2014 Chevrolet Sonic Review

April 30, 2014
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Looking for a small, efficient and affordable car to get around with? Consider checking out the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic which is available in sedan and hatchback body styles. It doesn’t cost much but it offers impressive features, sporty handling characteristics, and better fuel economy than most of the Sonic’s rivals.

NEW FOR THE 2014 SONIC

  • optional forward collision alert and lane departure warning
  • standard rearview camera on the LTZ and RS models

UNDER THE HOOD

A 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque powers most 2014 Chevrolet Sonic models. It comes with a 5-speed manual transmission. A 6-speed automatic is optional.

The LT and LTZ models can be had with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine which makes 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. It is matched with a 6-speed manual transmission. A 6-speed automatic is also available.

The performance version of the Sonic hatchback, the RS, has the same turbocharged engine and transmission choices. But the transmissions for the RS are adjusted for quicker acceleration.

According to EPA estimates, the 2014 Chevy Sonic returns:

City/Hwy/Combined MPG
1.8-liter 4-cyl, 5-spd manual 26/35/30
1.8-liter 4-cyl, 6-spd auto 25/35/28
1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cyl, 6-spd manual 29/40/33
1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cyl, 6-spd auto 27/37/31
1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cyl, 6-spd manual (RS) 27/34/30
1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cyl, 6-spd auto (RS) 25/33/28

 

ON THE ROAD

One good thing about the 2014 Sonic is it feels more solid and more refined than other subcompact cars. It is also impressive around turns and rides comfortably enough for long trips.

The base 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine performs well enough. But the turbocharged power plant makes the Sonic livelier and more powerful. And not only that, it also returns better fuel economy. But some test drivers count the sluggish throttle response, which hinders the Sonic to deliver smooth acceleration from a stop, a downside of the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine.

The RS model is the obvious pick for a sporty driving experience in the Sonic. Its transmission choices are enhanced to provide quicker acceleration. The suspension is firmer and handling is sharper. But ride quality is not really affected as it remains compliant.

INSIDE THE 2014 SONIC

Chevy used a lot of hard plastics in the 2014 Sonic’s cabin. This is why the cabin’s appearance is not that appealing. But the Sonic somehow makes up for this through its comfortable seats. Taller drivers, though, might find it a bit hard to find a comfortable driving position because of the inherently limited headroom and legroom of the subcompact Sonic.

The cargo capacity in the sedan is also impressive at 14 cubic feet, one of the largest in the segment. It can even be expanded by folding the rear seatbacks down. The hatchback, however, offers 19 cubic feet of space which is less than some of Sonic’s strongest rivals in the class.

KEY FEATURES

The 2014 Chevy Sonic sedan and hatchback can be had in any of the three available trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ. The hatch adds a sport-tuned model called the RS. Here are some of the standard and optional features available for the 2014 Sonic.

The Sonic LS comes with 4-speaker AM/FM stereo, OnStar, 10 airbags, remote keyless entry, 60/40 rear split-folding rear seat, rear spoiler, 15-inch steel wheels, mechanical jack with tools, automatic headlights, daytime running lights, auxiliary input jack, cloth sport seats, and sport steering wheel.

The LT trim adds USB port, CD player, Bluetooth, 15-inch aluminum wheels, 6-speaker audio system, and cruise control.

The Sonic LTZ is better-equipped with Chevrolet MyLink Radio, satellite radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rearview camera, leather seats, heated front seats, 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, leatherette seats, and heated front seats.

The Sonic RS is equipped similarly as the LTZ but it has a different 17-inch wheels.

Some of the optional features offered are lane departure warning, forward collision alert, power sunroof, and 17-inch black or white wheels.

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Photo credit: chevrolet.com

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