2019 Chevrolet Sonic Review

Sonic

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2019 Chevrolet Sonic Overview

Within the Chevrolet lineup, the 2019 Sonic provides a platform that makes the most of its space and functions well as an economical daily driving. Offered as a subcompact sedan or hatchback, the 2019 Sonic remains unchanged from a design standpoint, but content and drivetrain tweaks add to the its value.

Trims for the Sonic sedan include LS, LT, and Premier. The 5-door hatchback is available only in the LS and Premier trims. The trunk of the sedan provides 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space, while the hatchback offers 19 cubic feet behind the rear seats. With the rear seats folded, the Sonic hatchback provides 47.7 cubic feet of cargo space.

Standard features on the base LS sedan include 15-inch steel wheels, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, 4-speaker stereo, manual seats, and 60/40 split-fold rear seats. It also comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (subscription of one month or 3GB, whichever comes first).

The LT trim adds 15-inch aluminum wheels, power windows; heated, power side mirrors; SiriusXM satellite radio; 6-speaker stereo; and cruise control. It also unlocks options packages for added content.

Moving up to the Premier trim unlocks features like 17-inch aluminum wheels, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and an upgraded driver information center in the instrument panel.

Both available trims of the 5-door hatchback come standard with the RS appearance package. It features a sporty body kit and side skirts, front fog lamps, blacked-out Chevy “bowtie” emblems, and a rear spoiler. Inside, the RS includes upgraded floor mats, a piano-black accented instrument panel, and a 3-spoke, flat-bottom sport steering wheel.

Remote start previously came standard on the LT trim, but now it comes as an extra. The remote start is now part of the LT convenience package.

All trims of the Sonic come standard with MyLink infotainment, which is straightforward and easy to use. MyLink also supports Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto.

For 2019, Chevrolet has simplified the engine lineup. In the past, you could select either a 1.8-liter base engine or a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. The 1.4-liter engine is now standard across the lineup. It delivers 138 horsepower and 148 pound feet of torque, which is just enough to move the 2,796-pound Sonic sedan.

The manual transmission is becoming an endangered species, with fewer and fewer offered by automakers. But Chevy is one of the brands that defiantly still offers a manual transmission, perhaps owing to the underlying platform's age.

Regardless of the reason, the manual offers the enjoyment of shifting on your own, as well as good fuel economy. It returns 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, 32 combined.

Chevrolet also offers the Sonic with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which features a manual shift mode. Drivers can operate it via a toggle located on the left side of the shifter, where the driver’s thumb can easily reach it. This transmission returns 27 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, 30 combined.

The Sonic comes standard with what Chevy calls a “Touring Suspension,” which is designed for comfort while commuting. The hatchback with the RS package includes a sport suspension, which lowers the ride height by 10mm and reduces body roll in cornering.

The Sonic comes standard with a full array of front- and side-impact airbags, reversing camera, and a tire pressure-monitoring system. An available Driver Confidence Package adds forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, side blind-zone alert, and rear park assist. Unfortunately, Chevy offers this package only on LT and Premier trims, and it is not available on the base LS trim.

The Chevrolet Sonic packs a lot of standard and available content in a small package. From the frugal base sedan to the sporty RS hatchback, the Sonic is a bold way to spice up the daily commute.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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