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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Chevrolet Sonic

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Expert's Rating


MPG 26 City / 35 Highway
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Optional 6-speed transmission
  • Quick and nimble
  • Heaps of cargo space
  • Fun to drive
  • Seats are relatively flat
, Automotive Editor -
A major improvement on the Aveo it replaced, the Sonic makes Chevrolet a player in the subcompact market.


Chevrolet's Aveo didn't dominate the subcompact market in the way it had hoped. It should have better luck with the Sonic, an all-new model released in 2012.

The 2013 model year brought some minor changes for the Sonic including the addition of standard Bluetooth connectivity and blind-spot-assist mirrors. Also added was optional MyLink audio and audio streaming. The 2013 Sonic is available in either a sedan or four-door hatchback design, with a total of eight trim levels: LS Automatic, LS Manual, LT Manual, LT Automatic, LTZ Manual, LTZ Automatic, RS Manual and RS Automatic. The RS Sonics, new for 2013, are performance models available only as hatchbacks.

All non-RS models come standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 108 horsepower and 125 foot-pounds of torque. This engine, when mated to the six-speed manual transmission, can push the Sonic to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds. Mileage is rated at 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. RS models feature a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine with 138 horsepower and 148 foot-pounds of torque; a six-speed RS is a bit quicker than other Sonics and still returns 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Chevrolet Sonic
Starting price

2013 Chevrolet Sonic LS Manual

Recommended for: Buyers who want an economical sedan or hatchback without any real frills

The base LS Manual has a 138-horsepower 1.8-liter engine connected to a five-speed manual transmission. Standard features include: tinted windows, daytime running lights, 15-inch steel wheels, and body-color door handles. The LS Manual also comes with 10 airbags, air-conditioning, and an AM/FM four-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic
Starting price

2013 Chevrolet Sonic LT Manual

Recommended for: Buyers looking for upgraded audio and power windows

The LT Manual has more amenities, adding: heated power side-view mirrors, 15-inch polished-aluminum wheels, and chrome beltline molding. It also features an AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM audio system with a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, six premium speakers, deluxe cloth seats, cruise control, and power windows.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic
Starting price

2013 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ Manual

Recommended for: Buyers that want a premium compact car for under $18k

The LTZ Manual continues adding top-end features to the Sonic, as it builds onto the LT Manual trim level. On the outside, the LTZ Manual adds in fog lamps for safer driving in foggy weather, 17-inch aluminum wheels for a better ride and improved handling, and chrome-accented outside door handles for added style. On the inside, the LTZ Manual adds in the Chevrolet MyLink radio, which includes a 7-inch touchscreen, Pandora radio, smartphone integration and voice recognition, perforated leatherette interior for a luxurious look and feel, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel for a better look and feel.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic
Starting price

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Manual

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a sporty element to their compact hatchback

The RS Manual is the performance-oriented model of the 2013 Sonic and is only available in the hatchback format. It starts off by adding in a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine with 138 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. On the outside, the Sonic RS Manual adds in four-wheel disc brakes for quicker stopping, a performance gear ration for faster acceleration, 17-inch Midnight Silver aluminum wheels for a sporty look, and an RS-exclusive front grille, front fascia, rocker moldings badges and mirror-cap finish. Inside the cabin, the RS Manual adds in leather sport seats for a luxurious feel, and RS-specific interior colors for a bespoke look and feel.

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