2017 Chevrolet Sonic Review

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The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

6.4
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
7.0
Expert Rating
Performance
6.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
6.0
Expert Rating
Features
5.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
8.0
Expert Rating
Consumer Reviews
2 Reviews
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic gets some safety and feature improvements, and should continue to score big on refinement and driving fun.

The Chevrolet Sonic was a fresh nameplate four years ago—and in the U.S. the new path made a lot of sense, as it was refined, sporty, and far more safety-minded about-face from the Aveo that it replaced.

Now, with the 2017 Sonic, Chevrolet is revisiting and refreshing the compact car, with some changes to this small car’s front and rear styling, a better safety set, and some new features throughout. In light of that, the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic for the U.S. is now a lot closer to the front-end look of the international version, which is still called the Aveo in many other markets. It continues to be available as either a five-door hatchback or four-door sedan.

It scores a 6.5 out of 10 on our overall scale, thanks to very good fuel economy and great safety scores—important in the compact class. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Styling and performance

Chevy points to the Sonic’s changes as being right in line with those given to other global Chevrolet compact vehicles, including the Cruze, Bolt EV, and refreshed 2017 Trax. That includes what the automaker describes as a more expressive look, with a redesigned hood, a new rear fascia, projector-beam headlamps, and LED daytime running lamps. Orange Burst Metallic, Brimstone, Cajun Red Tintcoat, and Arctic Blue Metallic are four new colors introduced for 2017, and wheel designs have been refreshed (still 15-, 16-, and 17-inch).

Powertrains for the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic essentially carry over from last year. Base Sonic models will be powered by a 1.8-liter inline-4, while an optional 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 gives better acceleration and higher EPA fuel economy ratings. We’ve found Sonic models with this 1.4-liter engine to be smoother, quicker-responding, and simply more fun to drive. Outgoing versions of this front-wheel-drive small car can be had with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic, and we expect this to be the same for 2017.

On the road, the Sonic feels strong and sturdy, and its ride isn’t as coarse and busy as most other entries in this class. It’s enjoyable to drive, with electric power steering that offers particularly nice feel and weighting (often a weak point on Asian competitors). Overall, it has the settled, refined feel of a car an entire class larger; GM has lately excelled in making its cars quiet, and the Sonic is solidly better than average.

Comfort, safety, and features

It’s in packaging where the Sonic hasn’t quite measured up to some of its rivals. Front seats are quite good, and adjustable to a wide range of drivers, but back-seat accommodations are quite tight and by no means transcend this model’s subcompact status. It doesn’t offer the so-called Magic Seat arrangement of the Honda Fit, or quite as low of a load floor of other entries, but whether you choose the hatchback or sedan, its rear seatbacks do flip forward all the way to expand space.

Safety features in the 2017 Sonic are quite robust, with 10 standard airbags. A rearview camera system is now standard across the model line, while parking assist is newly available, as are forward collision alert and lane departure warning, two active-safety features that may help you keep away from trouble. The Sonic’s body structure is likely to carry over with no major changes, and that’s a good thing; up until now this model has earned excellent five stars in federal crash tests, as well as top "Good" ratings from the IIHS, including in that agency’s tough (and critical) small overlap frontal test. We expect with the inclusion of those active-safety systems that it will earn a Top Safety Pick+ rating.

Trim levels will be revamped. LS, LT, and Premier trims will be offered for the 2017 Sonic (LT and Premier only for the hatchback), replacing the LS, LT, LTZ, and RS trims of the 2016 model. The RS model is effectively replaced by an appearance package that’s offered on LT and Premier trims.

According to GM, the Sonic is the first model in its class to offer a power driver’s seat. Other new features offered in the lineup include a heated steering wheel, heated cloth seats, and a seven-inch infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The system also has 4G LTE connectivity and a wi-fi hotspot.

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April 20, 2017
2017 Chevrolet Sonic 5-Door HB Automatic LT w/1SD

A Sporty Battle Tank That Caters to Convenience and Luxury Feel

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I bought the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic LT 5-Door Auto Hatchback and added the Optional Convenience & Drivers Confident Packages to match the goodies of the Premier. The Hatchback only comes in 2 trims the LT &... + More »
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November 18, 2016
2017 Chevrolet Sonic 4-Door Sedan Automatic LT

You get so much bang for your buck

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Love the changes they made to the sonic, drives like a charm. Very quiet and handles smoothly. I think it's great that they put in heated seats and heated steering wheel. Getting use to keyless push button... + More »
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February 9, 2016
2015 Chevrolet Sonic 4-Door Sedan Automatic LS

Good Car, happy so far. Would rate an 7 out of 10.

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Great Car, gas mileage not what one might think, this could defiantly be worked on. Bit of a blind spot on drivers side rear.Definatly need snow tires if you are in a cold state.
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September 17, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Sonic 5-Door HB Automatic LT

pile of crap,do not buy!

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I hate it. I was lied to by the salesman who said LTS don't come with a touch screen because thas what LT means. Ive already had a recall on it.. my 2015 my 6months old brand new car ... it handles horribly. I... + More »
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August 10, 2015
2015 Chevrolet Sonic 4-Door Sedan Automatic LTZ

Very satisfied with this car

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I downsized to this car from a medium size SUV. It has surprised me by not making me feel like I am driving a low car. I can't feel much difference from driving high to driving on this car. I am also pleased... + More »
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April 15, 2015
For 2015 Chevrolet Sonic

Great car,!

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We bought the 2013 1.4 turbocharged Sonic hatchback to use as a car for doing short errand type drives around town. It has more than proven its worth for that purpose. Also have taken it on several long out of... + More »
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April 13, 2015
For 2015 Chevrolet Sonic

Great little car!!

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My Sonic runs like a top. It has all the things that most people would want. It is quiet, peppy, and good on fuel. Can't say enough good things about it.
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March 19, 2016
2014 Chevrolet Sonic 4-Door Sedan Automatic LT

Getting it right !+

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I have had 3 sonics ! a 12, then I bought a 13 and traded for this 14 at the end of June, 2015, so I bought all of mine as "past" models. I have LOVED each of them, all sedans with the 1.8 litre, as I don't... + More »
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June 10, 2015
2014 Chevrolet Sonic 4-Door Sedan Manual LS

I purchased new End of Dec 2014 and 6 months and 11,000 miles later i still enjoy driving this car.

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I purchased my 2014 Chevy Sonic Dec 27,2014 in 6 months of owning this car I have put 11,000 miles on it and did many long distance trip's from east coast to west coast and back and had no issues as well as my... + More »
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May 9, 2016
2013 Chevrolet Sonic 4-Door Sedan Automatic LT

Great American made small car

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Except for one major issue, this could be a 5 star story. Exceptional ride and handling, and if driven with sense, better MPG's than rated. The dealer took care of the issue I had (non-starting) and everything... + More »
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2017 Chevrolet Sonic Pricing Insights

  • 2017 Sonic pricing and selection very favorable
  • $500 rebate + up to $1,500 bonus on select models
  • Lease an LT hatchback from $219 for 39 months
  • 3.9% APR for 60 months continues
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