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2015 Chevrolet Sonic

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2015 Chevrolet Sonic Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 9.0

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

  • 9.0
  • 8.8
  • 8.9
  • 8.7
  • 8.9
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#8

out of 8

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 8

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 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."

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