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)

The Cars.com Redesign Index

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It can cost up to $1 billion or more to develop a new or redesigned car, so sales success — and not just a little bit of it — matters. Determining which of those new cars hit the mark with consumers is no easy task. In the past three model years, significant redesigns averaged a 33% increase in year-over-year sales in the months after they were launched compared with their predecessors in the same period a year earlier. With numbers like that, most automakers could claim success with a redesign. But some cars rose above that lofty mark while others fell below. Which were the redesigns that car shoppers lined up for?

Cars.com crunched sales figures for 61 redesigns or introductions that replaced outgoing cars over the past four model years. We set a sales floor and grouped cars into three sales tiers — after all, a bit player can easily double its sales with a sharp redesign, but market saturation makes it harder for a popular model to do the same. We compared six months of sales after dealers ramped up inventory with the same time period from the year before. Finally, we also accounted for the growth in the overall auto market, meaning that if the whole market went up 10%, we assume that tide would have carried these redesigns as well.

By Kelsey Mays | November 14, 2012 | Comments (5)

Dusk Falls on the Chevy Sonic

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There's apparently a darker side to Chevrolet's Sonic subcompact car, and Chevy has given it a name: the Sonic Dusk. The more aggressive-looking Sonic was first seen in concept form at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, and the production Dusk will make it to dealer showrooms in 2014.

The Dusk package includes ground effects, a rear spoiler and 18-inch aluminum wheels in a Pearl Nickel finish. Also added to the Ashen Grey-colored Sonic are several matte exterior-trim pieces, including the upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts and rear license plate trim.

By Jennifer Geiger | October 25, 2012 | Comments (5)

Recall Alert: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic

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GM is recalling 4,716 model-year 2013 versions of the Chevrolet Sonic compact car due to problems with the turn-signal lamp, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from May 29 through Aug. 29, 2012 (check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb). If the turn-signal lamp fails to function, the body control module will not warn the driver of the malfunction. This could lead to a crash.

GM will notify owners starting Oct. 3, and dealers will replace the affected parts free of charge. Owners can call Chevrolet at 866-694-6546 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | September 21, 2012 | Comments (10)

Recall Alert: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic

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GM is recalling 44,668 model-year 2012 versions of the Chevrolet Sonic compact car because of a faulty windshield-wiper washer hose, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from May 5, 2011, through Feb. 24, 2012 (check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb), and they have a windshield-wiper washer hose that could separate from the fluid reservoir. This could lead to a lack of fluid, possibly impairing the driver's view.

GM will notify owners starting Sept. 7, and dealers will replace the affected parts for free. Owners can call Chevrolet at 866-694-6546 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | August 27, 2012 | Comments (0)

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Priced at $20,995

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS

When the slightly sporty Chevrolet Sonic RS goes on sale early this fall, it will do so with a starting price of $20,995, including destination, and $22,280 for a Sonic RS equipped with an automatic transmission. It is offered as a four-door hatchback only.

Pricing is in line with other sporty-minded subcompacts. The 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth starts at $22,700, and the 2013 Honda Fit Sport with a navigation system costs $20,480.

By Colin Bird | August 22, 2012 | Comments (0)

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