view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
2017 Chevrolet Sonic

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

Chevy’s subcompact puts on a new face for the New York Auto Show

Revealed at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the current Chevrolet Sonic is a little long in the tooth compared to its main competitors, but that didn’t stop it from being a hot seller that brings new, younger customers to the brand in the U.S. But, while Chevrolet isn’t planning on ditching the already six-year-old Gamma II platform, the Sonic received a significant makeover ahead of the 2016 New York Auto Show.

Compared to last year’s model, which also gained a few nips and tucks, the 2017 Sonic is miles ahead in terms of exterior design. Solid improvements were operated inside as well, where a new infotainment system and the latest connectivity technologies are available. Chevy did ignore the drivetrain department, but the standard 1.8-liter and the optional 1.4-liter turbo provide just enough power for the small compact, along with excellent fuel economy. The hatch also comes with a couple of segment-first features, but we’ll talk about that in detail in the review below.

“The new styling and features of the 2017 Sonic reinforce its position as a fun, efficient small car with leading technology – all at an affordable price,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing at Chevrolet. “This is an important segment for Chevrolet, as we really have an opportunity to introduce ourselves to new buyers and show them what we’re all about.”

The new Sonic goes on sale this fall with three trims to choose from for the sedan version. The hatch, on the other hand, will only be offered in RS guise.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic.

Read more
2015 Chevrolet Sonic Accessories Concept

2015 Chevrolet Sonic Accessories Concept

Chevrolet’s going to an all-too familiar script with its SEMA-bound offerings. Over the past few years, the Chevrolet Sonic has been a SEMA staple and this year figures to be no different. I already talked about the Sonic Performance Concept so now it’s time to dive into the other Sonic we’ll be seeing at the 2014 SEMA Auto Show. This model is called the Sonic Accessories Concept and like the Performance Concept, this one isn’t really a concept, but a showpiece of what the Sonic could look like if it was covered in Chevy’s latest lineup of accessories.

In other words, this is what Chevrolet wants you to buy in the event you’re in the market for a Sonic.

Yes, the Sonic Accessories Concept creates a nice display models for the many possibilities customers have for mixing and matching new accessories available for the hatchback. The concept should give us a look at the optional accessories we can expect to see for the Sonic. There’s a lot to choose from, covering a wide range of the hatchback’s real estate.

Whether it’s the exterior, the interior, or even upgrades to the suspension, there are plenty of new digs to go around for Chevy’s little hot hatch. The Sonic Accessories Concept shows us what’s possible. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about it when it makes its debut at the 2014 SEMA Auto Show.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Sonic Accessories Concept.

Read more
2014 Chevrolet Sonic Performance Concept

2014 Chevrolet Sonic Performance Concept

Ever since the second-generation Chevrolet Sonic burst onto the scene in 2011, we’ve seen the loveable hatchback become a staple at the SEMA Auto Show. We’ve seen it dress up as the Rocky Carmichael All-Activity Concept. We’ve seen it show up as the Sonic Boom Concept. Heck, we’ve even seen it come to SEMA as the Z-Spec 4D Concept. This year, the Sonic returns to the biggest aftermarket show in the world in the guise of the Sonic Performance Concept.

It doesn’t have quite the flashy name as its predecessors, but the Sonic Performance Concept is actually less of a showpiece prototype and more of a performance-tuned, ready-to-be-produced hatchback. To be clear, Chevy hasn’t said anything about sending the Sonic Performance Concept to dealerships, but it’s not far-fetched to imagine it happening soon.

The Sonic Performance Concept features a laundry list of upgrades to its appearance, suspension, and engine performance. The concept was created to showcase how the Sonic can appeal to a new generation of young enthusiasts by drawing on the company’s legacy of high-performance capabilities.

I would love to see the Sonic Performance Concept get turned into a production model, even if it’s in a limited capacity.

Hopefully, Chevy realizes the same thing with what it has with this SEMA-bound Sonic.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Sonic Performance Concept.

Read more
2014 Chevrolet Sonic Dusk Sedan

2014 Chevrolet Sonic Dusk Sedan

It took a little longer than many of us expected, but Chevrolet has finally released the production version of the Sonic Dusk Sedan at the 2013 Los Angeles Show.

If any of you remember, the model was first shown as a concept at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show and, unlike a lot of the models we see at SEMA, the Sonic Dusk was given the green light as a production model. There are not a lot of noticeable changes from the concept to the production model, but that’s actually a good thing, seeing as the Sonic Dusk Sedan comes with a host of sophisticated new features that really sets it apart from any other Sonic variant

A unique exterior color — Ashen Grey Metallix — is one of the unquestioned highlights of the Sonic Dusk Sedan, complemented nicely by matte appointments on the upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts and rear license plate trim. The vehicle also has a new rear spoiler, a ground-effects package, a set of 18-inch aluminum wheels with its own Midnight Silver matte finish and four-wheel disc brakes — an setup that is exclusive to the Sonic Dusk.

Inside, the modifications are limited to Jet Black leather-trimmed seats with suede-microfiber accents and Mojave tan inserts. Not exactly lighting the world on fire, but enough to give the car’s cabin that added character to set it apart from the crowd.

No performance modifications were given, so expect the Sonic Dusk to have the same 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine that produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. This is good enough to hit 60 mph in around 10 seconds with a top speed of about 115 mph and a fuel returns of 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg in the highway.

Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic Dusk Concept

view all
Read more
2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS Sedan

2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS Sedan

Chevrolet expanded its Sonic lineup with the addition of two new sedan models: the Sonic RS and Sonic Dusk. Both will go on sale in spring 2014 and will be manufactured at Orion Assembly in Michigan. The first of them, Sonic RS, will be priced at $20,530 including $825 destination.

The new Sonic RS sedan is offered with the same Ecotec 1.4 liter turbo engine found in the Sonic RS hatchback, which delivers a total of 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic.

There will also be a sport-tuned suspension and lowered ride height for better handling and a sportier look. Fuel economy will also be identical to the hatchback at 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway on manual transmission-equipped models.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS sedan.

Read more
2014 Chevrolet Sonic Ricky Carmichael All-Activity Concept

2014 Chevrolet Sonic Ricky Carmichael All-Activity Concept

At the 2011 SEMA Show, Ricky Carmichael unveiled his first Sonic All Activity Vehicle. Now two years later, Carmichael returns to SEMA with a new Sonic All Activiy Vehicle. This time around, it’s equipped with an all-new performance package with parts from Chevrolet Performance.

For the exterior, the concept features a satin-black paint combined with blue accents and custom graphics. The aerodynamic kit includes a new rear wing spoiler, smoked lamp housings, ground-effects package, a unique grille and a THULE roof rack For some, this may be a little over the top, but the stark contrast of dark and bright looks pretty sick to us. .

For the interior, Carmichael added a dark green and black leather instrument panel trim, door trim with lime green piping, a green- and black-trimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel and an upgraded sound system.

Chevrolet Performance installed its Turbo Stage Kit, a high-flow exhaust system and a cold-air intake for the 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-banger engine. The concept sits on an 18-inch wheel-and-tire package that are colored gloss-black with a green lip. Chevrolet didn’t release the performance details, but we’re willing to bet the power jumps from the base 138 horsepower to about 160 horsepower.

Helping in the twist is a a new suspension kit that drops the ride height. Rounding out the mods is a new brake package with Wilwood front calipers.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Chevrolet Sonic.

view all
Read more
2013 Chevrolet Performance Sonic RS Concept

2013 Chevrolet Performance Sonic RS Concept

Chevrolet Sonic may be a small car, but with the right updates, it can become quite mean and aggressive. A good example is this Sonic RS Concept car that will be unveiled at the 2013 SEMA Show on November 5th. The concept was designed by Chevrolet Performance, and it previews elements that will be available at all Chevrolet dealers.

The concept was updated from top to bottom, and it includes engine performance, suspension, brake and appearance upgrades. This Sonic RS is painted in a unique Lemon Peel Yellow hue combined with blue graphics, and tinted headlamps and fog lamps. The interior gets seats in black leather with Lark Yellow contrast stitching.

Under the hood, the 1.4-liter, turbocharged engine receives a Stage Kit, cold-air induction and a high-flow exhaust system that will allow it to deliver more power than its stock 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Chevy is keeping the output level is being kept a secret for now, but we are thinking it’ll land in the 160-horsepower range.

Along with the engine upgrades, Chevy also equipped this sonic with a track-tuned suspension system that lowers the car’s ride and offers a sportier appearance. The concept sits on18-inch, split-five-spoke wheels combined with a higher-performance brake upgrade kit with Wilwood front calipers.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Chevrolet Sonic.

view all
Read more
2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS

2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS

The Sonic RS is the new performance flagship for Chevrolet’s mini-car line. Unlike the lower-range Sonics that come in sedan or hatchback bodies, the new Sonic RS is available only with five doors and comes loaded with special equipment that makes the car stand out among the crowd.

Is it any quicker than a Sonic LTZ Turbo? No, it is not. The RS upgrade is more focused on style and driving enjoyment than outright speed, via noticeable exterior, interior and mechanical changes aimed at making this the ideal Sonic for car enthusiasts. Special gear ratios launch the car slightly more rapidly but aren’t enough to move the stats into the low 7’s for 0-to-60 MPH sprints.

Style-wise, things get a lot better with an RS-specific nose, a deeper air dam, chrome-trimmed fog lamp shrouds, sill extensions and a re-profiled rear end with larger spoiler and a big exhaust tip.

The exterior changes dramatically increase the RS model’s road presence versus lesser Sonics. Unfortunately, the bump in price means new competitors materialize that are even more fun and much quicker. The Mini Cooper S and Fiat 500 Abarth both sprint to 60 mph more than a second quicker than the Sonic RS.

The Chevrolet Sonic RS brings a few other tricks to the party and finds a sweet spot in the market by undercutting the more-powerful Fiesta ST and Kia Forte5 Turbo on price.

Click past the jump for the full review of the Chevrolet Sonic RS.

Read more
2014 Chevrolet Sonic

2014 Chevrolet Sonic

The Chevy Sonic gets so little coverage from car magazines that it is easy to forget it even exists. Even the Chevrolet team does not seem too excited about the subcompact’s prospects with American buyers. Maybe that is why most of the official images are just renderings of the car inserted into picturesque backdrops via Photoshop…

If Chevrolet can’t be bothered to actually take its mini car to the desert for a photo shoot, why should buyers care?

There are a few reasons that the Chevrolet Sonic is storming up the sales charts recently to become the top-selling supermini in the U.S. for the last few months. Offered in five-door hatchback or four-door sedan body styles, the Sonic line is well-positioned in style, price and interior tech to overcome rivals, like the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Ford Fiesta.

A new-for-2013 RS trim added lower gear ratios to help improve acceleration in the top 1.4-liter turbo engine guise. While relatively exciting versus the bread-and-butter LS, LT and LTZ trims, the 2014 RS deserves a review of its own – published in the near future so check back for more details.

The focus here is on the volume model sedan and hatchback Chevrolet Sonics with highlights of the new-for-2014 features and options.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic.

Read more
2013 Chevrolet Sonic Street Edition

2013 Chevrolet Sonic Street Edition

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the despite a majority of Japanese automakers in its fold, the Tokyo Auto Salon is fast becoming a global event, so much so, that an auto brand like Chevrolet is heading over to Japan to introduce a bevy of new concepts.

One of these concepts is called the Chevrolet Sonic Street Edition, a unique trim of the company’s popular subcompact hatchback that we expect to hit the Japanese market in the coming months.

Among the many distinguishable characteristics of the Sonic Street Edition, few can come close to the new aero kit fitted into the car from 3D Carbon. On top of that, the Sonic Street Edition will also receive some fancy matte black bonnet brides, as well as a height-adjustable sports suspension, and a set of 18-inch Gianna Blitz black rims with red inserts.

That’s about all the information Chevrolet has released for the Sonic Street Edition. Rest assured, we’ll know more about the program when Chevy brings the vehicles to the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon.

view all
Read more
2013 Chevrolet Sonic Dusk

2013 Chevrolet Sonic Dusk

At the 2011 SEMA Show, Chevrolet unveiled the Sonic Dusk Concept and it was rather well received. Because of the positive reaction, GM decided to offer a production version Sonic Dusk and it announced said model at the 2012 SEMA Show.

The new Sonic Dusk is painted Ashen Grey, which is contrasted by matte-finished upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts, and rear license plate frame. Adding a little class to the Sonic Dusk’s exterior are stainless steel lower window moldings. The car sits on a new set of 18-inch aluminum wheels with a Pearl Nickel finish.

On the inside, the new Dusk edition includes Jet Black, leather-trimmed seats with suede accents and Mojave tan inserts. As standard equipment, the Sonic Dusk offers Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system, which integrates a smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio.

Under the hood, Chevrolet has placed an Ecotec 1.4 liter turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 138 horsepower and 148 foot-pounds of torque delivered between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Click past the jump to read GM’s press release

Read more
2013 Chevrolet Sonic B-Spec Racer Concept

2013 Chevrolet Sonic B-Spec Racer Concept

Lack of power notwithstanding, it’s damn near close to impossible to not like the Chevrolet Sonic.

As one of Chevrolet’s more popular models, the Sonic has received acclaim for its balanced handling and sporty driving experience, so much so, in fact, that the Bow Tie has jumped right into the increasingly popular B-Spec racing series with their very own Sonic B-Spec Race Car Concept.

Although still a preview of a competition kit for the race car, the Sonic B-Spec Racer is a bonafide pocket Hercules.

Dressed in a Luxor Blue paint finish with matching Monaco Blue graphics, the lightweight Sonic B-Spec Racer comes with a bevy of race spec modifications, particularly on the car’s chassis and suspension. The transformation from production model to full-fledged race car begins with the installation of front strut coil-over assemblies and mounts and rear shock coil-over assemblies and mounts. The car also received adjustable front stabilizer bar links, a rear axle shim kit, an inlet air restrictor, and a recalibrated ECM and EBCM.

Safety features were also added, including a carbon fiber safety seat, a window safety net, five-point racing harnesses, a Monaco Blue-painted roll cage, a center catch net, a quick-release steering wheel/hub system, and a fire extinguisher.

About the only thing disappointing about the Sonic B-Spec Racer Concept, albeit one that’s completely understandable, is the engine. To adhere to regulations, the Sonic Race Car Concept’s 1.8-liter engine remains the same from its stock specifications, although an air restrictor was used to equalize its output with other competitors.

In the end, this little beast is still pretty impressive, something GM US VP of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell will attest to. “[The] Sonic B-Spec Concept demonstrates the car’s capabilities in the increasingly popular B-Spec subcompact classes in SCCA and Grand Am series,” he said.

“The Sonic’s great balance of power and responsive handling make it a natural on the track – and a formidable competitor.”

Expect the Sonic B-Spec competition kit to hit the sales market in the first quarter of 2013 through Chevrolet Performance retailers.

view all
Read more
2012 Chevrolet Sonic Z-Spec 1 Concept

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Z-Spec 1 Concept

If the Z-Spec 2.5 Concept is a little too much, then you’ll be happy to know that Chevrolet has another Sonic-based concept prepared for the 2012 SEMA Auto Show: the Sonic Z-Spec 1 Concept. This latest concept combines the Z-Spec’s exterior look with a more capable driving experience.

The Z-Spec 1 Concept is painted in a custom Synergy Green color combined with an Ashen Grey Sonic RS rear spoiler and Z-Spec stripe, as well as logos and Piano Black mesh-style upper and lower grilles with Ashen Grey surrounds. The final piece of the exterior is a new set of 18" wheels in a split-spoke design with Synergy Green inserts.

To improve the driving experience, Chevrolet has lowered the ride height with a Chevrolet Performance concept suspension kit, including lowering sprints, performance dampers, and a new concept brake kit featuring four-piston front disc brake calipers with 16-inch rotors. A new Borla exhaust system enhances the sound of the engine.

For the interior, Chevrolet combined Jet Black and Titanium with Chevrolet Accessories stainless steel pedal covers and sill plates. The concept also received some cool technologies like a MyLink color touch screen and Sub and Amp Kit, with a KICKER 200-watt DSP amp and a 200-watt powered subwoofer.

view all
Read more
2012 Chevrolet Sonic Z-Spec 2.5 Concept

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Z-Spec 2.5 Concept

Let’s be fair, when someone buys a Chevrolet Sonic, they do it because they want a small car for their family, not because they want to update its looks at some point with some crazy tuning packages. That being said, the Sonic will still be well-represented at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, allowing Chevrolet to prove to all of us that even a small car like the Sonic has an infinite number of personalizing possibilities.

One of these possibilities is the Z-Spec 2.5 Concept, which displays a number of parts from Chevrolet Performance and GM Accessories. The concept is painted in a very cool Abalone White Tricoat exterior paint combined with Z-Spec graphics and a very cool set of 18" wheels in Galvano Silver with Signal Red edges. The same Galvano Silver paint was used for the grille surround, fog lamp bezels, and door trims. The exterior updates continue with a very cool aerodynamic package, lower fascia extensions, and a rear spoiler. The company’s attention to detail is prevalent in the tinted windows and fog lamps, which combined with the other exterior add-ons, make the little Sonic almost unrecognizable.

The concept’s interior combines a Jet Black leather trim with Orange Crust leather inserts and orange accent stitching. There is also a leather-wrapped steering wheel, stainless steel pedal covers, and a very cool MyLink color touch screen. Chevrolet also threw in a Sub and Amp Kit with a KICKER 200-watt DSP amp and a 200-watt powered subwoofer for good measure.

To make the Sonic look mean with its small stature, the company lowered its ride using aChevrolet Performance concept suspension kit with lowering sprints and performance dampers. We’re not sure if the concept is now more powerful than the standard model, but we do know it has also received a cold-air intake kit and a Borla exhaust system.

view all
Read more