2020 Chevrolet Sonic

2020 MODEL
$20,295 - $22,395
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6.0

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2020 Chevrolet Sonic Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: May 12, 2020
Tijo Tenson's image

Tijo Tenson

Content Writer

Chevrolet has decided to cling to the hatchback segment and refresh Sonic for 2020. This is at a time when most automakers are cutting short and vouching on crossovers. The automaker is doing a pretty good job of keeping the segment alive. But the question is, For how long?

See detailed review »

Pros

Best in class interior space

Feature Rich Infotainment System

Best bunch of safety features for the price.

Sturdy Build Quality

Cons

Cheap Interior fit and finish

Drinks more than its competition

What's New?

Two new Vibrant Exterior Colors

Bye-bye 6-speed manual


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$20295

bodystyle

4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

83 cu.in.

horsepower

138 hp @ 4900 rpm

torque

148 lbs.-ft. @ 1850 rpm

transmission

6 speed automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Semi-independent rear torsion beam suspension

dimensions

wheelbase

99.4 in.

length

159.8 in.

width

68.3 in.

height

59.7 in.

curb weight

2896 lbs.

capacity

passenger volume

90.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

47.7 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.1 sec.

zero to 100 mph

19.1 sec.

rolling start (5-60 mph)

7.7 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.5 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

190 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

26/29/34 mpg

ev range

317.2 mi.

highway range

414.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr. / 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

5 yr./ 60000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Review video

Styles

2020 Chevrolet Sonic in Kinetic Blue Metallic color 2020 Chevrolet Sonic in Mosaic Black Metallic color 2020 Chevrolet Sonic in Nightfall Gray Metallic color 2020 Chevrolet Sonic in Red Hot color 2020 Chevrolet Sonic in Silver Ice Metallic color
Kinetic Blue Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

5.0

Engine And Performance

7.3

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

7.7

Exterior

5.0

Safety

5.0

6.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Chevrolet Sonic LT

LT

power
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
30 combined

$20,295


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LT 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $20,295 MSRP (27/30/35) 138 hp @ 4900 rpm, 1.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Premier

Premier

power
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
30 combined

$22,395


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premier 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $22,395 MSRP (27/30/35) 138 hp @ 4900 rpm, 1.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

6.0

Overall Rating


There are a lot of players in this segment which uplift the “value for money” proposition. The Sonic manages to outclass the small hatchback segment and sneak its way into the hatchback class with its power to price ratio. It even locks horns with the Hyundai Veloster which comes in at the higher end of the spectrum.

The Sonic is available in two variants powered by a turbocharged 1.4L pot chunking out a generous 138 horses. The last major update was in 2017 after which it has more or less remained unchanged.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Front View
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Rear View

5.0/10
Features

 

7.3/10
Engine and Performance

 

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.7/10
Interior

 

5.0/10
Exterior

 

5.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Features

5.0/10

The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback is offered in two exclusive trims which differ in features and aesthetics only. It has the same power plant, a 1.4L turbo pot which chunks out a humble 138 horses and 148 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet has discontinued the noisy 6-speed manual transmission. It now has a much smoother 6-Speed Shiftable automatic powertrain. The LT trim is priced at $20295 and the Premier is dearer by $2100.

Trims

LT

Premier

MSRP (FWD)

$20,295

$22,395

Key Features

Automatic on/off Headlamps

All the features in LT includes or replaces:

 

Body Color Heated Power Outside Mirrors

Keyless Start

 

LED Daytime Running Lamps

17-inch Wheels

  StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System

6-Way power driver and passenger seats

 

16-inch Wheels

Compass Display

 

Rear Vision Camera

Heated Driver and front passenger seats

 

Tire Pressure Monitoring System(TPMS)

Leatherette Seat trims

 

Panic Brake Assist

 

Chevrolet also provides a set of optional packages focused on performance and driver-oriented features. The performance package helps the engine help breathe freely and lower the ride by a good 10mm, improving handling and performance. The Convenience and Driver confidence packages are focused on creature comfort and safety.

Package

Performance Package

Convenience Package

Driver Confidence Package

MSRP

$1580

$650

$495

Features

Performance Exhaust

2 Spare Keys

Lane Departure Warning

 

RS Lowering Suspension Kit

6-way Power Driver and Front Passenger Seats

Forward Collision Alert

   

Compass Display

RearPark Assist

   

Keyless Open and Start

 
   

Heated Driver and Passenger Seats

 
   

Enhanced Driver Information System

 

Which trim should you go for?

We recommend the well-stuffed LT trim. It is rare to have a feature-laden trim in this segment of cars. But Chevrolet has been generous to fill it with all the necessary comfort and safety features. It would be valued to add the Convenience and Driver Confidence Packages to this trim which added a host of well to do features. This keeps the overall price lower than the Premier trim but at par with it on features. This car is not designed to be pushed to its limits, so the performance package makes no sense.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Engine and Performance

7.3/10

As both the trims offer the same powertrains, the power figures remain unchanged throughout the spectrum. The performance can at best be defined as decent. The turbocharged 1.4L setup helps it keep it in the game.

The Chevrolet Sonic is powered by a 1.4L turbocharged inline four-cylinder which is small in size but high on power. The power is transmitted to the wheels via a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission which helps it move without any hiccups.

The Chevrolet Sonic is powered by a 1.4L turbocharged inline four-cylinder which is small in size but high on power

Chevy has been vigilant and has done a great job in swapping out the snappy manual transmission with the automatic unit.

Models

Chevrolet Sonic LT

Kia Rio S*

Toyota Corolla SE*

Hyundai Veloster 2.0*

MSRP

$20,295

$16,490

$20,140

$19,430

Engine

1.4L Turbo Inline-4

1.6L Regular Inline-4

2.0L Regular Inline-4

2.0L Regular Inline-4

Drivetrain FWD FWD FWD FWD

Transmission

6-Speed Shiftable Automatic

6-Speed Shiftable Automatic

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

Power

138hp@4,900rpm

130hp@6,300rpm

168hp@6,600rpm

147hp@6,200rpm

Torque

148lb-ft@1,850rpm

119lb-ft@4,850rpm

155lb-ft@4,800rpm

132lb-ft@4,500rpm

*2019 figures used for reference purpose

Sonic has the smallest engine of the lot but that doesn’t make it at the end of the powerband. It produces more power and torque than the 1.6L powered Kia Rio. But it isn’t enough to catch up to the Toyota Corolla and the Hyundai Veloster which produces way more. It is mostly due to the bigger engines. Hyundai has done a phenomenal job at pricing it very aggressively.

How quick is it off the line?

This is where the automatic transmission of the Chevy does wonders. In spite of being handicapped on power, the precise timings on the gear shifts help it propel to 60 mph in an impressive 8.2 seconds.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback 60 mph in an impressive 8.2 seconds.

It crosses the quarter-mile mark in 16.4 seconds.

Models

Chevrolet Sonic LT

Kia Rio S*

Toyota Corolla SE*

Hyundai Veloster 2.0*

0-60 MPH

8.2 sec

8.3 sec

7.5 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

16.5 sec

16.0 sec

16.5 sec

Top Speed 108 MPH 110 MPH(est) 112 MPH(est) N/A

Engine

1.4L Turbo Inline-4

1.6L Regular Inline-4

2.0L Regular Inline-4

2.0L Regular Inline-4

Toyota Corolla is the quickest to 60 with 7.5 seconds. The extra power helps in shaving time. In spite of being the lightest car of the lot, The Hyundai Veloster disappoints us with a 0-60 time of 8.6 seconds. This proves that being quick depends on a lot more than just power.

How's the driving dynamics of Chevrolet Sonic?

A small footprint and a suspension tuned for comfort makes the Sonic a balanced ride. It is nimble with ample feedback from the steering. The linear and progressive automatic gearbox makes the ride smooth and comfortable. The soft suspension setup doesn't sacrifice on the driving dynamics. The performance pack is available for a more aggressive and dedicated driving experience.

Is the Chevrolet Sonic stern with the braking?

The Sonic is equipped with a disc setup at the front and drums at the rear. Most of the cars in this segment have this setup to cut on cost and make the cars more affordable.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Front Brake 10.8 in.

This doesn’t compromise on the stopping power as the power figures favor it. 

Model

Chevrolet Sonic LT

 Kia Rio S*

 Toyota Corolla SE*

 Hyundai Veloster 2.0*

Brake Rotors Front

10.8"

11"

11.5"

11"

Brake Rotors Rear

9.0"

8"

10.5"

10.3"

Curb Weight

2896 lbs

2714 lbs

3060 lbs

2701 lbs

60-0 MPH

124 ft

115 ft

120 ft

119 ft

All of the small hatches in this category have similar specced brake setup and so braking performance is more or less the same. But the Chevy manages to stop faster due to its less curb weight.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Fuel Economy

6.0/10

Chevrolet Sonic gives a combined 29 miles to a gallon which is satisfactory. The turbocharged engine makes the Sonic a bit thirstier than its competitors. It gives 26 miles to the gallon in the city and 34 miles on highways.

Model

Chevrolet Sonic LT

 Kia Rio S*

 Toyota Corolla SE*

 Hyundai Veloster 2.0*

MPG (City)

26

28

28

25

MPG (Highway)

34

37

36

33

MPG (Combined)

29

32

31

28

Fuel Capacity 12.2 gallons 11.9 gallons 13.2 gallons 13.2 gallons
Range (City/Hwy/Combined) 317/415/353 miles 333/440/380 miles 370/488/409 miles 356/449/369 miles

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/yr)

6.1

5.5

5.7

6.3

Kia Rio is the fuel-efficient of the lot with a combined 32 miles to the gallon. It is closely followed by the Toyota Corolla at 31 MPG. Hyundai Veloster comes at the bottom with 28 miles to the gallon.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Interior

7.7/10

The interior of Sonic is high on features and storage space. It is decently trimmed with textured elements and a comfortable cabin. It has bottle holders on the front doors and also a hidden storage compartment beneath the floor.

The cabin is surprisingly quiet in the Sonic. It is comfortable for the price range. The rear seats are placed comfortably but have restricted legroom for large adults. The comfort is subpar but it copes up for it in utilities and storage space in the cabin.

The cabin is surprisingly quiet in the Sonic. It is comfortable for the price range

The ride is less jerky now due to the deletion of the manual gearbox.

Model

Chevrolet Sonic LT

Kia Rio S*

Toyota Corolla SE*

Hyundai Veloster 2.0*

Seating Capacity

5 5 5 4

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.7/53.4/41.8

38.9/54.1/42.1

38.4/53.9/42.0

38.1/56.0/42.6

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.1/53.0/34.6

38.0/53.3/33.5

37.6/54.5/29.9

35.9/54.3/34.1

The Chevy has decent cabin space when compared to its competitors. It provides better legroom than the rest in spite of having the least wheelbase. The space management is impressive. Rear row space is not a strong point of any of these cars but they still manage to have a decent distribution with The Sonic having the most room.

What are the infotainment features?

2020 Chevrolet Sonic has been updated with a 7-inch infotainment system with a 6 speaker setup as standard. It comes with Android Auto and Apple Carplay as standard. Bluetooth connectivity is an added boon.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic has been updated with a 7-inch infotainment system with a 6 speaker setup as standard

The Convenience Package adds a Driver Information System which shows all the important safety and vehicular features on the infotainment screen.

How good is the Cargo carrying capacity?

The Sonic continues to surprise us with its space management. With 19 cubic feet of cargo space, it has one of the best volumes in the segment.

The 2020 Sonic continues to surprise us with its space management.

This is achieved without sacrificing the cabin space.

Models

Chevrolet Sonic LT

Kia Rio S*

Toyota Corolla SE*

Hyundai Veloster 2.0*

Cargo Capacity

19 cu.ft.

17.4 cu.ft.

17.8 cu.ft.

19.9 cu.ft.

The larger Hyundai Veloster cuts the Sonic in cargo space by a marginal 0.9 cubic feet. The Toyota and Kia come in at last with 17.4 and 17.8 cubic feet of storage space.

What are the creature comforts on offer?

  • 2-Way Manual Front Passenger Seat
  • 12-volt auxiliary front power outlet
  • 6-speaker Audio System
  • 60/40 Split-folding Rear Bench Seats
  • 4G LTE WiFi Capable
  • Air Conditioning with Filtration System
  • 7-inch diagonal touch Infotainment System
  • Rear Cargo Area Shade
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Interior

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Exterior

5.0/10

The design of Sonic is subtle and functional. The latest update was done two years ago after which there have not been many developments. The 2020 iteration gets two new eye-popping colors-Oasis Blue and Cayenne Metallic Orange to keep it fresh. The design evolution has been graceful over the years. The split section front grill is now sleek and RS pack is standard on both trims. It makes the humble hatch look fast! 
Design and dimension

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Front View

The design is simple with few lines complementing it. The front is dominated by the split grille and the RS logo on it. It has a small footprint which makes maneuvering in tight spots a breeze. The rear end looks a bit weird with the detached tail light arrangement.

The Sonic manages to have better space management in spite of having the smallest dimensions.

Model

Chevrolet Sonic LT

Kia Rio S*

Toyota Corolla SE*

Hyundai Veloster 2.0*

Curb Weight

2896 lbs

2714 lbs

3060 lbs

2701 lbs

Length

159.8"

160.0"

169.9"

166.9"

Width

68.3"

67.9"

69.9"

70.9"

Height

59.7"

57.1"

57.1"

55.1"

Ground Clearance

N/A

5.5"

5.1"

5.6"

Wheelbase

99.4"

101.6"

103.9"

104.3"

The Chevy weighs in at 2896 pounds and has the smallest footprint of the lot. Toyota Corolla is the longest of the lot. Kia Rio and Hyundai Veloster go hand in hand with a curb weight of 2714 and 2701 pounds respectively.

What are the Exterior highlights?

The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic comes with a lot of features on the outside. Some of the most notable highlights include the following set of features

  • Roof Rack Cross Rails
  • 17-inch Painted Wheels
  • Power Glass Sunroof
  • Chrome Beltline Mouldings
  • Fog Lamps
  • Integrated Rear Spoiler
  • LED DRLs
  • Rocker Mouldings
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Exterior

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Safety

5.0/10

Chevrolet has given safety importance and filled the Sonic with life-saving features from the base. With electronic wizardry taking care of stability and braking in times of emergency, it is a foolproof ride. With a host of optional features like Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert, it puts the cars of higher segment to shame.

What are the standard safety features on offer?

  • 10 Airbags
  • Panic Brake Assist
  • Electronic Brake Force Distribution
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System(TPMS)
  • LED Daytime Running Lamps

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Competition

Chevrolet Sonic vs Kia Rio

The Kia is a fun to drive car which has a peppy engine and loaded with features. It costs less compared to the Chevy but that also makes it less powerful. Apart from the power, it is much more superior than the Chevy in terms of feature list and reliability. It has better fit and finish than the pricier Sonic. If bang for the buck is your priority then the Kia should be first on your list.

Chevrolet Sonic vs Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is cheaper and much more powerful than the Chevy. Being a Toyota reliability is not a reason to fathom at all. It rides beautifully and has more interior space as well. We see no reason whatsoever to deviate from it and choose the Sonic over it.

Chevrolet Sonic vs. Hyundai Veloster

The Hyundai Veloster is like a black sheep in this list. It is a three-door hatchback while all others are four doors. It comes in at the top end of the spectrum as well. It has a bigger engine, produces more power and is high on features as well. But it strays off as the Sonic is much more nimble and quick. In Spite of weighing less, it couldn't use it to its advantage. But apart from that, the Veloster is a very well built and loaded car. The interior fit and finish put it in a whole different league. As performance is not the deciding factor in this segment, The Veloster doesn’t leave any coins unturned to not be our choice.

2020 Kia Rio S
2020 Toyota Corolla SE
2020 Hyundai Veloster 2.0

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Final Verdict

The Chevrolet Sonic is a decent car with a well-balanced body. It has all the latest safety features as standard and even comes with Android Auto and Apple Carplay as standard. But there are much better offerings in the market like the Hyundai Veloster and Kia Rio which along with all the features provides a very well built interior.

The Chevy does light up the segment with a turbocharged engine and a fun to drive setup. The new Automatic transmission makes it a quick car as well, putting the more powerful ones to shame. With an optional suspension setup and a performance exhaust system, it can even bring in performance at a budget. 

The Chevy has overcome its shortcomings which kept it in the shadows. It is a peppy city rider with space to enjoy. If you want the most for your money then The Chevrolet Sonic is a great choice.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Overall Reviews


Eddie L. Redington

Eddie L. Redington 2020 Chevrolet Sonic Premier 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

9

User Overall Rating

Posted On: June 8, 2020

Sonic's performance

Overall Review -

9

Overview Rating

Sonic 2020 has the best handling and packages.

8/10

Features

9/10

Interior

9/10

Design

10/10

Safety

9/10

Reliability

9/10

Deal Value

10/10

Dealer Review

Top User Reviews


9

User Overall Rating

"Sonic's performance"

With the balanced power to weight ratio and performance exhaust, this is my little sports car now. The best feature about Sonic is it's smooth and responsive handling because of RS lowering suspension kit which reduced it's gross height by 10mm. The CG acts considerably lower than usual helping tremendously with those high speed curves. Amazing car at its price. The only thing Chevy missed is to p...
by Eddie L. Redington