2013 Chevrolet Sonic LT Hatchback 1.4 turbo from North America


Buy a Sonic if you want a good car



General Comments:

Handles better than most sports cars.

Gas mileage averaging 37 MPG on 87 octane regular fuel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2013

6th Dec 2013, 13:55

I would hope there are no issues with only 900 miles on it.

7th Dec 2013, 17:01

I've driven a couple of Sonics. Great cars. Way better than the Japanese competitors.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic LT Turbo from North America


Better than I could have hoped for


None, although it's brand new.

General Comments:

This has been a great vehicle thus far. Absolutely no problems; not even an extra hiccup when starting in the cold.

Performance is very good for being an economy car; I'm averaging between 40 and 42 MPG combined (about 2/3s highway) and I'm not hypermiling it. The car runs at 2000 RPM at 65 mph in 6th gear, perfect for highway cruising. Acceleration is good as long as you are in the 1800-3000 RPM range where the turbo is spooling.

The ride is smooth, steering is light and effortless, and the suspension is sporty without being too firm.

The clutch is very good; this is a great car to have in a 6 speed. Transmission and clutch action are smooth, and the hill assist is a nifty feature. I have yet to kill this car.

Interior of the car is nice for economy. I'm 6'5 and have plenty of space in the driver's seat (no one will be comfortable behind me though). I can adjust the passenger's seat so that I can fit comfortably in both the front and back without adjusting.

Dealer was great, and might have made the most difference when car shopping. I went to a Ford dealer and a Toyota dealer; neither came close to working with me or were as friendly to deal with. I've been back to the Chevy dealer a couple of times to look at accessories and get one of my 6 complimentary oil changes, and they topped off my car's gas both times and are just as friendly post car sale.

Overall, very happy with the car and service. I will try to update at major milestones or if there are any faults that come up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd May, 2013

21st Dec 2013, 15:09

Original reviewer: now at 12k miles and partially through winter, I can speak (somewhat) to the reliability and harsh weather performance of the sonic. Still haven't had any problems at all with the car. Cold weather wise (down to single digit degrees F) never had any trouble or hiccups starting, idling, running, etc... Fuel economy has dropped to around 36 MPG combined, but that's to be expected constantly running the heater and less dense air. The car also handled decently well driving through about 3-4 inches of snow and ice.

27th Apr 2015, 18:17

Colder air is denser than hot air.

22nd Nov 2015, 11:00

Cooler air is denser, which requires more fuel.

23rd Sep 2016, 04:20

Original reviewer, at 58k miles now. No major issues to report. There was a recall on the water pump, and I noticed my coolant was low around 25k miles. Took it in to the dealer and the water pump was replaced that day and covered under warranty. Problem solved and hasn't been an issue since, but obviously it would have been nicer to not have the problem in the first place. The only other issue I have had are noisy struts over bumps. Gas mileage is still good, and I am still on stock tires and brake pads.

29th Mar 2021, 21:05

In simple terms, when you drive in winter, the fuel burned has to heat up the engine block as well as move the car. In the cold, it takes a lot more fuel to heat up the engine than run the car.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic LS 1.6 dohc 16v I4 from North America


A vast improvement over the Aveo


Nothing - this was a rental.

General Comments:

I really liked this car. I've rented plenty, but this was the first one I kind of wish I hadn't had to give back.

The dash is gimmicky, no doubt about it. I miss the temperature gauge, but there are a lot of cool-enough features, even in the stripper rental model. Compass and thermometer, anyone? The blue LCD is easier on the eyes than previous vacuum-fluorescent LCD displays, and the numbers are clear and easy to read (should be, the speedometer is huge).

The seats are comfortable and mildly supportive, though I did find that on longer drives, they started to enforce a 3-hour rest break through numb-butt. The radio controls are very far away, though not totally out of reach, as long as you're taller. The seats had a good range of adjustment, and even adjusted for height (still not as common as it should be in this market). The trunk is a cavern, but is only accessible through a somewhat short hole. The hatchback probably doesn't have that problem. Just don't expect to fit a full-sized cooler or a chest of drawers through without a fight.

The transmission and engine get along very well, though a couple of times I was left sweating from a low-speed start for the transmission to pick up. The engine idles quietly and very smoothly, and does get decent use out of a tank of gas: 8.7L/100km average (in a rental car) by the trip computer's running estimate.

But most of all, this car was fun to drive and comfortable, something most of the newer rental cars lacked. It only took a few hours to get used to every control before I could drive the car without thinking about it. The car loved all of the corners I threw its way, taking them all in stride.

Too Long, Didn't Read? I liked it. It's fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2013

15th May 2013, 20:46

With such a low rating for performance, why consider owning it? Four out of ten is low even for an economy car.

16th May 2013, 14:31

While I was helping a friend trade his crappy 2009 Corolla, we test drove a couple of Sonics. I was very impressed with the Sonic. The engine is the same one used in the larger Cruze, and has plenty of power for the smaller Sonic. The ride, handling and build quality of the Sonic is great, as would be expected of an American made car.

Of course the Sonic could not compete with the Ford Focus (the world's best selling car for two straight years) so my friend opted for the Focus and actually got it for $300 less than the Sonic, because Chevy wouldn't discount the Sonic one cent.

17th May 2013, 13:47

According to Consumer Reports, the Chevrolet Sonic has better reliability than the Ford Focus, though.

18th May 2013, 15:43

I long ago stopped paying the slightest attention to Consumer Reports or J. D. Power ratings. I've owned several cars that were rated "much worse than average" and never had a second's trouble with any of them. One of our current vehicles is rated "much worse than average", and has gone well over 100,000 miles with zero problems.

20th Jun 2013, 00:01

Interesting, when I was car shopping I couldn't get a Ford dealer to come close to the Sonic's price/value. I ended up getting a turbo Sonic with a 6 speed for about $2k less than a base Focus SE. Needless to say, I bought the Sonic and haven't looked back. The Focus is a nice car, and would have certainly given me more to think about if it was cheaper.

30th Nov 2013, 21:17

Temperature gauges are going the way of tailfins ;)

23rd Jan 2014, 01:36

I traded in a 2013 Ford Focus after 6 months for a Chevrolet Sonic, and I am glad I did. If you drove a Focus and then drove a Sonic, and picked the Focus, I can not figure out why. The Focus ST handles well, the other models do not. The Sonic is the best handling Chevrolet under $45,000 and corners like a Honda Civic Si.

27th Jul 2014, 03:32

Missing engine temperature gauges are a new (disturbing) trend, but they almost invariably provide a tachometer. Given that most modern vehicles have automatic transmissions, it's not as critical as a temperature gauge.

Then again, how many people nowadays look at their gauges.

11th Jul 2017, 17:33

Well a Sonic and Focus are not even the same class. Not a good comparison. The Cruze/Focus and Sonic/Fiesta are better comparisons.