CHANGES FOR 2013:

– New RS model.
– Available six speaker audio.
– Available Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with 7-inch screen.
– Available remote start on LT with automatic transmission.
– Blind spot mirrors added.
– Standard rear decklid spoiler on LTZ sedan.
– Paint changes: Black Granite Matellic and Cyber Grey Metallic added.
– Revised look to OnStar buttons.

Chevy’s player in the subcompact sandbox is the stylish Sonic. The line shares its engines with bigger brother Cruze – those being a 138-hp/125 lb-ft 1.8L four and a 138-hp/148 lb-ft 1.4L turbo in the range-topping LTZ. Also like the Cruze, the Sonic is tuned to give a bigger car feel. Road and wind noise are well suppressed and it glides over imperfections with a refinement that eludes the Hyundai Accent and Honda Fit. New for 2013 is available MyLink touchscreen interface with Bluetooth audio streaming.

The four-door hatchback version of the Sonic costs more than the sedan ($1,000 LS and LT, $500 LTZ), but for this you get more utility, increased rear headroom and a cargo capacity bump from 396 L to 538 L (14/19 cu. ft.). It’s a more youthful package, too. As with the sedan, the interior seems well screwed together, featuring a motorcycle-style instrument pod with a round analogue tachometer and accompanying digital display. The new-for-2013 RS is a juiced up LTZ with sport suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, leather/suede seats and rocker sill extensions. No, it’s not a GTI, but it is about nine grand cheaper.

In LS trim, features include 1.8L ECOTEC 4-cylinder engine, 5-speed manual transmission with Hill Start Assist, airbags (front, front seat, side curtain), power locks, OnStar, LATCH, front disc/rear drum brakes, body colour door handles, automatic headlights, liftgate mounted spoiler (5-door), 15-inch steel wheels, front floor mats, driver information centre, front map lights, remote keyless entry, tilt/telescopic steering, steering wheel with Bluetooth and audio controls, sunvisors with vanity mirrors, 4-way driver/2-way passenger manually adjustable seats, cloth seating, 60/40 split folding rear seat, 4-speaker AM/FM audio with auxiliary input, and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

LT trim adds security system, chrome strip on door handles, power heated mirrors, 15-inch aluminum wheels (5-door), air conditioning, cruise control, front and rear floor mats, power windows, heated front seats, premium cloth seating, AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio, Bluetooth audio streaming, satellite radio, and USB port with additional auxiliary input jack.

LTZ trim adds knee and rear seat airbags, 1.4L turbocharged ECOTEC 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission with Hill Start Assist, fog lights, decklid spoiler (sedan), 17-inch aluminum wheels, tire pressure monitoring system, leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel, perforated leatherette seating, and 6-speakers.

RS (5-door only) adds four-wheel disc brakes, sport suspension, body colour door handles, unique 17-inch wheels, contrasting stitching on steering wheel with flat bottom, contrasting stitching on shifter, and leather seats.

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