Not too ugly. - Durable fabric interior. - Decent visibility. - Decent electronics: Power windows & locks. Cruise control. Remote unlock (remote start would be nice), decent audio with USB power and AUX in. Hands-free BlueTooth would be nice. Controls for it all on the steering wheel would be outstanding. Don't need a nav system or satellite radio or sub-woofer. I was expecting to be underwhelmed, since the last subcompact Chevy I drove was a rented Aveo. The Sonic LT hatchback with the 6-speed automatic pushed by a 1.4L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine totally blew me away. The car is a joy to drive, and the water-cooled turbo gives a real kick-in-the-pants when accelerating onto the highway. Turn control and stability is rock-solid at both high and low speeds. The interior noise is among the quietest of the entire subcompact segment. With the rear seats folded cown, my rather large road bicycle fit nicely, but carefully, inside the car. This is important to me, since the last thing I'd want to do to a new car is toss an ugly bike rack onto it. Which is especially a pain for a hatchback, when the bike is on the rack. With the rear seats up, I had no problem getting my 5'11" frame comfortably seated. The front cockpit space is good, with none of the cramped footwells so common in other subcompacts. Then there's the electronics package. Everything I could want, and nothing I didn't want: Cruise control, hands-free Bluetooth (with steering wheel controls), an adequate sound system with USB power and AUX in (also with steering wheel controls), plus OnStar telematics. Importantly, from what I can tell, this is the ONLY subcompact hatchback that is assembled in the USA. There are other cars that offer more bang for the buck in almost all categories, such as the Hundai Elantra GT, but none of them are THAT much better than the Sonic, nor do they have its fun styling and standard alloy wheels. And in this economy, I'd prefer as many of my dollars as possible to land in American pockets, especially when it comes to major purchases. I've driven every car I could find that met my requirements, and several that didn't. The Chevrolet Sonic LT hatchback combines a solid feature set with some delightful extras. Did I mention that it was the only car I tested that was Made In America?
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MSRP: $15,420 Invoice:$15,035 Search Chevrolet dealers to find exactly the car you want.
2013 Chevrolet Sonic LS Review
Very large trunk. Independent folding rear seats. Lots of room up front.
Very small backseat.
I'm Very Happy With This Car. — It does not have the take off power of a larger car, but the gas mileage more than makes up for it. I love the view out of the windshield, great field of vision. The car handles great and is very responsive.
Primary Use: Commuting to work
2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Hatchback Review
Fun to Drive, Safest Car in its Class, Smooth/Responsive Handling, Functional (!) Back Seats, Tech-Filled Cabin/Interior, Plenty of Trunk Space
Mediocre Throttle Response, Notchy Shifter (Manual), Intrusive ECU
It Doesn't Get Any Better... As Far As Subcompacts! — A lot of people these days are in the market for subcompact vehicles. In today's world where money is harder to come by, yet easier to spend, many times when looking for a new car functionality and economy will trump power and fun-factor.The Sonic RS asks, "Why can't you have both?" [Performance] With a sporty and powerful 4 cylinder turbo engine the RS has more than enough get up and go. Passing maneuvers feel confident and capable in this car, only let down by a slightly laggy throttle response. The six speed manual, while a little notchy, just begs to be rowed through the gear. Having said that, if you have a bit of a lead foot you will find that you will be spending the majority of your time in 1st through 3rd, then to 6th, as the 3rd gear will get you up to highway speeds. Breaking is competent, if underwhelming, but it gets the job done. The cars electronic stability control system can be a little heavy handed, but can be turned off manually if you so choose. I tend to turn it off, my wife tends to leave it on. Having a choice is never a bad thing. [Exterior] The car's exterior is aggressive, low slung (in comparison to other subcompacts in its class) and loud. The RS treatment gets you a more aggresive front grill, spoiler, 17" aluminum rims, a loud(er than stock) trapezoidal exhaust tip and plenty of chrome to go around. Chrome... perhaps too much. Plasti-Dip works well I hear. [Interior] The car's interior is without a doubt function over form. The cabin primarily consists of hard plastics (with nice texturing). Up front you will find a 7" infotainment system that can serve every function from giving you directions, playing video (only while parked!) to controlling your MP3 player. Hands free calling is available if your phone can connect to the infotainment center via bluetooth, as is hands free Siri for all you Apple folks. On your steering column you will find volume, station/track controls, as well as an answer call, and hangup button. A nice feature you won't find on many manuals, cruise control, is also present. Seats are a black leather (with red accents) w/ micro-suade inserts in the front, black leather in the back. The ensamble is completed with a leather wrapped steering column and shifter. The car does *not* feel like a budget subcompact, not even close, the leather is smooth and supple, and the seats are comftorable. Add in aluminum pedals, power everything and soon you will see the value of the RS. It gives you *everything* you could possibly want, and all around 20K depending on available discounts. Between Chevy and dealer discounts we were able to get ours (with a sunroof, the *only* option) for $20.5. A great car, at a great price, quick, tech-filled, comftorable, efficient and fun. What are you waiting for?
Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)
Reviews From Other Years
2012 Chevy Sonic
My experience with this car includes daily commuting (26 mi/day), numerous mid-range trips (150-200 miles) and a few long trips (>500 miles). It handles well, is pretty zippy (I have the 1.4L turbo ... Read More
A Sub-compact That Doesn't Feel Bargain Basement
Very youthful and aggressive styling for a sub-compact. Power seems adequate, this was a non-turbo charged unit in a time where you could only get this high of trim with a auto trans. Like the... Read More