I bought this car out of necessity in October 2015 to replace my 2005 Ford Escape, which was in need of major repairs. My criteria was to find the least expensive Chevrolet I could by that was actually built in the United States. I have the base LS Sedan 5 speed, and my only factory option is a cargo net. Let me begin by saying I had no idea how much I would enjoy driving this car! It is by far my favorite of our family drivers, which include a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Latitude, and my daughter's 2011 Chevy Cruise. My Sonic Sedan sits family high, it has great sight lines, it is very easy to get into and out of, even for occasional front seat passengers well over 6' tall. The trunk is cavernous, and with both back seats folded down, you can carry a ridiculous amount of stuff in this car. The Sears are comfortable, and with four average size passengers, there is more than adequate room in the car. The real pleasure of this little car is in how nicely it drives. I have the base 1.8 liter engine, with a 5 speed. The transmission is very good, and goes easily and almost crisply into gear. The gear spacing (ratios) are perfect, with just the right amount of performance overlap from one gear to the next, and this car will go 75-80 mph all day, without you the driver feeling like you have been beat up in a small car. The suspension is interesting. The car has a nice compliant ride over any road surface, and the ride quality is surprisingly good. You'd be tempted think it was sprung too softly, and then you hit a curve, and you take that curve in complete control. Amazing for a car with a beam rear axle; but then again, I read that Chevrolet had the suspension team for the Corvette set the spring rates and shock damping for the rear suspension. My combined mpg is 34.5 mpg. All day long. If I reset the mpg display before a hwy trip I can get 40 mpg. That's the truth, and may be due to manual transmission. So, that's all the stuff I like. - - What I don't like is the quirky LED instrument panel. The only analog gage is the tach; everything else is digital. My biggest complaint with it is that there is no temperature display, which is a pain in the winter time. I'm not a fan of the instrument panel, and I think that Chevy has fixed that, and gone more analog in 2017. Also, the base "infotainment" system is pretty lame; front door and A pillar speakers only, nothing in back, and am-fm only. I have to use an aux cord with my iPhone. There is no USB port in the base car (LS). I use a 12 Vdc adapter to charge my phone in the car. The Bluetooth, however, does work great, and I use that feature all the time. The car is also a WiFi hot spot, which is pretty cool. I should also say that I have had absolutely ZERO problems with this car, from a maintenance or build quality perspective. I is very tight, and very quiet. -Surprisingly so. In summary, I like this car A LOT! I bought it as "BT" - basic transportation, but it has turned out to be way more than that. Finally, on a recent business trip, I had the chance to rent a 2014 Sonic LT sedan with 42,000 miles. That car had all the stuff I like about my car, but with power windows, an automatic transmission, and a decent factory sound system, and with 42K on the click it was still tight and quiet. These are great little cars, that live a lot bigger than they actually are.
I was looking for something affordable, well optioned, reasonably quick, spacious, and that can competently handle the rough and meandering mountain roads of southwestern Pennsylvania - all in a compact footprint. The Sonic delivers in spades!
After seriously contemplating a Ford Fiesta, I did some research, and tried the Sonic. It was not only more spacious than the Fiesta, but the interior space even beats the Focus, which competes in the next class up!
As for MPG's? I average 29 MPG combined. 22-24 in the city, with my daily commute including many steep inclines and heavy stop-and-go city traffic - and over 40 on more flat, highway oriented terrain. Any vehicle that can deliver over 20 mpg on my commute impresses me. (My last car, a 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T, averaged a poor 16-18mpg for the same trip.)
The cons to the vehicle include: Harder than usual plastics (they do fit well and look nice). No full armrest (seriously, Chevy? Not even on the LTZ model?) Hushed, but still louder than preferred road noise. No padding where your elbows rest (again, Chevy, seriously? The car was $23,000 new...you can pad the door panel where elbows rest!!!) Base engine: awful! Sounds like a lawnmower. Buy the 1.4 Turbo! It beats the 1.8 engine in every way.
Overall, if you want something easy to park, that is fun to drive, delivers excellent MPG, and has lots of room for the size, you won't be disappointed with the Sonic!
**Update: I'm still quite happy with the car. MPG is holding at 27.9 combined since purchase. Replaced junk OEM tires with premium Continental's which quieted the car down significantly.**
Since owning the sonic I have had many people comment on how nice it rides. Even had one person say they want to get one. Very nice quiet smooth ride for its size. I bought this in 2016 but it was a 2015 sitting on the lot with a manual transmission, so I was able to get a terrific deal. 13k out the door for an LT sedan. Huge trunk which is important for me because my wife and I do a lot of road trip vacations. Back seat space is pretty small with front seats all the way back, but not a big concern for us cause the kids are grown and gone. I am 6'1" and the seat still has plenty of room to go back. I was also considering the fiesta sedan and this car won out due to the better safety scores AND it was made in AMERICA. Only complaint I have is I wish the mylink system allowed you to mirror google navigation onto the screen. You have to down load their app for navigation and it is a subpar app. Oh well, just use the phone to navigate. Terrific little car for the money.