The Chevrolet Sonic is a subcompact sedan that comes unchanged for the 2021 model year and boasts a fairly quiet cabin and comfortable ride. While its EPA fuel economy of 29 mpg combined on the 1.4-liter turbo engine is nothing to brag about, this sedan has a large trunk, but the hatchback version provides more space. Most amenities such as push-button start and keyless entry are optional but bring undeniable convenience. However, this basic automobile needs a little more spending to become a really useful and enjoyable subcompact sedan.
The base 2021 Chevrolet Sonic values the principle of basic commuting. The familiar 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine of the Sonic is stock this year, with 138 horsepower on hand. Automatic transmission with front-wheel-drive comes standard for all trims and body types—manual transmission and all-wheel-drive powertrain aren’t available for the 2021 Chevy Sonic. This subcompact provides a comfy ride and sufficient features within reach of ordinary drivers such as Wi-Fi. The 2021 Chevy Sonic is met with tough competition from the compact sedans such as Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris, even with the narrow subcompact market.
How much is the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic?
The 2021 Chevy Sonic lineup starts at $17,595 for LS and it goes up to $21,595 for the top-tier Premier. The prices do not include Chevrolet’s destination charge amounting of $875, plus tax, and other expenses. Chevrolet released only a single drivetrain option with the whole Sonic lineup which is the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder,six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive. The higher the tier, the more standard features you can get. Premier model is the best equipped and well-configured one in the line up.
Engine under the hood of the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic
Chevrolet gave all 2021 Sonic models the same turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine under their hoods. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine of the Sonic produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque directed to the front-wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Neither an all-wheel-drive nor manual transmission is available with the 2021 Chevy Sonic. While this subcompact Chevy is packed with sufficient power for your day-today driving needs, keeping up the pace on the highway may feel less inspiring.
Most of Sonic’s rivals have lower prices and lesser power under their hoods. The automatic transmission of the Chevy Sonic shifts quickly and is smooth. Sonic offers more than enough power to take you around town or anywhere you needed to go. On the other hand, its rivals, such as the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio use a CVT transmission for utilizing maximum efficiency.
How fast is the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic?
The Chevy Sonic is a subcompact sedan that is meant for daily commuting and not for the tracks. For this purpose, its 138 horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine pulls this subcompact sedan from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. The six-speed automatic pairs perfectly with the engine of Sonic to fully utilize the available power.
Despite being a 2,800 pound sedan, the 2021 Sonic still outshines Toyota Yaris and Kia Rio in straight-line acceleration. However, the less potent Hyundai Accents can get you from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 second and are 1 second faster than the Chevy Sonic. It is 1 second faster mainly because it is 300 pounds lighter than the Chevy counterpart.
How does the 2021 Sonic handle?
Unlike its competitors in the same class, the Chevy sonic provides fun-to-drive and sporty dynamics. This Chevy does not compromise efficiency while being agile. The steering of the 2021 Sonic is responsive and sharp, enabling the car to display excellent handling for its class. In addition, the car remains stable and planted even at high speeds. The body roll is very well contained while the basic tires of the Sonic grips the pavement firmly for a planted ride even around the corners. Though the quickness comes at the cost of the ride quality.
Chevy issues the 2021 Sonic with agile suspensions which offer a smooth ride but dynamic driving opting for the sport-tuned suspension takes away the quality. The sport suspension gives more nimbleness around the corners or high-speed maneuvers, however, it takes away the comfort of the ride. Driving the 2021 Sonic is more fun than most of its rivals including the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio.
How is the gas mileage of the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic?
The small 1.4-liter engine of the 202 Sonic with an automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive powertrain got below-average EPA estimated fuel economy for the class. The Sonic sedan gets 26/34/29 mpg on the EPA drive cycles. Of all the cars under review, the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio got 36 mpg combined, outclassing the Sonic by almost 7 mpg.
Chevrolet installed a 12.2 gallons gas tank with the Sonic sedan which produces a powerful range of 300 miles in the city and more than 40 miles on the highway at full capacity. The Hyundai Accent displays an exceptional performance by being the most efficient as well as the quickest compact sedan.
How is the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic’s interior?
The 2021 Chevy Sonic’s interior provides ample space to seat four people comfortably. The interior design of Sonic features minimalism and simplicity. The seats are sufficiently cushioned and wear cloth upholstery in the LS and LT trims. While the standard materials in the cabin feel low-cost, the Premier model provides leather-covered seats and steering wheel. The standard seats in the entry level trims offer reasonable adjustability and the steering column is tilt-only, which is an appropriate feature for a commuter sedan. The outward visibility is admirable as the Sonic sedan provides large front and rear windows.
Getting in or out is easy thanks to its decent height and wide-opening doors. For premium quality, the interior of Sonic can be upgraded to a power-adjustable driver’s seat, synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.
The key interior feature in the 2021 Chevy Sonic include Steering-wheel mounted controls, cruise control, air conditioning, a six-speaker sound system, -six-way power-adjustable front seats, heated front row seats, a 12-volt auxiliary front power outlet, and a manual tilt steering column.
How’s the entertainment system of the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic?
The 2021 Chevy Sonic comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display in the center console for your entertainment needs. Chevy’s infotainment 3 system is easy-to-use and responsive. The touchscreen is tethered to a four-speaker audio system in the LS and a six-speaker audio system in the LT and Premier. On the other hand, all Sonic sedans are equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration for using custom applications. GM’s OnStar software which includes Wi-Fi hotspot and 4G LTE data connection capability. The fundamental infotainment features in the 2021 Chevy sonic include Android auto, Apple CarPlay, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, SiriusXM, navigation, and an outside temperature display.
Is the 2021 Chevy Sonic a practical car?
Chevrolet has given the 2021 Sonic a 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space, which is pretty good for a subcompact sedan. it is big enough to fit a number of shopping bags as well as a couple of small suitcases. The 2021 Sonic offers versatility and flexibility by providing 60/40 split-folding rear seats in the Sonic sedan. The trunk floor is flat, the only drawback is the high lift-over height.
In terms of small-item storage within the cabin, the Sonic packs a lot of space and nooks all over the cabin. The front door boasts large side pockets with bottle holder slots. The center console cubby is somewhat small. There’s a dual cup holder between the front seats, and a single cup holder nearer the rear cabin. The front seat back map pockets are available as well.
How’s the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic’s exterior?
The Sonic’s exterior remains unchanged for 2021. The front end's look was derived from the Camaro, which is notably highlighted by the front grille. The old-fashioned exterior design of the Chevy Sonic is awaiting a modern appeal with sharp edges and accents. While the subcompact sedan features automatic headlights and LED daytime running lights, its monotonous look is hardly benefitted. The Sonic entry model has 15-inch steel wheels with bolt-on covers which can be upgraded to aluminum wheels on the Sonic LT. Chevy has 17-inch painted aluminum wheels exclusive for the top-tier Sonic Premier.
In terms of dimensions, the Sonic sedan and hatchback don’t really have much difference, measuring only 173.9 inches in length. They both have the same height of 59.7 inches and in width at 68.3 inches, and they share a wheelbase of 99.4 inches. The key exterior features on the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic include LED headlights, tinted glass, body-colored exterior mirrors, LED tail lights, 17” alloy wheels, and intermittent wiper-washer.
How’s the 2021 Chevrolet Sonic’s safety ratings?
Like what we have mentioned earlier, the 2021 Sonic was derived from the outgoing model and there weren't any changes made, so it basically has the same features the outgoing model has—sufficient active and passive safety features. For reference, the 2020 Sonic sedan earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has evaluated the Sonic sedan and gave it the highest “Good” rating for its crash tests. Overall, the 2021 Sonic is a safe car.
All trims of the Sonic come standard with 10 airbags, a rearview camera, a tire pressure monitoring system, hill start assist, and electric stability and traction control. There are available features exclusive for the LT and Premier trims only, such as, forward collision alert, a rear park assist system, and lane departure warning.
Among the three trims of the Sonic, the entry level LS and LT are inadequately equipped to suffice your daily needs. However, the Premier would cost around $22,000 which is way illogical since most rivals in the same class have undergone a number of revamps and updates to be future-proof. In addition, the Yaris or Accent offers plenty of standard comfort and safety features across the lineup at a much affordable price. Therefore, if you are not particular with a more modern look and having more standard features, then go with the 2021 Chevy Sonic.
Other alternative options to 2021 Chevy Sonic
The Toyota Yaris is a good subcompact car. It comes in sedan and hatchback body styles. It features a decent seating space, stylish cabin, and plenty of standard features, including forward collision warning, a 7-inch touch screen, and Apple CarPlay. The Yaris is fun to drive thanks to its quick steering and solid suspension. It also rates well in terms of predicted reliability.
The Yaris offers you almost everything you could ask for in a small car, but quick acceleration. The four-cylinder engine of the Yaris sacrifices the rate of acceleration for great fuel economy. For buyers who are value seekers, that is a great deal.
The Kia Rio is a good compact car. It boasts a solid amount of space for passengers and a handsome cabin in both hatchback and sedan body styles. For 2020, it received a new standard infotainment system equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Rio features good fuel economy and an agile handling, however, some shoppers may find the ride quite firm.
You might want to consider purchasing the Rio if you want a well-rounded small car with a comfortable cabin, a fairly sporty drive, and an outstanding predicted reliability rating.
The Hyundai Accent is a good subcompact car. It features roomy seats and a nice assortment of available features, and its cabin looks handsome considering the price point. The Accent offers a pleasant ride in smooth pavement, and it gets good fuel efficiency with the available automatic transmission.
In terms of drawbacks, the Accent does not handle well compared to some of its rivals, and its engine produces underwhelming acceleration. In addition, the seats could use more support, and some rivals in the same class offer more cargo space.