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2015 Chevrolet Sonic Review

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2015 Chevrolet Sonic Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

Chevrolet's 2015 Sonic subcompact sedan and hatchback are not the division's smallest cars (that accolade goes to the tiny Spark micro car), yet as the old saying goes, good things come in small packages. In the Sonic's case, those things include a roomy interior, excellent fuel economy and an affordable price tag. Every bit the equal of the Toyota Yaris and Ford Fiesta, the Sonic adds a bit more spice, with sporty handling and a turbocharged engine that delivers zippy performance around town. Also surprising is the Sonic's impressive list of standard and available features that include streaming Bluetooth audio and GM's impressive MyLink infotainment system that allows for hands-free control of messages, apps and music devices.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2015 Chevy Sonic sedan and hatchback are cute, fun to drive, extremely good on gas, priced to sell, and full of features younger buyers covet (like built-in Wi-Fi). Cool colors and a very high-end looking interior should help seal the deal.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're not a fan of really small cars, a little more cash can put you into a more substantial compact like the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze or Honda Civic. You might also aim for something a bit more customizable like the Fiat 500 or Mini Cooper.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.6
  • 7.5
  • 7.2
  • 7.2
  • 6.9
  • 9.7
How It Ranks

#4

out of 4

Fuel Economy

#2

out of 4

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.6 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Chevrolet Sonic Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

Chevy's subcompact Sonic for 2015 sees only a few minor updates. OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi is standard and comes with a 3-month/3GB free trial. Other changes include the addition of the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine to LTZ models and a new color, Blue Velvet.

Driving the Sonic
2015 Chevrolet Sonic Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions One spin in the 2015 Chevy Sonic and you'll have an entirely new take on the subcompact genre. The ride is smooth and stable, the steering precise, and the suspension...

... nimble enough to round corners with confidence or dart through nasty city traffic with ease. Despite its compact dimensions, the Chevrolet Sonic feels more substantial than a Ford Fiesta or Honda Fit. When equipped with the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the subcompact Sonic feels quick and agile, and its fuel economy figures earn two big thumbs up from our test staff. Stick with the base 1.8-liter engine and you'll still find a very pleasing driving experience, plus you'll have the choice of a slick shifting 5-speed manual or smooth 6-speed automatic. The front-wheel-drive Sonic subcompact really loves to hustle, be it on a twisting canyon road, a long stretch of highway or a snow-covered side street.

MYLINK INFOTAINMENT
Chevy's MyLink infotainment system helps drivers keep connected to their music, messages and apps while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The system is also compatible with Siri Eyes Free and the BringGo navigation app.

FORWARD COLLISION ALERT
Almost unheard of in this class, the 2015 Chevrolet Sonic sedan and hatchback offer an advanced safety package that includes Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.

2015 Chevrolet Sonic Details
2015 Chevrolet Sonic Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

There's a lot of fresh thinking inside the 2015 Chevy Sonic and we like it, starting with the motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster that's unlike anything else on a car's dashboard. Another strong point is that there are no weak points, no spots that look like they just didn't quite care enough to finish it. A few things worth mentioning are that the cupholders are good but placed too far to the rear between the front seats. The rear seat is one of the roomiest in the subcompact segment. And we really liked the dual glovebox arrangement, which is particularly thoughtful for those who use a dedicated music player, with the USB port located in the smaller, upper glove box.

Exterior
2015 Chevrolet Sonic photo

The subcompact class is full of exciting designs these days, with such standouts as the Ford Fiesta and the new Toyota Yaris. The Sonic is rather more reserved, but it also won't be one of those love-it-or-hate-it deals either. And it does have its interesting details, including hiding the rear door handles in the black areas of the C-pillars to make the car look more like a 2-door, at least at the first, quick glance. Another thing in the Sonic's favor: With the exception of the base LS trim level, all models have aluminum-alloy wheels and some really eye-popping color choices.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As either a sedan or 5-door hatchback, standard equipment on the 2015 subcompact Chevy Sonic LS includes a 1.8-liter engine, 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls, 4-speaker AM/FM/aux sound system and OnStar with 3-month 4G LTE Wi-Fi and a 6-month subscription that includes convenient turn-by-turn navigation. Power windows and mirrors are missing from that list of standard equipment, but that's not unusual for base-level subcompacts. A full range of standard safety equipment includes 10 airbags. A premium 6-speaker audio system is offered on Sonic LS and standard on all others, while the LTZ with the automatic transmission comes with standard remote start.

Optional Equipment

A fully-loaded 2015 Chevy Sonic includes leatherette seats, heated front seats, a moonroof, cruise control, and 17-inch wheels. Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment is available on LS and LT models, and standard on LTZ and RS. The RS trim adds leather seating, 4-wheel disc brakes, a performance suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a sport steering wheel. The available advanced safety package includes Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. The Dusk package is offered exclusively on the LTZ sedan and includes metallic Ashen Gray paint, ground effects, and 18-inch aluminum wheels with a Pearl Nickel finish.

Under the Hood
2015 Chevrolet Sonic Engine photo

There are two engine choices for the Sonic, each more than merely acceptable. The base 1.8-liter 4-cylinder cranks out good power and is entirely reasonable and pleasant. The pricier alternative is a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that's sportier and makes more torque, and thus goes quicker, but has as its main advantage a 5-mpg gain in highway fuel economy. The 1.8-liter is available with a 5-speed manual transmission, the turbo 1.4-liter with a 6-speed manual, and both can be matched with a 6-speed automatic. In our experience, we found no reason not to like any of the transmission choices.

1.8-liter inline-4 (LS, LT)
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
125 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (5-speed manual), 25/35 mpg (6-speed automatic)

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 (optional on LT, standard on LTZ and RS)
138 horsepower @ 4,900 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm (manual)/1,850 rpm (automatic)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/40 mpg (6-speed manual), 27/37 mpg (6-speed automatic)

A 2015 Chevy Sonic LS sedan starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $15,000, while the 5-door LS hatchback starts around $15,500. The LT trim level, with its additional features, comes in just over $17,000. Loaded, a 2015 Sonic RS can top $24,000. Overall, the Sonic is priced in line with its key competitors on a feature-to-feature basis. Before heading down to your Chevy dealer, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price, which reflects what others in your area are currently paying for the Sonic. As for resale value, we expect the 2015 Chevy Sonic sedan and 5-door to return average figures, better than the Fiat 500 and on par with the Hyundai Accent, but well below the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Ford Fiesta.

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2015 Chevrolet Sonic Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 125 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Excellent mileage, dependable, cute, luv it

By on Monday, February 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great value"

Cons: "Noted blind spot in rear corners when backing"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Red hot like the color "Inferno Orange"

"Have to get used to closeness on slots of gears with shifter as changing gears can be awkward making me think I am in one gear and learn I am in different gear. Seats are flexible and adjust easily. Excellent gas mileage gauge range from 37.5 to 40.5. Fun to drive, handles great, excellent temperature control for heat and cooling. Bluetooth could be better on confirming phone numbers to dial. Receive many compliments on 'cuteness'."

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Red hot like the color "Inferno Orange"

Awesome car, great value, world class MPG!

By on Friday, February 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,900

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great value, awesome MPG and quality"

Cons: "No complaits, maybe a bigger gas tank............"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My wife and bought this car in April of 2011 to replace a thirsty Jeep Cherokee. Our goal was to get a reliable car under 20K that would be able to achieve great handling and 40 plus MPG on the highway. We looked at Ford and a few others, and then went to our local Chevy dealer who had a Sonic on the showroom floor. Once we drove the Sonic, the decision was easy-rode and handled excellent, and we loved the style and the under 17K sticker price for a LT 1.4 Turbo/manual 6 speed. Our first trip in the car was a 400 mile plus road trip to see our daughter in Montana. The car blew us away, before long we were averaging 46 MPG at 75 miles per hour in twisty mountain roads between Idaho and Montana. There is a lot of mountain climbing on this journey as well, and the little 1.4 Turbo pulled us up every slope with no issue. The car is quiet and smooth and handles so well.....hard to believe this is a subcompact Chevrolet built in Michigan USA. In the past 3 plus years we have had no issues at all and even in town we average about 38MPG and since we have owned it our total MPG average for all 15,000 miles is at 40.1. We have had a few road trips with both our daughters and a grand daughter onboard and the car still handled very well and still maintained world class MPG with 4 adults and a 3 year old onboard. If you are looking for a high quality, reliable high MPG vehicle with good acceleration and performance look at the Sonic. My hats off to Chevrolet for building a awesome subcompact right here in the US. This car continues to amaze and exceed all expectations we have had. Go see it, and drive it for yourself, everyone has different taste and expectations but this car will exceed even the pickiest consumer when you consider all the factors. From our perspective this is the best car we have owned, we have had many, from Toyota, Mazda, Ford, Jeep etc."

21 people out of 41 found this review helpful

Road Noise ruins driving enjoyment.

By on Sunday, January 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
7/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "remote start"

Cons: "road noise, uncomfortable seats, cup holders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Traded 05 Aveo owned 6 years with no road noise complaint. I've replaced the tires with quiet rated tires, installed Dynamat sound deadening material throughout and the noise from the tires is still terrible. It even drowns out the radio. I've only driven it 2200 miles in 5 months because of the tire noise. They spend all the money on useless technology like touchscreen radios and trying to turn a car into a cell phone while ignoring the basic driving experience of a quiet ride."

29 people out of 48 found this review helpful

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