The front-wheel-drivetrain of both the new Sonic models is powered by the familiar turbocharged 1.4-liter four-pot engine, making 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft torque, serviced by a six-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain is geared more toward fuel efficiency rather than outright performance, which is fine for the easy-going city-slicker hatch. In its standard form, it gets from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 8.9 seconds, making it one of the more spirited hatches in its class. The Honda Fit and Kia Rio, both equipped with less powerful and naturally aspirated engines, slot in at around the ten-second mark. Unfortunately, the six-speed manual gearbox, which was standard in previous years, is no longer available for any Sonic model. With that gearbox, the Sonic performed slightly better, completing the sprint in around 8.7 seconds. As with all other vehicles in the class, the Sonic Hatch is only configured as a front-wheel-drive hatch.
Powering the Sonic is the same 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's done duty for the last few years, dishing out 138 hp and 148 lb-ft to the front wheels via a six-speed auto gearbox. With the Sonic's tight dimensions and lightweight body, the engine is able to pull the hatch around without exerting much effort. Though there's not much lag from the motor, initial take-off can be rather gradual, as most of the engine's impulsion is found in the middle of the rev-range. That means initiating incline-starts will feel strenuous and lethargic, but overtaking at top speeds - though measured - will be relatively easy. The now-standard automatic delivers early shifts for optimized efficiency, which doesn't help the weak off-the-line power delivery, but it does at least negate heavy clutch wear. It also feels disinclined to downshift when needed. The old manual gearbox was certainly the better of the two options; not only did it provide a better sense of control, but surprisingly added efficiency as well.
|Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Trims||Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Engines||Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Horsepower||Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Transmissions||Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Drivetrains||Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback MPG/MPGE|
|LT Hatchback||1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||138 hp @ 4900 rpm||6-Speed Automatic||FWD||29 MPG|
|Premier Hatchback||1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||138 hp @ 4900 rpm||6-Speed Automatic||FWD||29 MPG|
The Sonic's EPA-rated gas mileage estimates of 26/34/29 mpg city/highway/combined are decent, albeit substandard for the class and rather unimpressive considering the hatchback's dinky Ecotec four-cylinder engine and lightweight body. With that combined figure, the Sonic can drive on for around 353 miles with its 12.2-gallon gas tank full, utilizing only regular unleaded gas as the minimum requirement. The Kia Rio, with its naturally aspirated 1.6-liter engine, returns 33/41/36 mpg and boasts a range of just over 428 miles with its 11.9-gallon gas tank full.
|Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Trims||LT Hatchback||Premier Hatchback|
|Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||26/34||26/34|