21K shouldn’t be this much fun!
We got lucky and got the top-of-the-line 5-door RS hatchback with the 1.4 Turbo and 6-speed stick.
I’ve always liked Chevy’s 1.4 Turbo. Good economy…good performance…and it always seems ready to go. The Turbo and the RS’ 4.18 gearing makes the little 1.4 engine feel strong…ready to rev and run at any moment. Zero to 60 in under 8 seconds, in fact. Excellent performance for 138 Horsepower.
But it’s the handling that really makes the Sonic RS such a joy to drive. I’ve driven German performance cars that didn’t have the “immediacy” that the RS brings to the party. You’ve got a big, thick steering wheel with great feel, a well-connected suspension that gives great feedback from the road without undue harshness, and solid brakes. And the 6-speed stick shifted with Germanic precision.
The Sonic RS really makes the driver feel like they’re driving a sports car, but gives you the functionality of four doors + a hatch. Four people to lunch….or two people cross-country….no problem.
The RS comes standard with the Turbo and 6-speed stick. Plus you get a sport suspension, leather seats with suede inserts ( heated in the front ), leather-wrapped steering wheel, premium 6-speaker sound, 17” alloys and a “hill-holder” feature for the stick…which prevents you from rolling backwards when stopped on a hill.
All that and a superior driving experience….for $20,995 including destination charges.
You could add a sunroof for an additional $850…and a 6-speed auto for $1,285.
The RS is rated at 27 city and 34 highway. I got an indicated 35 in my usual commute. Maybe I should have driven faster. Thought I did.
Sonics come in both5-door hatch and 4-door sedan versions…starting at $14,995 incl. destination. Your two engine choices are both 138 hp. Standard is their 1.8 liter 4….with the Turbo an $800 option. The Turbo packs a little more around-town torque…and is rated at up to 40 Hwy MPG in models other than the RS.
As you’d expect, the price-leading LS model is pretty basic. As you might not expect, the more luxurious LTZ models have attractive two-tone leather interiors that look like they belong in far more expensive vehicles.
Sonic….humble ( but fun-to-drive ) economy car….miniature luxury car…or hot hatch….your call. It all depends upon the model and how you equip it. And no matter how much you check off on the options list, you’ll have to work hard to push the price much over 20K!