From a passenger or cargo perspective, the Sonic does what you need a small car to do, a little bit better than you probably expect.
Seating is adult-sized in front enough, while back seats have enough space for adults in a pinch; flip the rear seatbacks forward and you get wagon-like versatility in hatchback models, or space for longer items in sedans. The hatch isn't quite as space-efficient as the reigning cargo king, the Honda Fit, but there aren't any serious flaws with either package, and the cabin is better-insulated from road and engine noise than most other small models.
Front and rear seating is virtually the same, whether you choose the sedan or hatchback. Front perches are comfortable enough for a few hours on the highway, and the driving position felt just right for a wide range of drivers, and we've found the gauge cluster—which appears to sacrifice function for form at first glance—to be perfectly placed.
Almost miraculously, this 6'-6” editor can sit in the back seat of the Sonic without hunching; but legroom and kneeroom are extremely tight and unless there are shorter occupants in the front seat, they're only going to be usable by kids.
The 2013 Sonic does little to upset the Honda Fit's primacy in this class for cargo and packaging. The load floor is surprisingly high, although under part of it a rather large underfloor tray opens up some more space—enough space for a laptop bag or two. And while cargo space is usually a strong point for hatchbacks, the Sonic sedan actually has a larger trunk—19 cubic feet, versus 14 for hatchbacks, and the seatbacks fold down flat in either case.
No matter which model you choose, there are plenty of cubbies to store smaller items—including several small bins in the middle of the dash. Although the back seat area is neglected in this respect.Throughout the Sonic lineup, cabin refinement and ride quality really are top notch compared to other affordable small cars. Except in (RS and LTZ) models with the largest 17-inch wheels, expect a cabin that's impressively muted from coarse road surfaces.