2014 Chevrolet Sonic Review & Ratings | Edmunds

2014 Chevrolet Sonic Review

2014 Chevrolet Sonic
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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is one of our top picks for a subcompact sedan or hatchback thanks to its blend of power, comfort and feature availability.

  • Pros

    Powerful optional turbocharged engine; generous amount of features; excellent crash test scores; comfortable and spacious cabin; fun to drive.

  • Cons

    Subpar fuel economy of base engine; cut-rate cabin materials; hatchback's mediocre cargo capacity; turbo engine's sluggish throttle response.

  • What's New for 2014

    For 2014, the Chevy Sonic gets a few meaningful additions, including a rearview camera and lane departure and forward collision warning systems. An RS version of the Sonic sedan debuts late in the model year.

Reviews from owners of the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

Average Consumer Rating (See all 16 reviews) Write a Review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Lt hatchback (1.8l auto): all-around solid

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

Value is always going to be determined by the price you can get any given car at, but this is a solid vehicle I'm happy to have ended up in. I bought used one year old with low mileage. Professional reviews overstate the Sonic's "cons." Most notably, the inferior fuel economy among subcompact cars... but it's also heavier than other subcompacts and its economy is right in line with that. Great choice if you're someone like me who only needs a small commuter vehicle with occasional light cargo but can't stand the idea of driving a 2400-lb midget, such as the Nissan Versa or Chevy's own Spark, where a stiff gust of wind feels like it can blow you clean off the road. The Sonic feels like a compact car on the road, but still parks like a subcompact and has a fuel economy right in between. The cargo space is a bit horizontally-challenged but enough to hold a few bags of groceries, while there's a surplus of vertical space for tall/stacking objects and you can flatten the back seats if you need more room. Acceleration is fine at lower speeds, at higher speeds it's a bit sluggish but enough most people shouldn't care unless they're drag racing. (As if anybody races a stock vehicle.) Interior is adequate for an economy vehicle without feeling too cheap: Comfortable cloth seating, lots of hard plastics but it's thick and sturdy, headliner has the typical economy "egg carton" feel but is surfaced with a soft dimpled cloth. There's but a few other minor gripes I have which are mostly just not in line with my preference, or non-issues that take some getting used to, as would be the case when starting to drive any new vehicle. The only legitimate complaints for me are the low-beam headlights feel angled a bit too low, might be an issue if you're navigating unknown territory, and the rear view is fairly poor which is just a product of the small vehicle size and hatchback. I could go for power-folding mirrors too as a feature, over manual folding ones. No major complaints. The stock tires are supposedly horrible in snow too, so budgeting to replace them might be a good idea up north. (I wasn't about to personally put them to the test.) It accelerates smoothly, handling is responsive, seating is comfortable and surprisingly spacious for a subcompact, general interior construction feels solid. The instrument cluster is compact and all digital, save the analog tachyometer (RPM meter), but gives you all necessary information and then some. Safety ratings are top-notch. Great car from what I can tell. All that's left is to see what long-term issues pop up in the next three, five, ten years. I can't see the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I still love my 2014 sonic after 10 months

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

OK I purchased my Sonic Dec 27,2014 new purchase price out the door with tax tags everything included $12,988 yes I was blowed away at this price I found the car online didn't even even have go in to dealer until I had sign the papers I didn't even test drive the car at this price, I signed and drived and still happy with my Purchase 10 months and 17,600 miles later, oh yeah GM throwed in $3,010 ending year clearance rebate get it at that price, I'm very impressed thank you Chevy.

2014 sonic- a/c and heat

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

I love my car for the most part. II purchased it June 2014. Right away I noticed that it felt like there was a vent open whenever I used the a/c. When I brought vehicle to dealership to put on license plates I mentioned it to them. They checked things over but couldn't find anything. I brought it back in a couple of more times that summer for same issue. They never could find anything wrong. The computer showed everything working correctly. Then it started to get cold (I live in mn). That's when I noticed the windows foggy up on the inside. Again,couldn't find anything wrong. The snow came and so did the ice on the windows...as I was driving with defroster on. I took pictures and sent to dealership. They finally were able to tell me that GM designed the car this way. They adjusted the vents and that did help a little. I keep a blanket in my car because one side of me (left side by window) freezes and the other side gets too hot. I don't even bother using the a/c as it just pulls hot air in.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

They are really amazing!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2014 ltz 1.4l turbo hatchback

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

This car has been good for me in that it is sporty, roomy, and has the power you would expect. The only issue I have is that it is so full of hard plastic even for the highest trim behind the RS, that it seems like a joke. Everything rattles and it gets to be very annoying. I have had this car for about 2 months and being this new, I am considering getting a different car. Come on Chevy, enough with the [non-permissible content removed] interior of your cars and maybe we will regain your trust as something quality that is American made!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sporty fun car

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

Very well put together subcompact sedan. Great gas mileage, handles well- some say "jerky" I say responsive. Sporty fun to drive car.


Full Expert Review: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

What's New for 2014

For 2014, the Chevy Sonic gets a few meaningful additions, including a rearview camera and lane departure and forward collision warning systems. An RS version of the Sonic sedan debuts late in the model year.


When it comes to the subcompact 2014 Chevrolet Sonic, a bit of memory loss will serve you well. This American-built small sedan and hatchback are every bit as appealing as anything from the import brands that have dominated this segment for years. In fact, the Sonic is good enough to make you forget all of the small Chevy models (like the seriously subpar Aveo) that came before it.

Offered as a four-door sedan or four-door hatchback, the Chevy Sonic feels more refined and substantial than many other subcompact offerings. An optional 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers strong acceleration and very good fuel economy. The well-tuned suspension provides steady handling without a noticeable sacrifice in ride comfort -- call it a junior-size Volkswagen Golf and you won't be far off. And with its firmer suspension and slick six-speed manual gearbox, the sportier Sonic RS model can be downright fun to drive.

Inside, the interior offers comfortable accommodations, with a backseat that's more adult-friendly than you might expect in a car this size. The Sonic can be equipped with a wide array of options, too, including an up-to-date touchscreen electronics interface and, for 2014, new lane departure and collision warning systems that bolster the car's already impressive safety credentials.

Of course, the 2014 Chevy Sonic isn't the only appealing subcompact on the market. We also like the Ford Fiesta for its refined road manners and the Hyundai Accent (and related Kia Rio) for its strong value. The Honda Fit hatchback remains a strong candidate if you regularly haul bulky items due to its unmatched interior flexibility. Even in this group, though, the 2014 Chevy Sonic stands out for its impressive combination of performance, safety and value.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is offered in sedan and four-door hatchback body styles, both of which can seat five passengers. The sedan and hatchback can be had in LS, LT, LTZ and RS trim levels.

Standard equipment on the LS includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, integrated blind-spot mirrors, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar emergency communications and a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary audio input jack and steering wheel controls.

The LT adds 15-inch alloy wheels, heated power mirrors, upgraded cloth upholstery, cruise control, power windows, remote ignition (automatic transmission only) and a six-speaker audio system (optional on the LS) that includes a CD player, Bluetooth audio connectivity, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. The hatchback also gets a rear cargo shelf. The Wheels and Foglamp option package adds 16-inch alloys and foglights, while the LT Promotional package bundles foglights, a sunroof and Chevrolet's MyLink touchscreen audio system.

Moving up to the top-of-the-line LTZ gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, chrome exterior trim, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera and the Chevrolet MyLink system (optional on the LS and LT) that deletes the CD player and adds a 7-inch touchscreen interface and smartphone app integration.

The RS gets all of the LTZ equipment and comes standard with the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, four-wheel disc brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, unique 17-inch wheels, sportier exterior trim, leather and simulated-suede upholstery and a sport steering wheel.

The sunroof is also optional for the LTZ and RS. These two trim levels are also available with the Advanced Safety package, which includes forward collision and lane departure warning systems.

Powertrains and Performance

The standard engine on most 2014 Chevy Sonic models is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission, which includes a hill holder feature, is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available as an option. EPA fuel economy estimates are 30 mpg combined (26 mpg city/35 mpg highway) with the manual and 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city/35 mpg highway) with the automatic. Both sets are below average for the subcompact segment.

A turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder is optional for the LT and LTZ. Though its 138-hp output is the same as the base engine, it feels more potent, thanks to its 148 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, a Sonic LTZ hatchback with the turbo engine and manual transmission went from zero to 60 in 8.8 seconds, a quick time for a car in the segment. EPA fuel economy estimates are also better than those of the base engine at 33 mpg combined (29 mpg city/40 mpg highway) with the manual and 31 mpg combined (27 mpg city/37 mpg highway) with the automatic. However, during a yearlong Edmunds test of a Sonic with the turbo engine, we found it difficult to match those fuel economy estimates in real-world driving.

The Sonic RS comes standard with the turbocharged engine. It also has the same six-speed transmission choices as the LT and the LTZ, though the gearing is slightly different to provide quicker acceleration. As a result, though, fuel economy drops to 30 mpg combined (27 mpg city/34 mpg highway) with the manual and 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city/33 mpg highway) with the auto.


Every 2014 Chevrolet Sonic comes standard with traction/stability control and antilock brakes (front disc/rear drum on the LS, LT and LTZ trim levels and four-wheel discs on the RS models). There are also knee airbags for front seat occupants, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags.

A rearview camera is standard on LTZ and RS models and available as an option on the LT. The Advanced Safety package option, which includes forward collision warning (alerting the driver about impending head-on collisions) and lane departure warning systems, is also offered on all but the entry-level LS. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency button, stolen vehicle locator and active intervention, and remote door unlock.

Edmunds brake testing found a Sonic LTZ turbo came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for this segment. In government crash tests the Sonic received a perfect five stars for overall protection, with five stars for overall frontal protection and five stars for overall side protection. The Sonic received a top score of "Good" in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the 2014 Chevy Sonic is attractive enough, though extensive use of hard plastics takes away from the overall effect. It earns extra points in the comfort category, however, as even tall drivers will be able to find a workable driving position. Smaller adults will find the rear seats just as accommodating, with decent amounts of head- and legroom.

Gauges and controls are well laid out and easy to operate. Among the Sonic's more intriguing features is the available MyLink system, which replaces the traditional stereo head unit with a customizable 7-inch touchscreen interface and voice controls that are designed to integrate with the driver's smartphone via Bluetooth. This arrangement makes it possible to use radio apps such as Pandora and Stitcher, as well as add navigation capabilities via an inexpensive app known as BringGo. Still, like a lot of similar systems, it's not compatible with all smartphones, and the screen sometimes fails to register touch inputs, which can be frustrating.

When it comes to good old-fashioned cargo capacity, the sedan's 14-cubic-foot trunk is among the largest in the segment and can be expanded further by way of the standard 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks. The Sonic hatchback offers 19 cubic feet with the rear seats up, but just 30.9 cubic feet with them folded down -- that's significantly less capacity than you get in the Honda Fit and Hyundai Accent.

Driving Impressions

On the road the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic feels more solid and refined than other subcompact sedans and hatchbacks. Similar to European cars like the VW Golf, it handles well around turns, yet it also rides well enough that long road trips are a viable proposition. Nicely weighted steering completes the package.

While both of the available engines offer decent performance, the turbocharged 1.4-liter feels more lively and provides useful power for merging and passing maneuvers. The fact that it also delivers better fuel economy makes it even easier to justify the extra up-front expense. The only downside is the engine's somewhat sluggish throttle response, which can make it difficult to accelerate smoothly from a stop in heavy traffic. In addition, efficiency-oriented gearing often necessitates frequent shifting in manual transmission models because there isn't much power for passing in 5th and 6th gears.

This shouldn't be a problem in the sporty RS model, as its transmissions are geared to provide quicker responses. The more firmly tuned suspension on the RS also sharpens up the car's handling through turns, while the ride quality remains compliant.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic in VA is:

$74.00 per month*

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