2015 Chevrolet Sonic Review

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Trims

LS
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LS Hatchback
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LT
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Starting At: $11,130
LT Hatchback
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Starting At: $13,962
LTZ
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Starting At: $15,930
LTZ Hatchback
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Starting At: $16,441
RS
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Starting At: $18,120
RS Hatchback
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Starting At: $18,573

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2015 Chevrolet Sonic Overview

Thinking about getting a smaller sedan for the commute, or a pint-size hatchback for some semi-serious schlepping? You might want to take a look at Chevrolet’s 2015 Sonic lineup. This 5-passenger subcompact is available in either configuration and for this upcoming year adds a couple of new trims, the posh-leaning Dusk sedan and the sporty RS sedan, to the mix. The former has been on the drawing board for some time now and is finally getting into production, while the latter has been offered in hatchback garb from the get-go. Also new for the 2015 Sonic is GM’s touted 4G LTE WiFi hotspot technology that looks to be standard in higher trims and optional for select lower trims.

With the debut of the new RS sedan and Dusk sedan versions, look for this pint-size people hauler to come in the base LS, the lower-midlevel LT, the up-featured LTZ and the penultimate RS trims in both variations, with the Dusk sedan now reigning supreme in both plush and price. Of course, trunk space remains 14.9 cubic feet in 4-door versions, while cargo area in hatchback Sonics is once again some 47.7 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded. Fear not, however—the sedan iterations all get split-folding rear seats for a little more toting room without backseat denizens.

Base power for all but the RS and, of course, now the Dusk, remains a normally aspirated 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine that throws down 138 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque and returns managed by either the traditional (and standard) 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic gearbox. Mileage is a so-so 26 mpg city/35 highway in stick-shift variants, 25/35 in automatic-toting editions.

For the sport-oriented RS and the brand new Dusk 4-door, expect the return of last year’s peppy 1.4-liter turbocharged I4, as well as the transmission twain that includes either the standard 6-speed manual shifter or the available 6-speed automatic. Mileage for the turbo 4 should again run an impressive 29/40 in stick-shift versions and 27/37 in automatic-equipped editions, though the RS trims will doubtless remain sporting more aggressive gearing in both the manual and the automatic transmissions for quicker acceleration. Alas, mileage numbers in the jauntier Sonic RS variants suffer a bit at 27/34 in manual versions and 25/33 in automatic-laden variants.  

In any case, standard features in the base Sonic LS (hatchback and sedan) for 2015 are expected to remain 15-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, remote keyless entry, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, OnStar Directions and Connections (via Bluetooth), air conditioning and AM/FM stereo sound through 4 speakers.

The Sonic LT adds 15-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, 6-speaker audio and satellite radio, while the LTZ is expected to flaunt that new-for-2015 4G LTE WiFi hotspot technology added to the OnStar subscription system, along with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, upgraded upholstery and a rear-view camera.

The RS, in both hatchback and now the new sedan versions, brings back memories of yesteryear’s Sonic in boasting a sport-tuned suspension, along with sportier exterior trim, a sport steering wheel and alcantara leather upholstery. And finally, the brand-new touring-oriented Sonic Dusk sedan is slated to sport a unique body kit, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery with distinctive stitching and standard MyLink audio and infotainment with an upsized dashboard display and of course the above-mentioned 4G LTE techno-bling.

Many of the standard features found in higher trims can again be ordered as optional equipment in lower trims, while the 2015 Sonic LTZ and RS sedan and hatchback, as well as the debuting Dusk sedan can be delivered with an available power sunroof and with the optional Advanced Safety Package, featuring forward-collision alerts and lane-departure warnings. Finally, GM’s BringGo smartphone-app-integrated navigation is also available to the LTZ and higher trims via the new OnStar-integrated 4G LTE installation which also comes with a 3 month, 3GB trial subscription.

Standard safety features in the 2015 Sonic iterations, meantime, include 4-wheel antilock brakes with front disc and rear drum brakes (RS and Dusk iterations get disc brakes all around), along with traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Daytime running lights, OnStar emergency assistance and a post-collision safety system are complemented by a remote antitheft alarm lineup-wide, while the LTZ and higher trims also sport standard front fog/driving lights.

Updated

Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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