2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Review

by Gabe Beita Kiser

The 2019 Chevrolet Sonic is verging on the edge of extinction, with Chevy opting to focus efforts on its more profitable vehicles - meaning crossovers. This subcompact sedan marks the start of the end for its first and only generation, with a 1.4-liter inline-four-cylinder turbocharged motor under the hood and your pick of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. For seven years the Sonic has offered both inexpensive travels in the segment, as well as a technology hub in an otherwise subtle body. Its refresh in 2017 gave it all it needed to become relevant again, but with buyers favoring crossovers over subcompacts, its days are numbered. All isn't lost, however, as the Sonic sedan takes on the likes of the Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris with a more performance-biased offering.

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2018 Sonic Sedan?

Chevrolet ditches the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter inline-four in favor of its more efficient, and now standard 1.4-liter turbocharged motor. The Fun and Sun Package takes its leave as well, whilst the exterior and interior design carries over from last year's iteration unchanged.

Pros and Cons

  • Highly customizable
  • Standard turbocharged motor
  • Manual as standard
  • Excellent infotainment
  • Sports styling package looks great
  • Inferior fuel economy
  • Cramped rear legroom
  • No emergency braking
  • Sparsely equipped base model

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LS Sedan
1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
$15,420
LT Sedan
1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
$17,920
Premier Sedan
1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
$20,020

Sonic Sedan Exterior

The exterior of the Sonic is both stylish and subtle at the same time, leaning a bit more towards subtle in sedan form. Automatic projector-beam headlights, body-color manual-adjustable exterior mirrors, and a black beltline can be found outside the Sonic sedan, with fog lights and a rear spoiler left as optional on higher trims. The Sonic Sedan rolls 15-inch steel wheels with bolt-on wheel covers on the base LS and LT trims trim, while the Premier gets 17-inch black alloy wheels as standard. A power sunroof is available on the LT and Premier trims to add further luxury to the diminutive subcompact.

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Front Angle View Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Rear Angle View Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Side View Chevrolet
See All 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The sedan sits between Chevrolet's smaller Spark and larger Cruze models in the line-up, firmly occupying the subcompact segment with a 173.9-inch body on a 99.4-inch wheelbase, making it 13.2 inches longer than the hatchback variant. The Sedan stands 59.7 inches tall and 68.3 inches wide, which makes it ideally suited to the urban environment it is bound to live in. It's a lightweight, too, registering at 2,796 lbs in it's lightest trim and 2,880 lbs in its heaviest.

  • Length 173.9 in
  • Wheelbase 99.4 in
  • Height 59.7 in
  • Max Width 68.3 in
  • Front Width 59.4 in
  • Rear Width 59.4 in

Sonic Sedan Performance

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Steering Wheel Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Seat Details Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Gauge Cluster Chevrolet

Engine and Transmission

All three Sonic trims draw power from a 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder engine, paired to either a six-speed manual as standard or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. The 1.4-liter turbo motor produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, matching horses with last year's 1.8-liter naturally aspirated motor, but gaining more torque. Acceleration has improved by quite some margin with the extra twist, with the 1.4T feeling more responsive to throttle inputs and ready to run at the word 'go'. Despite its meager displacement, this 1.4-liter engine doesn't feel breathless at all. We recommend the manual gearbox, as, despite the somewhat vague shift action, it's a whole lot more engaging than the automatic.

  • Engine
    1.4-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Manual
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Sonic Sedan won't awe you with its driving dynamics, taking a back seat compared to the Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris. That said, it doesn't disappoint either. The steering is brilliantly done, with the road surface information translating to the steering wheel in a reassuring yet comfortable manner. The Sonic's suspension makes easy work of road imperfections but shudders at more challenging surfaces. Broken pavement and regular camber changes upset the ride quality substantially, while in the city is where the Sonic works best. The overall impression is of an agile and balanced compact car, but it's nothing exceptional, instead merely being above average.

Sonic Sedan Gas Mileage

Gas mileage has somewhat improved with the 1.4-liter turbocharged motor becoming standard across the range. The standard six-speed manual gearbox achieves the best EPA ratings in the Sonic, with estimates of 27/38/31 mpg city/highway/combined. The six-speed automatic provides less than stellar figures though, with 26/34/29 mpg hinting at a less efficient automatic in need of Chevrolet's magnifying glass. In a type-to-type comparison, Toyota's Yaris sees 30/39/34 mpg, outclassing the Sonic by quite some margin. The Sonic's 12.2-gallon fuel tank capacity affords it 378-miles between refills, or 354 if you favor the automatic.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    12.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 27/38 mpg
* 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Manual LS

Sonic Sedan Interior

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Dashboard Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Gauge Cluster 1 Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Infotainment System Chevrolet
See All 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The 2019 Chevrolet Sonic sedan is officially a five-seater, yet with 38.1 inches of headroom and only 34.6 inches of legroom at the rear, it's probably better suited for children or teenagers. The seats and interior trim come in three flavors, with the base LS model utilizing what Chevrolet calls Sport Cloth, the mid-range LT trims Deluxe Cloth, and perforated leatherette seats exclusive to the Premium trim. Heated seats are left as optional on the LT, and standard at Premier trim. Space up front is more generous, but the limited seat and steering adjustment is awkward for taller drivers. Visibility is decent, though, with minimal blind spots and a commanding view of the road.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.8 in
  • Front Head Room 38.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 34.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.8 in

Sonic Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

The Chevrolet Sonic sedan doesn't do too badly in terms of available cargo space, with 14.9 cubic feet placing it at the more generous end in the segment. Comparatively, Kia's Rio has 13.7 cubic feet of cargo space, with the Yaris only boasting 13.5. The rear bench folds in a 60/40 split to enhance storage capability marginally, but the pass-through isn't excessively large. The cabin offers a few practical storage options too, with upper and lower glove boxes, front and rear cupholders, and a center storage bin. The front passenger also gets a small storage space against the center console at knee height, ideal for miscellaneous items.

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Dashboard 1 Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Dashboard 2 Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Rear Angle View 1 Chevrolet
  • Trunk Volume
    14.9 ft³

Sonic Sedan Infotainment and Features

Features

The Chevrolet Sonic avails itself to a fair few features, but the base LS trim almost redefines basic with only manual windows, hill start assist, a rearview camera, a driver information center, manual air conditioning, power door locks, remote keyless entry, and LED daytime running lights as standard. Upgrading to the LT trim nets you heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, cruise control, and power windows, with keyless start and heated front seats reserved for the Premier trim. A power tilt/slide sunroof with a wind deflector is available as an $850 extra though, with handy roof rack cross rails also left as optional. Available on the upper two trims is a trio of driver assistance features comprising rear park assist, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert.

Infotainment

The Chevrolet Sonic LS sedan utilizes the brand's Infotainment 3 System, which features a vivid and colorful seven-inch touch-screen display that responds brilliantly to gestures and inputs. AM/FM, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto come as standard kit, too, with a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot furthering connectivity. The LT and Premier trims get a nice upgrade to a six-speaker premium sound system, as well as SiriusXM radio streaming on a three-month subscription. There's no native navigation available for the Sonic, but the smartphone integration has you covered in this regard.

Sonic Sedan Problems and Reliability

At the time of writing, there have been no recalls issued for the 2019 Chevrolet Sonic sedan, and no major issues reported by owners. For extra peace of mind, the Sonic carries a three-year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, as well as a five-year/60,000 mile transferable powertrain warranty.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

Sonic Sedan Safety

The NHTSA rated the 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan with an overall rating of five stars. The IIHS gave the Sonic top scores in all five crashworthiness tests. Standard safety features include an outstanding ten airbags - including dual front knee airbags and seat-mounted side airbags front and rear - as well as ABS, EBD, brake assist, a standard rearview camera, and the option of equipping forward collision warning, rear park sensors, and lane departure warning.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan a good car?

The 2019 Chevrolet Sonic targets three different audiences with only a small margin of cost difference between them, $5,300 to be precise. The current year model is also the last of its kind to receive a manual offering, with Chevrolet confirming 2020 models are all moving on to the six-speed auto. For stickshift enthusiasts looking for an inexpensive and fun urban car, the Chevrolet Sonic fits that bill perfectly. With the inclusion of its RS package, the Sonic feels like a much more expensive car than it actually is, and the styling certainly won't offend anyone in top form. If you can dismiss the LS trim as anything but a budget-conscious offering, and consider the LT and Premier trims compared to its rivals, the Sonic offers good practicality and a feature-packed car that serves its purpose well. High levels of standard safety, practicality, and one of the best infotainment systems in the segment all give the Sonic an edge as one of the better subcompacts currently on sale.

🚘What's the Price of 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan?

In entry-level trim, the LS with its six-speed manual transmission carries an MSRP of $16,295, excluding tax, licensing, registration, and an $875 destination charge. The six-speed automatic will set you back $1,300 extra on the LS, whilst the LT trim and Premier trim only add $700 to your bill. The mid-range LT trim costs $18,795 as standard, with the Premier trim not too far off at $20,895.

See All 2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Trims and Specs

🚗What Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Model Should I Buy?

All three models are easily distinguishable by their purpose. The LS serves as an entry to the Sonic range with only the most basic of features, even omitting power windows. Despite safety features spanning the entire range, other features and creature comforts are entirely void at the base trim. On the other end of the scale, the Premier offers some features you might not necessarily need, such as keyless start and a heated six-way power-adjustable driver's seat. The mid-range LT trim offers the best value for money amongst the three, and also offers the $800 RS Package to those seeking performance-oriented styling both inside and out, as well as the $495 Driver Confidence Package, which adds rear park assist, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning for a very well-rounded car right off the showroom floor, making it our pick of the lot.

Check out other Chevrolet Sonic Styles

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Comparisons

Kia Rio Kia
Toyota Yaris Sedan Toyota
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Chevrolet Sonic Sedan138 hp26/34 mpg$16,720
Kia Rio 120 hp33/41 mpg$15,850
Toyota Yaris Sedan 106 hp30/39 mpg$15,650

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan vs Kia Rio

The Kia Rio carries an MSRP of $15,390 at base-level trim, $905 dollars cheaper than the Sonic sedan. Fuel efficiency sees them nearly match with 27/38/31 mpg compared to 28/37/32 mpg, only barely favoring the Rio. The Rio offers slightly better headroom at the front but falls short at the rear. The Sonic offers a 14.9 cubic feet trunk volume, 1.2 cubic feet larger than the Rio. The Rio, unfortunately, doesn't offer any manual options, and its naturally aspirated 1.6-liter motor sorely lacks the outright power of the Sonic's 1.4-liter turbocharged powerplant. Driving and handling dynamics afford the Rio a more comfortable ride in and around town, handing it an advantage over the Chev. Inside, Kia does well not to let their choice of materials look or feel cheap, somewhere the Sonic could use a little more attention. The Rio is also the safer of the two, achieving IIHS Top Safety Pick status for 2019, which is a deciding factor in us awarding it the title of subcompact to buy in this comparison.

See Kia Rio Review

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan vs Toyota Yaris Sedan

The 2019 Toyota Yaris offers more agile and nippy driving dynamics than those of the Sonic, and better fuel economy at 30/39/34 mpg compared to the Sonic's 27/38/31 mpg. Its 1.5-liter naturally aspirated motor also finds itself down on power, with just 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque, which sees the 138 hp Sonic getting off the line a lot quicker. The Yaris does offer active safety tech as standard, though, and the interior feels a cut above the rest with a platform inherited from Mazda affording it a premium feel. The Sonic has a better infotainment system, though, with greater integration of smart devices via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is nowhere to be found on the Toyota. It's a close call between the two, but the Sonic is the more practical and appealing proposition in the subcompact segment.

See Toyota Yaris Sedan Review

Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Popular Comparisons

2019 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Video Review

Check out some informative Chevrolet Sonic Sedan video reviews below.

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Photos
$15,420 - $20,720
Price Range (MSRP)
Chevrolet Sonic Sedan