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CITY

9

Litres / 100 Kms
HWY

6.8

Placement of buttons and controls in the Sonic's interior is logical, and they're easy to reach.
- Motor Trend

The Chevrolet Sonic combines a fuel efficient engine, seating for five and ample cargo space; it competes in the sub-compact market.

The front-wheel drive Sonic is offered in two body styles; sedan and hatchback. All models come standard with a 138-hp 1.8-liter engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. There are two available transmissions, a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. A 138-hp 1.4-liter engine is also available on the LT and LTZ trims, and standard on the RS trim. Standard safety equipment includes stability control, ABS brakes, panic brake assist, hill hold control, automatic headlamps, OnStar and ten airbags. Standard and optional features depending on the trim level include front fog lights, power windows, heated front seats, cruise control, a security system, air conditioning, XM satellite ratio, alloy wheels, and remote engine start.

For 2016, the Chevrolet Sonic LT trim is now standard with MyLink radio.

Introduction

Subcompacts can be ordinary, or they can be fun.Introduced for 2010, the Chevrolet Sonic hatchback and sedan might swing either way, depending on the engine chosen.With a turbocharged four-cylinder beneath the hood, the Sonic is fun to drive and it's economical to own.Choose the larger base engine, and the pleasure tends to fade away.

After five years on the market with little change, not much is new for 2016.Beyond three new colors, the 2016 Sonic LTZ now comes standard with an automatic transmission, while the midlevel Sonic LT adds Chevrolet MyLink infotainment.

Both the base 1.8-liter four and the 1.4-liter turbo make 138 horsepower, but that's where the similarity ends.Optional for upper trim levels, the smaller, more efficient turbo delivers significantly quicker acceleration as well as greater fuel economy, plus a more agreeable, spirited driving experience.Manual gearboxes are available: five speeds with the base engine, six for the turbo.A 6-speed automatic is offered with either engine, and is standard on the LTZ.

Appealing to the eye and comfortable for the body, Sonic has earned good safety ratings.Last year, it was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it five stars, overall and on all tests except rollover (where it got four stars).Ten airbags are standard.So are blind-spot warning mirrors.

Even the least-costly Sonic LS has air, keyless entry, and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity.Noise suppression is effective, and the turbo-engine models, at least, are quiet all-around.

Hatchback and sedan body styles share wheelbase, front-end styling, and front doors; but aft of the center pillar, they're far different.Particularly well-proportioned, the hatchback has a sportier demeanor with its snipped-short rear and longer front overhangs.Each body style avoids the boxy econocar look that has characterized many small cars.

Competition is stronger today than it was when the first Sonics appeared, now led by such mini-dimensioned cars as Honda's recently redesigned Fit and the upgraded Ford Fiesta.Even though fuel-efficiency isn't as much of an issue as it was a couple of years back, Sonic hatchbacks and sedans are still strong contenders.

Lineup

Sonic four-door sedans and five-door hatchbacks have front-wheel drive.Both the 1.8-liter base engine and the 1.4-liter turbo can mate with a manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic.Prices are not yet available.

Sonic LS trim includes the 1.8-liter engine, 5-speed manual gearbox, air conditioning, cloth upholstery, remote keyless entry, tilt/telescopic steering column, steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, four-speaker audio, and 15-inch steel wheels.OnStar 4G LTE connectivity is included.

Stepping up to the volume-selling Sonic LT trim brings Chevrolet MyLink infotainment with a seven-inch touchscreen, hands-free connectivity, streaming audio, and voice recognition.Also standard are six-speaker audio, satellite radio, cruise control, a USB port, power heated mirrors, and 15-inch alloy wheels.The turbo engine is optional.

Equipped with the turbo engine and automatic, the Sonic LTZ adds a rearview camera, fog lamps, heated front seats with perforated leatherette upholstery, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The sporty Sonic RS hatchback features a lowered suspension, retuned exhaust, slightly lower gear ratios, distinctive wheels, bolder front fascia, aluminum pedals, flat-bottomed steering wheel, sport seats, and manual or automatic transmission.

A Dusk Package for the Sonic LTZ sedan includes gray metallic paint, ground-effects styling, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.A sunroof is available.An option group includes Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert.

Walkaround

Some might call the Sonic's design bold; others deem it conservative.Overall, it's an appealing blend of the two.Round projector-look headlights flank a horizontal split grille.Clear headlight covers wrap back along the fenders.

An angled window line gives the five-door hatchback a distinctive look, leading back to a close-cropped rear end.Viewed from the side, it's almost a coupe-like profile.Rear door handles on the hatchback are concealed within a black trim panel.

Interior

Familiar in appearance, the twin-cockpit dashboard contains an instrument cluster said to be motorcycle-inspired.Fitted with high-quality materials, upmarket for a subcompact car, the dashboard's center curves downward into the console.In addition to a digital speedometer, plenty of digital icons are displayed.Rather than up-to-date color, however, the display is monochrome.

Four adults fit nicely.Front seats are spacious and comfortable.Backseat legroom is adequate for adults, provided those front seats aren't pushed too far rearward.Head and shoulder space is fine in the rear.

A number of storage bins, trays, and cubbies are provided up front.In the rear, not so much.One annoyance: no standard USB port.

Cargo volume in the hatchback measures 14 cubic feet, with a hidden storage area under the load floor (which is somewhat high).Although that space is bountiful for a car of subcompact dimensions, the hatchback falls a bit short compared to Honda's Fit.Sonic sedans have a 19-cubic-foot trunk.

Driving Impression

Handling decently overall, the Sonic feels strong and sturdy on the highway, holding the road securely.Steering feel is especially gratifying, helped by requiring just the right amount of effort.Although the brake pedal can feel soft; braking action is effective.

Sonic's base 1.8-liter engine is coarse, harsh, and anemic, struggling when under heavy load and irritating at higher rpm.We strongly recommend the 1.4-liter turbo, which is more refined and develops greater torque.

Throttle response with the turbo sometimes trails the driver's push on the gas pedal, but only for an instant.Chevrolet's 6-speed manual gearbox is a pleasure; courtesy of short throws and direct action.Clutch behavior is so smooth, it seems nearly impossible to endure a bad gearchange.

We'd avoid the 17-inch tires on LTZ and RS models, because they're noisier as well as rougher-riding.Quietest ride comes from the LT, which feels best isolated from coarse surfaces.

With the turbo and manual shift, fuel economy is estimated at a thrifty 29-mpg city/40-mpg highway (33 mpg combined).Automatic sinks those figures to 27/37 mpg (31 combined).Gas mileage with the base engine is slightly lower: 30 mpg combined with manual, or 28 with automatic.Similar estimates are earned by the RS Turbo model.Neither engine requires premium fuel.

Summary

In addition to driving fun with the turbo, Sonic offers more space than a lot of rivals.Following a strong beginning in 2010, sales have eased lately, partly because gas prices are comparatively low.Smaller-size SUVs have been doing a lot better, including the Chevrolet Trax.

Driving impressions by John Voelcker, The Car Connection.James M.Flammang contributed to this report.

ABS Brakes
ABS4-wheel
Air Conditioning
Air filtrationInterior air filtration
Front air conditioningManual
Airbags
Driver AirbagYes
Head airbagsCurtain 1st and 2nd row
Knee airbagsDriver and passenger
Passenger AirbagYes
Audio System
Antenna TypeIntegrated roof
Digital Audio InputYes
RadioAM/FM stereo
Radio Data SystemYes
Speed Sensitive Volume ControlYes
Total Number of Speakers4
Brakes
Braking assistBraking assist
Front brakesVentilated disc
Child Safety
Child safety locksPower
Colors
Fabric TypeCloth
Fabric Type 2Cloth
Fabric Type 3Cloth
Fabric Type 4Carpet
Roof typeFixed roof
Comfort Features
Cargo area lightCargo area light
Cargo area lightCargo area light
Dash trimMetal-look
Dash trimMetal-look
Floor matsCarpet front
Floor matsCarpet front and rear
Floor matsVinyl/rubber front and rear
Reading lightsFront
Shift knob trimUrethane
Shift knob trimUrethane
Steering wheel trimUrethane
Convenience Features
12V DC power outlet1
Audio controls on steering wheelAudio controls
Cargo netCargo net
Center ConsoleFull
CupholdersFront and rear
Door pocketsDriver and passenger
Multi-function remoteTrunk/hatch/door/tailgate
Power steeringElectric power steering
Retained accessory powerRetained accessory power
Seatback storage1
Steering wheelTilt and telescopic
Dimensions
Front Head Room983 mm
Front Hip Room1,306 mm
Front Leg Room1,062 mm
Front Shoulder Room1,356 mm
Front track1,509 mm
Overall height1,516 mm
Overall Length4,397 mm
Overall Width1,735 mm
Rear Head Room960 mm
Rear Hip Room1,311 mm
Rear Leg Room879 mm
Rear Shoulder Room1,346 mm
Rear track1,509 mm
Wheelbase2,525 mm
Doors
left rear passenger door typeConventional
Rear door typeTrunk
right rear passenger door typeConventional
Driver Seat
Height AdjustableManual
Manual Adjustments6
Drivetrain
Axle ratio3.94
Driven WheelsFront-wheel
Engine
Block HeaterRegular duty
Compression Ratio10.50 : 1
Cylinders4
Displacement110 cm^3
Engine ConfigurationInline
Fuel TypeRegular unleaded
Horse Power138 hp
Max RPM6,300 RPM
Max Torque RPM3,800 RPM
Size1.8 L
Torque170 Nm
Total Valves16
TypeRegular unleaded
Valve GearDOHC
Variable Valve TimingVariable valve timing
Vehicle EmissionsULEV
Exterior Features
GrilleColoured
GrilleBlack w/chrome surround
Rear spoilerLip
Fuel Consumption
City9.0 L/100 km
Combined8.0L/100 km
Highway6.8 L/100 km
Header
Doors4
Driven WheelsFront-wheel
Engine Size1.8 L
Fuel TypeRegular unleaded
Number of CylindersI-4
Trans Speeds - VA5
Trans Type - VAManual
TransmissionManual
Headrests
Adjustable Front HeadrestsManual adjustable
Adjustable rear headrestsManual adjustable
Number of rear headrests2
Instrumentation
ClockIn-radio display
CompassCompass
External tempExternal temperature display
Low fuel levelLow fuel level
TachometerTachometer
Trip computerTrip computer
Lights
Daytime running lightsDaytime running lights
Exterior entry lightsRemote activated
Headlights auto delayAuto delay off
Headlights dusk sensorDusk sensing
Locks
2-Stage unlocking2-stage unlocking
Power door locksRemote power door locks
Mirrors
Driver mirror adjustmentManual remote
Driver mirror adjustmentManual remote
Passenger mirror adjustmentManual remote
Passenger mirror adjustmentManual remote
Vanity mirrorsDual vanity mirrors
Passenger Seat
Manual Adjustments4
Rear Seats
FoldingFold forward seatback
TypeBench
Safety and Performance for CarsProd
Antilock Brakes4-wheel
Four-wheel antilock brakesFour-wheel antilock brakes
Head airbagHead airbag
Side airbagSide airbag
Stability controlStability control
Traction controlTraction control
Seatbelts
Rear center seatbelt3-point belt
Seatbelt pretensionersFront
Seats
Front seat typeBucket
seating capacity5
Total Seating Capacity5
UpholsteryCloth
Security
engine immobilizerEngine immobilizer
Spare Tire
Mount LocationInside under cargo
SizeCompact
Spare Wheel
Rim typeSteel
Stability and Traction
Stability controlStability control
Traction controlABS and driveline
Suspension
ClassRegular
Front Spring TypeCoil
Front Stabilizer BarRegular
Front Suspension ClassificationIndependent
Front suspension typeStrut
IndependentFront
Rear Spring TypeCoil
Rear Suspension ClassificationSemi-independent
Rear Suspension TypeTorsion beam
stabilizer barFront
Telematics
internet accessMobile hotspot
Satellite communicationsIntegrated
wireless phone connectivityBluetooth
Tires
Diameter15.0"
PrefixP
Profile65
Speed RatingH
Tire Pressure Monitoring SystemYes
TypeAS
Width195 mm
Transmission
Manual / automaticManual
Number of speeds5
Transmission Hill HolderTransmission hill holder
Truck Features
BumpersBody-coloured
Door reinforcementSide-impact door beam
Door reinforcementSide-impact door beam
Warranty
basic distance60,000 km
basic months36 months
drivetrain distance160,000 km
drivetrain months60 months
roadside distance160,000 km
roadside months60 months
rust distance160,000 km
rust months72 months
Weights and Capacities
Cargo capacity, all seats in place422 L
Curb weight1,240 kg
EPA interior volume2,556 L
Fuel Capacity46 L
Max cargo capacity422 L
Turning radius5 m
Wheels
Diameter15
Rim TypeNone steel
Wheel CoversFull wheel
Width6
Windows
Front wipers - intermittentVariable intermittent
Privacy glassLight
Rear defoggerRear defogger
Body ExteriorStd.Opt.
Spoiler
Convenience FeaturesStd.Opt.
Air conditioning
Driver door bin
Driver vanity mirror
Emergency communication system
Front beverage holders
Illuminated entry
Passenger door bin
Passenger vanity mirror
Rear beverage holders
Remote keyless entry
Telescoping steering wheel
Tilt steering wheel
Entertainment FeaturesStd.Opt.
AM/FM radio
Radio data system
Steering wheel mounted audio controls
Lighting, Visibility and InstrumentationStd.Opt.
Compass
Delay-off headlights
Front reading lights
Fully automatic headlights
Low tire pressure warning
Outside temperature display
Rear window defroster
Tachometer
Trip computer
Variably intermittent wipers
PowertrainStd.Opt.
Block heater
Sequential multi-point fuel injection
Variable valve control
Safety and SecurityStd.Opt.
ABS brakes
Brake assist
Dual front impact airbags
Dual front side impact airbags
Electronic stability
Ignition disable
Knee airbag
Occupant sensing airbag
Overhead airbag
Panic alarm
Perimeter/approach lights
Rear side impact airbag
Traction control
Seats and TrimStd.Opt.
Split folding rear seat
Sport steering wheel
Suspension/HandlingStd.Opt.
Front anti-roll bar
Front wheel independent suspension
Power steering

2016 Chevrolet Sonic LS Manual 4dr Sedan, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta

Edwards Garage, 4403 42ND AVENUE - Box 880, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta T4T-1A6

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