2018 Chevrolet Sonic hatchback

Pros: Crisp steering and handling makes for a fun-to-drive character; solid body structure contributes to good ride quality; some rare-for-the-class convenience and technology features

Cons: Rear visibility is compromised in hatchback models; so-so fuel economy for the class; tight rear seat, particularly in sedan models

CG Says: The 2018 Chevrolet Sonic is essentially unchanged. The subcompact Sonic is available in sedan and 4-door hatchback bodystyles. The base engine is a 138-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that is paired with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Also available is a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder that is also rated at 138 hp, but has better EPA fuel-economy numbers and more torque (148 vs. 125). The turbo engine is mated to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Available features include forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, keyless access and starting, heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and rear park assist. Today’s subcompact cars have come a long way from the cheap-feeling underpowered “econoboxes” of yore, and the Sonic is a great case in point. It boasts a solid, high-quality feel, is fun to drive, and offers many unexpected features. Unimpressive-for-the-class fuel economy is the only significant downfall of this otherwise stellar small car. The subcompact-car class is plenty competitive, but the Sonic has the chops to merit a top place on your shopping list.

The Facts
Class Subcompact car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback, 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices LS sedan: $16,170
LT sedan: $18,570
LT hatchback: $18,670
Premier sedan: $20,670
Premier hatchback: $20,670

Base Engine
1.8-liter 4-cylinder (LS)
Horsepower
138
Std. Transmission
5-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
25-26
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
34-35

Optional Engine
turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder (LT, Premier)
Horsepower
138
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
27-28
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
35-37

2017 Chevrolet Sonic
2018 Chevrolet Sonic sedan
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - 5
100%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 5
100%
Side Crash - 5
100%
Rollover - 4
80%

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