2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

#17
in Hatchbacks
2019 MODEL
$18,020 - $21,520

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2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

The subcompacts aren't built for speed and thrill. These cars embody function over form and are the workhorses that serve as affordable transportation for many of us. Designing a small and affordable car isn't an easy job. It is very difficult to get it right. Chevrolet learned its lesson with the ill-fated Aveo and came up with the Sonic in 2012.

Over the years, Sonic has been a mainstay in the subcompact market. 2019 Chevy Sonic has a unique offering for this segment - a turbocharged engine. Sonic's four-banger produces the segment best 148 lb-ft. of torque. You can maximize the fun with the standard 6-speed transmission on offer.

See detailed review »

Pros

Punchy engine

Best in segment torque output

Fun to drive than the rivals

Roomy rear trunk space

Choice of manual and automatic transmission for both trims

Cons

Noisy powertrain

Interior’s hard plastic trim

Not fuel efficient for a turbocharged engine

Less resale value than its Japanese rivals

What's New?

1.4-liter turbocharged engine is standard across all trims

1.8-liter engine has been dropped


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback in Black Metallic color  2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback in Cajun Red Tintcoat color  2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback in Kinetic Blue Metallic color  2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback in Nightfall Gray Metallic color  2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback in Orange Burst Metallic color  2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback in Red Hot color  2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback in Summit White color
Black Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

5.0

Engine

5.0

Fuel Economy

6.0

Exterior

5.0

Safety

5.0

5.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback LT

LT

power
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$18,020 - $19,420


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LT 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $18,020 MSRP (26/32/35) 138 hp @ 4900 rpm, 1.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5
LT 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $19,420 MSRP (27/30/35) 138 hp @ 4900 rpm, 1.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Premier

Premier

power
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$20,020 - $21,520


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premier 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $20,020 MSRP (28/32/37) 138 hp @ 4900 rpm, 1.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5
Premier 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $21,520 MSRP (27/30/35) 138 hp @ 4900 rpm, 1.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

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Expert Review


CARHP Editorial October 11, 2019

5.0

Overall Rating


Chevy Sonic competes with Nissan Versa Note, Honda Fit and Kia Rio. Sonic's American competitor is the Ford Fiesta. The Chevrolet Sonic hatchback is offered in two easy to choose trims with great distribution of features across them. Sonic presents itself as fun to drive choice at an affordable price.


5.0/10
Features

 

5.0/10
Engine

 

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

 
 

5.0/10
Exterior

 

5.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Features

5.0/10

The Chevrolet Sonic hatchback is only available in two trim levels – LT and Premier. The turbocharged 1.4-liter engine is standard across both the trims. The base Premier trim brings all the essentials at a price tag of $18,995. It offers a 7-inch infotainment system, a rearview camera and touring suspension for comfortable ride quality. The Premier trim comes with more luxury features like heated seats, 6-way adjustable seats and keyless open. This trim comes with a sport suspension for better handling.

Trims

LT

Premier

MSRP (Manual)

$18,995

$20,895

MSRP

(Automatic)

$20,295

$22,395

Features

 

Adds or replaces features from LT:

 

1.4L Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine

 
 

10 airbags

Heated driver and front passenger seats

 

Rear vision camera

6-way power driver and front passenger seats

 

Projector-beam halogen headlamps

Keyless Open

 

Chevrolet Infotainment System with 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen display

 
 

Driver Information Center

Enhanced Driver Information Center

 

4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices (1 month trial)

 
 

Steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and phone

 
 

Touring suspension

Sport suspension

 

16" aluminum wheels

17" painted Black aluminum wheels

­­

There are 3- optional packages on offer. The Driver Confidence package offers driving aids and convenience package brings premium features and performance package lowers the ride height and makes the Chevrolet Sonic hatchback a better eager handling machine.

Package

DRIVER CONFIDENCE PACKAGE

CONVENIENCE PACKAGE

PERFORMANCE PACKAGE

MSRP

$495

$650

$2,775

Features

Lane Departure Warning

Heated driver and front passenger seats

Performance exhaust

 

Forward Collision Alert

Enhanced Driver Information Center

RS lowering suspension kit

 

Side Blind Zone Alert

Keyless Open

 
 

Rear Park Assist

Keyless Start

 
   

6-way power driver and front passenger seats

 

We Recommend

We would suggest most buyers stick with the base LT trim as it comes with the touring suspension which is more suitable for Sonic’s commuter nature. It is highly recommended to get the Driver Confidence Package for its suite of safety features for a marginal cost of $495.

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Engine

5.0/10
“The turbocharged engine provides a decent amount of power for most driving situations, but you might need to hit the gas a little harder at times. The Sonic can occasionally feel hesitant accelerating from a stop or when climbing a hill.”-Cars.USnews

Engine and Transmission

The Chevrolet Sonic offers a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine as standard equipment. This is a unique engine for this segment. Most rivals have normally aspirated engines on offer. The 2019 Sonic drops the 1.8-liter engine in favor of the 1.4-liter turbo-four. The specialty of this engine is its strong mid-range pull which is often missing from the cars of this segment.

Models

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Nissan Versa Note

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Ford Fiesta ST Line Hatchback

MSRP

$18,020

$15,650

$16,400

$16,190

$18,500

Engine

1.4L Turbocharged I4

1.6l I4

1.6L I4

1.5L I4

1.6L I4

Transmission

6-speed manual

CVT

6-speed automatic

CVT

5-speed manual

Horsepower

138@4900

109 @ 6,000

130@6300

130@6600

120@6350

Torque

148@1850

107 @ 4,400

119@4850

114@4600

112@5000

Sonic is offered with an FWD layout and power is channeled to the wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. The Sonic is best to be had with the stick shift because the automatic transmission is a bit sluggish and holds gears longer to offer better fuel efficiency. Chevy Sonic produces the best power output in the segment, it is followed by the Kia Rio and Honda Fit.

Acceleration

A properly equipped Sonic will run the quarter mile in 8.2 seconds and will pass the quarter mile in 16.4-seconds. Nothing special with those numbers, the Sonic does well for its class. 2019 Sonic hatchback is a better daily driver due to a turbo-four engine setup. The engine offers the entirety of its 148 lb-ft. torque output under 2,000 rpm.

Models

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Nissan Versa Note

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Ford Fiesta ST Line Hatchback*

0-60 MPH

8.2 seconds*

9.9 seconds*

8.5 seconds

8.2 seconds

9.7

Quarter mile

16.4*

17.6 seconds*

16.7 seconds

16.4 seconds

17.2

Engine

1.4L I4

1.6L I4

1.6L I4

1.5L I4

1.6L I4

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

N/A

N/A

5.5

4.9

N/A

Getting off the line in stop and go traffic is much easier with the Chevy Sonic, the credit goes to the engine’s torque delivery. Looking at the numbers, Chevy Sonic enjoys one of the better naught to sixty mph time of 8.2 seconds.

Ride and Handling

For a subcompact, Chevy Sonic offers a relatively pleasant driving experience. The suspension has been tuned to offer comfort but it doesn’t come at the cost of handling dynamics. Sonic is playful around the corners. The high-speed stability is also on the better side. It isn’t squishy as other rivals. It feels sturdy and planted at highway speeds.

The steering has a nice feel to it. Its lighter nature helps to maneuver the Sonic in the city, easily. The Sonic eagerly changes direction if you intend to do so.

Braking

When it comes to braking, the Sonic is equipped with a disc setup at the front and drum setup at the rear. The Chevy Sonic tips the scale at 2,819 lbs. It is the heaviest car in this comparison. Yet it was able to do a 70mph to 0 mph stop in 169 feet. The Sonic has decent stopping power at its disposal.

Model

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Nissan Versa Note

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Ford Fiesta ST Line Hatchback*

Brake Front (in.)

N/A

10

11

10.3

10.2

Brake Rear (in.)

N/A

8

8

7.9

7.9

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2,819

2,474

2714

2568

N/A

70-0 MPH (ft.)

168*

188*

182

179

N/A

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Fuel Economy

6.0/10

The Chevy Sonic hatch offers a combined mileage of 29 miles to the gallon. The turbo-four setup should offer better fuel mileage but Sonic’s figures are on the lower side of the segment. Surprisingly, Honda Fit which only produces 130 hp (only 8 hp less than Sonic) manages to pull off a combined mpg of 32.

Model

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Nissan Versa Note

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Ford Fiesta ST Line Hatchback

MPG (city)

26

31

28

33

25

MPG (highway)

34

39

37

40

32

MPG (combined)

29

34

32

36

28

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior

“There's plenty of head- and legroom both up front and in the back, though elbow room is tight all around. The large door openings make it easy to get in and out. Unfortunately, cheap plastics abound and thick roof pillars reduce visibility.”-Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The Sonic hatchback was introduced as a replacement for Chevrolet Aveo. The interior fit and finish is a way ahead of the Aveo but the cabin has a fair share of hard plastics. Manufacturers like Kia and Ford offer better materials and fitment at a similar price point.  Once you touch the materials you will be reminded of the price you have paid for the car.

For the base LT trim, you will have to be satisfied with cloth upholstery. Stepping in, you will be fond of that roomy feeling. There are lots of spaces to store miscellaneous items. You have two glove boxes, there are cup holders and space near the shifter to keep your wallet and smartphone.

Models

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Nissan Versa Note

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Ford Fiesta Hatchback

MSRP

$18,020

$15,650

$16,400

$16,190

$18,500

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

Front Head room

N/A

38.7

40.8

38.9

39.5

Shoulder room

53.4

51.7

54.1

54.8

52.7

Leg room

41.8

41.3

42.1

41.4

43.6

Rear Head room

N/A

38.1

38.0

38.0

37.5

Shoulder room

53.0

51.9

53.3

52.6

49.0

Leg room

34.6

38.3

33.5

39.3

31.2

Space isn’t an issue with this car. Whether you are driving or sitting behind, you would be content with the space on offer.  If you plan to keep your car for a long time, then you might be a bit put off by the lower quality of interior fit and finish.

Infotainment

The Sonic comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display and a 6-speaker audio system. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are offered as standard features. Chevy’s MyLink System offers on the go connectivity as it allows you to receive calls, get text message alerts while your phone is tucked away. The system is easy and direct to use. The menus are laid out simple, the display is sharp and crisp even under direct sunlight. While it cannot be compared to the systems offers by high-end brands such as Audi and Mercedes, it is one of the best in this segment. Adding to the that is the fact that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are offered as standard which in itself is a huge deal for a vehicle in this segment. 4G LTE and WiFi hotspot services are also available as options.  

Cargo Capacity

The hatchback offers more versatility than the sedan. The sonic hatchback offers 19.0 cu-ft. of trunk space which can be easily increased to 42.0 cu-ft. by folding the rear seats. That’s a lot of space to swallow all the equipment for your next weekend getaway. 2019 Chevy Sonic leads the segment with its utility value.

Model

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Nissan Versa Note

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Ford Fiesta Hatchback

Cargo Volume (cu-ft.)

19.0

18.8

17.4

16.6

10.1

Interior Features

Chevrolet Sonic has a long list of standard equipment. Some of these features are mentioned below:

  • 7" touch-screen display
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • 6-speaker audio system
  • Armrest, driver seat
  • Piano Black instrument panel (Optional)
  • Inside rearview manual day/night mirror

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior

5.0/10
“The signature two-part Chevy grille is less prominent than in years past, and adding the RS package makes the car look nearly like a hot hatchback or sedan, with the option for up to 17-inch blacked out wheels. The Sonic also refreshingly offers a number of bright colors, including a new hue for 2019 called “Shock.” Overall, the hatchback looks better than the sedan, if only because it seems to have been designed first.”-TheCarConnection

Dimensions and Weight

Chevy Sonic has sweeping lines that are engineered to maximize airflow while providing a sporty look. The front fascia is aggressive and continues on the Chevy’s motorcycle-inspired design for the Sonic. The headlight cluster looks like a single unit but it houses the low beam and high beam bulb separately.

Model

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Nissan Versa Note

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Ford Fiesta Hatchback

Curb weight (lbs.)

2,819

2,474

2714

2568

2537

Length(in)

159.8

163.7

160.0

161.4

160.1

Width(in)

68.3

66.7

67.9

67.0

67.8

Height(in)

59.7

60.5

57.1

60.0

57.2

Ground clearance (in)

N/A

N/A

5.5

4.4

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

99.4

102.4

101.6

99.6

98

Track width (in) F/R

59.4/ 59.4

58.3/ 58.5

59.8/60.0

58.3/58.0

N/A

The Sonic hatch doesn’t score special points for maximum dimensions. It is a relatively smaller car than the competition. Sonic has a short wheelbase (99.4-inches) yet it offers generous room for the occupants.

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Safety

5.0/10

The Chevrolet Sonic is available with a list of safety equipment. The Sonic Hatch also scores well on the safety tests conducted by NHSTA. It offers the following safety features:

  • 4-wheel antilock front disc/rear drum brakes
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic brake force distribution
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Electronic traction control
  • LED Daytime Running Lamps
  • 10 airbags

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Competition

Chevrolet Sonic vs Nissan Versa Note

Nissan Versa Note is powered by a 109 hp inline-four engine. The Versa Note starts at a lower sticker price of $15,650. Versa is severely underpowered for its class so be prepared for lackluster acceleration. The only upside is Versa’s excellent mpg numbers. The interior is roomy but lacks the fit and finish and standard equipment Versa’s infotainment cannot match Chevy’s advanced MyLink infotainment system. Chevy Sonic is a better equipped and more powerful option than the Versa Note.

Chevrolet Sonic vs Kia Rio

Kia Rio is powered by a 130 hp inline-four engine. 2019 Kia Rio starts at a price of $16,400. Rio hatchback is available in a single well-appointed trim only. Kia Rio is a well-known nameplate in the subcompact segment. Rio has a well laid out cabin, a generous cargo space, good handling, and a user-friendly infotainment system. Not everyone would be happy to be in Rio but considering the things on offer, actually a lot on offer for the price. Kia Rio should be high on your list if you are looking for a budget car with better fit and finish.

Chevrolet Sonic vs Honda Fit

Honda Fit is powered by the iconic 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine. The pricing for the base trim of the Honda Pilot starts at $16,190. Honda Fit scores high on utility. Honda offers better passenger room and cargo space. It is also offered with Honda’s suite of safety features – Honda Sensing at the higher trim levels. The Fit beats the Sonic with its better fuel economy, utilitarian magic seats and better resale value.

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Final Verdict

The Chevrolet Sonic is equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that produces 138 horsepower. The combination of a turbo-four engine and a 6-speed manual make the Sonic a fun to drive car. In a segment where providing affordable transportation is the top priority, Chevy Sonic doesn’t simply wear a sporty skin it has an engine to back it up.

Sonic loses to the likes of Rio and Fiesta when it comes to interior quality and refinement. If you want a more comfortable ride and a well put together then your money would be better spent on the Kia Rio or Ford Fiesta. Sonic hatchback brightens up an otherwise dull segment by introducing turbocharging. The Sonic, when equipped with the optional RS package, offers a sport-tuned suspension and a performance exhaust. The Chevy Sonic easily lives up as a daily driver which can also be enjoyed around the curvy roads.

FAQs about the 2019 Chevy Sonic Hatch.

Let's go through some of the most frequently asked questions about the Chevrolet Sonic Hatch.

Is the Chevrolet Sonic being discontinued?

No, the Chevrolet Sonic hasn't been discontinued as of now. Chevrolet has even announced the 2020 Sonic Hatchback. 

Is the Chevrolet Sonic good in snow?

No, while the Sonic can tacke most of the urban driving conditions with ease, it really starts to struggle even in the slightest of snow. 

Is the Chevrolet Sonic worth buying used?

Yes, a pre-used Chevy Sonic offers a great value if it is in the right condition.