2016 Chevrolet Sonic Review – A Diamond in the Rough

The subcompact market is becoming more and more crowded as fuel prices increase and traffic becomes worse and worse; the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic is just one of many subcompacts that other marquees offer. With stiff competition against the likes of Mazda and Ford to name a few, it seems Chevy has to pull off the right stunts to be able to get the consumer’s attention off the top of the charts and focus on the Sonic. It’s too bad for the Sonic because while the consumers are enjoying their zoom zoom and pocket rockets, they’re missing out on what the Sonic can offer.

2016 Chevrolet Sonic Review - A Diamond in the Rough

The 2016 Chevrolet Sonic Wants to Go Fast But it Can’t. However, it’s Still a Fun Drive.

The Chevy Aveo is the predecessor of the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic and despite similarities in proportion and overall dimensions, the difference is all in the details. Chevy designed the Sonic to be fun-looking and aggressive to make it look like it can compete with the top subcompact powerhouses. The front features black surround headlamps, a huge intake and air dam. Moving towards the rear, Chevy went for a sporty design with the exposed lights missing the aero cover making it look like those ricey “Altezza lights” complete with a tiny lip spoiler. On the sides, the rear door handles are hidden beside the rear window sills. Under the hood is a 1.4-liter four cylinder putting out an economical 98hp mated to a six-speed auto with a manual shift feature that is surprisingly responsive.

On the inside of the 2016 Sonic you are reminded that this vehicle is supposed to be affordable; hard plastics are everywhere, minimal brightwork, and lots of textured surfaces on the plastic. To keep with the sporty look, the instrument cluster is designed to look like a motorcycle’s instrument binnacle. The design is a hit or miss but the design makes for an easy to read interface with the use of bright colors and contrast. This being a subcompact, you can’t expect much from rear seat room but the Sonic performs better in this area than the pocket rocket Fiesta but falls short of the rear seat and cargo king Honda Jazz.

The Sonic is fitted with sports tuned suspension which gives great feedback but trades it for overall ride comfort. Fitted stock with a set of Continental ContiPremiumContact 2 tires, the Sonic actually has very high grip limits making for a zippy and agile ride with sharp handling and excellent feedback.

The 2016 Chevrolet Sonic has sporty looks, decent fuel economy, surprisingly deep boot space, comes with an excellent set of tires, sporty ride. However, the suspension is a bit harsh on longer trips. The Sonic is heavier than its contemporaries and the 98hp engine isn’t helping. While there are definitely vehicles on top of the subcompact list worthy of a quick buy, the Chevrolet Sonic is good in its own right and is not in any way a bad car.


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