2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS: Test Car Gallery

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When Cars.com reviewer David Thomas tested the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic's sporty version, the RS, he found little reason to pay the extra money when the LTZ hatchback version was just as powerful, and the additional "sportiness" marginal at best. Still, he said the RS is a fun, zippy compact with excellent fuel economy.

The Sonic that Thomas drove was Victory Red with a Jet Black interior and came with all RS-standard equipment at a cost of $20,995, including an $810 destination charge. The engine was a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual transmission, good for 138 horsepower and EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27/34 mpg city/highway. The Sonic earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 2013 Top Safety Pick award, but fell short in the new small overlap front test, earning a "marginal" rating.

By Matt Schmitz | August 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

IIHS Tests 12 Compact Cars: Six Pass, Six Fail

A half-dozen compact cars have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ honor, the nonprofit vehicle-safety advocacy group announced today. Of the 12 models evaluated, top awardees included the two- and four-door versions of the 2013 Honda Civic, 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 Ford Focus, 2013 Hyundai Elantra and 2014 Scion tC. All of these received Good or Acceptable ratings overall in five different crash tests.

Six other cars — the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic, 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, 2013 Volkswagen Beetle, 2013 Nissan Sentra, 2013 Kia Soul and 2014 Kia Forte — earned Marginal or Poor ratings. "In some cases dummies' heads struck hard structures like the windshield pillar and instrument panel," IIHS media relations associate Kristin Nevels said in a statement.

By Matt Schmitz | August 8, 2013 | Comments (8)

2014 Chevrolet Sonic: What's Changed

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  • Most significant changes: Backup camera now standard on LTZ and RS; new optional safety package with forward collision alert and lane departure warning
  • Price change: The starting price dropped by $15 to $14,170, but the destination charge increased by $15 to $825, so it's a wash.
  • On sale: September
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? The 2014. With no net price change and the addition of new safety equipment, going with the new model seems like a no-brainer.

Changes to the popular Chevrolet Sonic for the 2014 model year are few but welcome. The subcompact adds new safety equipment, available tech features, a new trim package and expanded color options. Meanwhile, the price has technically been reduced by $15 — though an equivalent hike in the destination charge brings the starting price back up to $14,995, same as 2013.

By Matt Schmitz | August 8, 2013 | Comments (4)

Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS

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Cars.com reviewer Dave Thomas says Chevrolet's compact Sonic is a well-balanced and affordable car, but the sport-oriented RS version doesn't fit that description. Shoppers expecting more power and added driving excitement from the RS will end up paying more without really seeing a big return on the investment.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Review

By Jennifer Geiger | August 2, 2013 | Comments (3)

Would You Buy a Pink Car?

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Unless your neighbors sell a lot of Mary Kay cosmetics, pink cars are pretty scarce, but it seems like Chevy is on a mission to make pink the new black. The bow-tie brand is releasing its second pink car, the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic, in Deep Magenta Metallic.

It's the first in a series of limited-edition colors and boldly more Malibu-Barbie- esque than Chevy's last bubble-gum-inspired offering, the Spark in Techno Pink.

"We know that about one-third of our Sonic buyers note exterior color as an 'extremely important' factor in their purchase process — a higher percentage than other small car buyers," Michelle Killen, lead creative designer in General Motors' color and trim studio and exterior paint expert for Chevrolet, said in a statement.

But why pink? According to GM designers, the color is a "lasting trend," but it doesn't sound like many car shoppers agree. Chevrolet spokeswoman Annalisa Bluhm told us Techno Pink only "accounts for 10% of all Sparks sold — and they are not all to ladies, either!"

The Sonic in Deep Magenta Metallic will be available August through October. Next up will be Cool Blue from November until March followed by Dragon Green during the first quarter of 2014.

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By Jennifer Geiger | July 22, 2013 | Comments (12)

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS: Car Seat Check

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For 2013, Chevrolet added the sporty RS hatchback to the Sonic lineup. This sporty subcompact with a turbo four-cylinder engine handled child-safety seats surprisingly well. The Sonic also comes as a sedan. Although the hatch is 14.1 inches shorter than the sedan, the rear legroom is 34.6 inches for both body styles.

By Jennifer Newman | June 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

NHTSA Tests New Crop of Vehicles

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A host of 2014 vehicles have earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star rating in crash tests, perhaps most notably the redesigned-for-2014 Cadillac CTS.

Both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the CTS got an overall score of five in NHTSA's safety ratings. Both earned fives in frontal-crash tests and side-crash tests, and fours in rollover tests. Meanwhile, its compact sibling, the 2014 ATS, earned fives across the board for both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. Both the front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the 2014 XTS also earned an overall five-star score, with fives in frontal- and side-crash ratings and fours in rollover tests.

Other 2014 models joining NHTSA's five-star club earned fives in frontal- and side-crash ratings and fours in rollover tests. They included:

By Matt Schmitz | May 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

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GM is recalling 8,519 model-year 2013 versions of the Chevrolet Malibu sedan due to suspension bolt problems, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles may have one or more suspension bolts that weren't adequately tightened. This could lead to a sudden change in handling, increasing the risk of a crash. According to a GM letter to NHTSA, "Initially, noise and a minor handling effect may be noticed. As the condition progresses, sudden changes in the vehicle handling could occur and the driver may not be able to control the vehicle."

GM has already started the owner notification process, and dealers will inspect the bolts and retighten as necessary for free. Owners can call GM at 800-630-2438 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more information.

In other GM recall news, NHTSA is expanding a previous 2012 Buick Verano, 2012 Chevrolet Cruze and 2012 Chevrolet Sonic airbag recall to include the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro. Click here for the original recall or call GM for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | January 31, 2013 | Comments (2)

iPhone's Siri makes its way to the Spark and Sonic

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Drivers of Chevrolet's two youth-oriented models, the Spark and Sonic, will be able to use the iPhone's virtual assistant, Siri, through the help of the standard Chevrolet MyLink multimedia system.

Coming in 2013 to the Spark 1LT and 2LT and the Sonic LTZ and RS trims, Siri in Eyes Free mode will allow drivers to make various hands-free commands, such as making phone calls, calling up music, listening and responding to text messages, and even adding appointments to the iPhone’s calendar.

After syncing the iPhone with MyLink over Bluetooth, Siri comes to your assistance as you drive. Siri won't be able to answer complex questions like, "What's the flavor of the day at Kopp's Frozen Custard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin," but the hands-free integration allows for basic assistance without the driver having to glance at the smartphone's screen, which stays completely dark in Eyes Free mode.

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By Robby DeGraff | November 27, 2012 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2012 Buick Verano and Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic

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GM is recalling 2,949 model-year 2012 Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic vehicles because the airbags could fail, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall involves the driver-side front airbag, which contains a shorting bar that could intermittently contact the airbag terminals, NHTSA reported. If the bar and terminals are contacting each other at the time of a crash, the airbag may not deploy. This increases the risk of injury.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the steering-wheel airbag coil for free. The automaker has not yet announced an owner notification schedule, but affected owners can contact GM at 800-521-7300 or NHTSA's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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By Matt Schmitz | November 14, 2012 | Comments (1)

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