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2015 Chevrolet Sonic

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/6/2015 Stefan Ogbac
2015 Chevrolet Sonic© IZMO 2015 Chevrolet Sonic

New for 2015

The 2015 Chevrolet Sonic gains some minor updates including an available Wi-Fi hotspot with 4G LTE connection via GM's OnStar Service and a new exterior color. All LTZ-grade Sonics now come standard with the turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 producing 138 hp and 148 lb-ft or torque.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Chevrolet Sonic is a subcompact car sold in four grades and in hatchback or sedan body styles.

Overview

In addition to the turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4, the 2015 Chevrolet Sonic is available with a 1.8-liter I-4 with 138 hp and 125 lb-ft paired to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic. This powertrain offers decent fuel economy at 26/35 mpg city/highway with the manual and 25/35 mpg with the automatic.

The turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 is the better of the two powertrain since it has the same horsepower but has more torque and achieves the best fuel economy with six-speed manual models rated at 29/40 mpg and 27/37 mpg with the automatic.

Handling is one of the 2015 Sonic's strong suits, with a confident chassis as well as quick and accurate steering. Ride quality and refinement are exceptional for a subcompact car with little wind and road noise. RS models improve handling even more with a stiffer, lower suspension, and rear disc brakes. However, the turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4's output remains unchanged despite the improvements in the car's handling. The car's heavy curb weight, which ranges from 2690 to 2847 pounds, means it's heavier than most subcompacts, causing the engine to work harder.

Interior space is generous in both 2015 Sonic models with the hatchback offering up to 47.7 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded down (19 cubic feet with the seats up and 14.9 cubic feet for the sedan). Seating is good for four passengers but tight for five due to the car's tight rear center position. Available tech features include Chevrolet's MyLink system, which allows owners to link their smartphones via Bluetooth or USB port to gain access to a host of apps including Pandora and Stitcher. The BringGo navigation app is also available for $50 and can be shown on the car's seven-inch touch screen when the driver's smartphone is paired with the car.

The 2015 Chevrolet Sonic has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars).

UPDATE: In IIHS evaluations, the 2015 Sonic received a Good score in four categories and Marginal in the small overlap front crash test (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2015 Chevrolet Sonic is an excellent subcompact car that has great driving dynamics, terrific fuel economy, and a host of connectivity options through the MyLink infotainment system. In a 2012 Comparison Test, we said that the car had "a well-composed suspension" and "effective noise insulation." The turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 was also notable since it had a lot of mid-range torque compared to the buzzy-sounding 1.8-liter. RS models improve the Sonic's handling even more but its lack of power means it lags behind the Ford Fiesta ST and Fiat 500 Abarth, both of which are priced around the low-$20,000 range to start and are more powerful.

You'll Like

  • Good ride and handling
  • Practical hatchback body style
  • Excellent fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • RS models could use more power
  • Buzzy 1.8-liter I-4
  • Heavy for a subcompact car

Key Competitors

  • Ford Fiesta
  • Honda Fit
  • Kia Rio
  • Nissan Versa/Versa Note
  • Hyundai Accent

Rating

4 star

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