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2014 Chevrolet Sonic

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2014 Chevrolet Sonic Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

The 2014 Sonic subcompact is the next-to-the-smallest car to carry Chevrolet’s familiar bow-tie badge (the Spark is the smallest), but it offers capabilities and characteristics that far transcend its tidy size. Coming in sedan and hatchback forms, the Sonic's fuel economy is equal to or better than those of such rivals as the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit, its ride and handling go from comfortable and responsive to certifiably sporty and enthusiastic, and it comes with lots of features that are pleasant surprises in this price bracket, including streaming Bluetooth audio and the MyLink infotainment system that allows for control of cell-phone-enabled apps. Add in that it looks good and is priced very affordably, and it’s a winner.

You'll Like This Car If...

Reasons to like the 2014 Sonic: It’s the quietest and most well-behaved subcompact car on the market. It’s truly fun to drive. The fuel economy is exemplary. It’s full of nice features. The pricing is very affordable. It’s one of the very best subcompacts in the segment. Check it out.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Reasons to pick a different car: The Honda Fit offers more interior room and versatility, the Hyundai Accent is nicely done, the Ford Fiesta has its own considerable charms. The subcompact segment is not without choices.

What's New for 2014

Changes for the Sonic for 2014 are relatively few. A rear-vision camera is standard on the LTZ and RS and available on the LT. There’s an available advanced safety package that includes Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, and the LT Promotional Package includes MyLink radio, a power sunroof and front fog lights.

Driving the Sonic
Driving Impressions

It is difficult to take the Chevy Sonic for a drive and not come back mightily impressed with the comfortable ride, the nimble response, the snappy handling and the overall...

... level of composure and refinement. All subcompact cars are better than ever, but the Sonic stands out from the crowd and drives like something bigger and more expensive than the competition. Its available 1.4-liter turbocharged engine brings exceptional fuel economy and sprightly performance, but is somewhat quirky in its power delivery. The base 1.8-liter engine costs less, is available with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, and is in some ways a more pleasant driving experience. But, with either engine, the front-drive Sonic combines class-leading road manners with remarkable handling capabilities. If there’s a canyon road in your daily commute you won’t mind so much the ride to work and back. You might even look forward to it.

MYLINK INFOTAINMENT
With MyLink, customers can use their smartphones to enable music from popular apps such as Pandora and Stitcher. Later in the model year a navigation app will be added to the mix.

OVERALL ROAD MANNERS
In any trim level, the Sonic delivers a combination of driving dynamics that is more than just a welcome surprise in a subcompact. In the LTZ trim, it’s comfy and nimble, and in the RS it’s downright sporty.

2014 Chevrolet Sonic Details
Interior

There’s a lot of fresh thinking inside the 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

The subcompact class is full of exciting designs these days, with such standouts as the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent. 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As either a sedan or 5-door hatchback, standard equipment on the 2014 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 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.

Optional Equipment

A fully-loaded 2014 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. A premium 6-speaker audio system is offered on LS and standard on all others, while the LTZ with the automatic transmission comes with standard remote start. 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, and the LT Promotional Package includes MyLink radio, a power sunroof and front fog lights.

Under the Hood

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, LTZ)
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 and LTZ, standard on 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)

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2014 Chevrolet Sonic Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 162 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

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

Amazingly quirky; Great Value; Stands out.

By on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 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: "Comfortable seats, especially for such a small car"

Cons: "Small tank, but fills up for cheap :) $16-$22!!!"

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

"I just got it a few weeks ago, and I love it. Not only did I get a great deal of discounts (went from 24000 to 11600), but it has everything. It's a jet black sonic rs sedan. It's got wifi, a digital display, lane keep assist, and a trunk space like you wouldn't believe! And it's got so many little quirky Millennial touches, from a little notch in the upper glove box for when you have an aux cable plugged in, to a third cup holder, and the most comfortable seats you are gonna get in this segment. I was actually thinking about a Honda Civic, but it started with 20% off for Summer, and ended with all of the standard equipment. Also, this little turbo has quite a bit of kick to it... Just accelerating from a red light gets Mustangs making challenges. It can't exactly compete, but it's still really cool. :)"

everything I hoped for

By on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "efficient and fun"

Cons: "rear door limits rear seat ease"

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

"2016 Sonic hatch turbo delivered on what expected. Gas mileage in mid 30s. Turbo puts torque where you need it in powerband. Steering precise, ride supple, handling sharp, seat supportive and quiet road noise. I needed short car because of parking situation but do not feel deprived in this hatch-plenty of space inside. Proud it's made in USA!"

Love the Sonic

By on Saturday, June 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, economical, inexpensive, well equipe"

Cons: "None"

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

"The Sonic is great fun to drive and very economical. Also very user friendly. Easy to load cargo and roomy enough for 4 people comfortably. Has been very reliable. No need for any repairs; only oil changes. The car is everything we expected and more. We did recommend the car to another person who bought one and loves it as well."

Terrific little car, rides like a larger car

By on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Ride, great price, terrific mileage"

Cons: "not much, mylink radio is a little cumbersome"

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

"I own a 2015 lt manual and I am very happy with the car. Very comfortable and quiet ride especially for its size. I drive around 40 miles round trip to work on farm roads and through suburbs and am averaging 39 mpg. Better than I expected. Would definitely consider this car again."

nice little car,

By on Sunday, June 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "runs, has AC and radio, good mileage"

Cons: "The back seats have little leg room."

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

"I have had the car for about 18 months and have approximately 32K on it. It's no Cadillac, but does what I bought it for. Never missed a beat and gets about 34 miles per gallon on the average. Toke it on a trip (2500 miles) to southern ON, Canada last year and got 41+ miles on the flat roads of the north. Actually bought a 2015 automatic Sonic for my daughter."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

best ever

By on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

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 price, fun to drive, comfortable, good gas m"

Cons: "no dvd, bad gps app"

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

"I AM ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH MY NEW CAR!! i purchased my car 4 months ago with 45,000 miles on it and i could not be happier. Car is so cute inside and out! everyone compliments it on how nice the interior is. runs great, only problem i had was having to replace the heating element on the drivers side 1 month in. Also the gas mileage is really good! $25 to fill the tank and lasts me along time...ill drive 60 miles on the highway and look down to see it JUST went down one gas notch. I could not be more happy with the car I picked...It is really fun to drive, i do not have any blind spots....for a small car it has plenty of front space and a decent amount of back space."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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