Never thought I'd own a Chevy. I bough a 2015 Sonic after buying a 2013 Buick Encore. I was so impressed by the Encore (never thought I'd own a GM product) that I got the Sonic as a second car because its the same engine and drivetrain. It's a small car, got the RS version with 6-speed manual tranny. Fun to drive! It's a "sporty" car that is meant to hug the road and it does, so the downside to that is you feel every pothole and bump. But you have to expect that with a sport suspension and a car that is low to the ground. I'm 6'1" and I have no difficulty getting in and out or finding a comfortable driving position. Love the heated leather seats and moonroof. Instrumentation is laid out perfectly, and the My Link info-tainment system is great. Have had the car for a year and had no issues. Mostly used as a city car and get overall combine city mileage of 29 mpg. The RS is a fun trim model and I enjoy it, even if I'm not the intended buyer (I'm 55 years old). On a good stretch of road the car is quiet and smooth and hearing while using Bluetooth for your cell phone is never an issue. Very nice build quality. If you're looking for a fun, sporty hatchback, I recommend the Sonic. And despite Edmund's thinking there isn't much room, with the back seats folded down, you'd be surprised how much cargo you can carry! Two years in, still no complaints. Still enjoying the car & the look and still no rattles despite driving on poorly maintained Wisconsin roads.
I bought the car for the interior. The hatchback offered the space I wanted for cargo and the dash was nicely arranged and constructed. The car seats are comfortable and heated and cup holders are a fast food junkies dream. The car lacks in handling, it's tight but in a stiff new car suspension way, not in it's ability to corner. What I could safely coax out of say the Chevy Cobalt, I would be worried to perform in the Sonic LTZ. The LTZ has larger rims but narrower sidewall so you really feel the road. The auto really hurts off the line coupled with the turbo lag but it builds quick enough. Running on octane lower that 92/93 does make a difference. I feel deeply cheapened by the fact there are no temperature gauges for the oil/water as those would be crucial in getting a heads up on potential engine damage. For now I use a "Torque Pro" app reading from an OBD interface to keep an eye on coolant temps. The smell of coolant comes from the vents when you open the flow through the heater core. This on a 14000 mile car has me poised for an early repair.
Although it is a Turbo, it is not neck jerkingly fast off the line, however it is more than adequate for a vehicle this size. The Sonic has minimal turbo lag and is a fun car to drive, with excellent road composure for a vehicle of this size, and excellent handling . Coming from a life of VW Golf's/GTI's, we now own 2 Sonics, a 2014 & a 2015, and couldn't be happier. These cars have proven very reliable, built very good and solid, with excellent interior comfort. We have not had one issue, change the oil and go! As far as looks, that is subjective, but we get a lot of compliments,people are shocked at how nice they are, and they don't feel like a cheap vehicle. We test drove the following before purchasing our 2nd Sonic, they were all 2015 models, Toyota Corolla- ok on the outside, bland/unappealing inside, very slow and awful CVT. Mini Cooper Countryman- good looking, blast to drive, unfortunately bad reliability history and $10K more than a Sonic made us pass on that, VW Golf, great car in/out but not as good a deal as the Sonic and didn't feel "better" enough to justify a big difference in price, to get all the options on s Sonic RS, Hyundai Elantra GT-Hmmm, not a bad car but seemed bland and basic for the price, not very good MPGs with the 173hp engine.
I researched fun to drive hatch back cars for months. I HIGHLY considered a VW Golf or GTI. I thought for sure, I had to have a stick shift to have any joy. Then I read the reviews of The Sonic which mentioned it was fun to drive. They were not kidding. It is a blast! The cheaper trim interior was not for me. I bought a used LTZ. It has heated seats, remote start, blue tooth, and of course lots of air bags. This is a little thing, but the right arm rest, I really dig. You will notice the attractive motorcycle inspired lamps and touches. I don't feel like I am sitting too low, but still fell like I am getting a driving experience with the road. I do not generally accelerate fast and average 34.1 mg on normal roads, hills, and state high way. My only gripe is the touch screen my link. Yes, I listen to loud music and it sounds good, but I need an actual volume dial not some screen to touch. I want to turn up the dial (I am over 40 might have something to do with it)! I bought a used 2015 with less than 15000 miles and saved on bundle the depreciation. So every time I see that GTI go buy, I think about the money I am saving and the fun I am not missing out on.
After dumping a 2015 Honda Fit that proved to be unreliable and felt flimsy, the Sonic has been a breath of fresh air. We were able to get our 2015 in early 2016; a left over LT with the manual transmission for $12,500. It was a steal! Compared to the Honda, the Sonic feels like a big car wrapped in a small car body. The interior is extremely quiet at all speeds and there's minimal wind, road, or engine noise that comes into the cabin. The 1.8 liter isn't the fastest, but does fine getting up to speed, and hasn't ever felt slow. The 5-speed's well-spaced gears certainly help and the shifter slips into gears easily. The clutch is light and forgiving. The ride is on the firm side, but pays off with pretty good handling and steering feel. It doesn't match the Fiesta or Fit in that regard, but can still be a lot fun on a windy road I love the design, and prefer it over the newer, more generic 2017 Sonic. The exposed headlights, and circular theme within the tailights stand out from the crowd. The same goes inside. Many either love or hate the digital, motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster. I personally love it; it's unique, quirky, easy to read, and being digital, makes staying at a certain speed a simple task. The rest of the interior is also user friendly and straightforward. Interior space upfront is generous and the footwell area has enough leg room for tall folks. The rear seat doesn't match the Fit, but is still better than most small cars. The trunk is pretty shallow with the seats up, but the hidden shelf below the load floor is clever, and there is loads of space if the seats are folded. The seats are very comfortable and make long trips tolerable. Reliability has been good, and in one year and 3,000 miles, the only issue has been the carpet in the driver's footwheel started to bunch up. It was replaced under warranty with no questions asked. Is it perfect? No. The rear pillars are thick and there is a significant blind spot. Some of the plastics inside are a little low-grade. But overall, it's a fantastic car. It's a great value, built in America, has interesting style, and is a small car with few of the small car compromises. It's just an easy car to live with.