The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic is an entry-level that puts the emphasis on basic when it comes to basic transportation. The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic is spacious for its small-car class, and it’s available as either a sedan or a hatchback. It offers a comfortable ride and plenty of standard features, including a 4G LTE hotspot, giving passengers the ability to surf the web far outside the reach of the Wi-Fi at Starbucks. While the turbocharged engine provides adequate acceleration for the class, the rest of the Chevy Sonic’s demeanor doesn’t match up to its competitors: It’s drowned out by more compelling offerings such as the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, and Toyota Yaris.
Chevrolet has dropped the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder for 2020, and the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine is now standard. Also dead is the manual transmission; all Sonic models now come with a six-speed automatic. Two new exterior paint colors are available: Oasis Blue and Cayenne Orange Metallic.
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Interior
The interior of the 2020 Chevy Sonic is simple and straightforward. The materials in the cabin of the car feel cheap and the steering wheel is only tilt-adjustable, but the steering wheel is wrapped in leather on LT and Premier models. The hatchback option does give passengers in the back slightly more headroom, but all other dimensions are the same as the sedan. Chevy offers a 7.0-inch infotainment system as standard across the Sonic lineup. It displays a simple and intuitive interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Bluetooth connectivity, several USB ports, and a four-speaker sound system are all standard as well. LT and Premier models come with a six-speaker sound system and SiriusXM satellite radio.
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Engine
There’s only one engine available on the 2020 Sonic: a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 138 horsepower, which we have found to be perfectly adequate for relaxed, everyday driving. Although we did prefer the manual transmission in the 2019 Sonic, the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels; all-wheel drive is not available. The Sonic offers a comfortable ride but doesn’t inspire when driven hard. Most notably, the Sonic is very quiet, registering 67 decibels at 70 mph in our testing, which beats many of its key rivals and matches that of a 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 luxury sedan.
At the test track, the Sonic recorded a zero-to-60-mph time of 8.5 seconds, which may seem slow, but the 2018 Honda Fit with the manual transmission and the 2018 Kia Rio with the automatic transmission recorded similar results. For a small, lightweight vehicle, the 2020 Sonic doesn’t come up with the fuel efficiency one might expect. While the EPA estimates that the Sonic will return 34 mpg on the highway, we managed just 31 mpg in our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test; for comparison, the Rio managed 43 mpg and the Fit got 41 mpg when equipped with a manual transmission.
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Safety
Both the 2020 Sonic sedan and hatchback received five-star ratings from the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). In the testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2019 Sonic performed well. It missed out on a Top Safety Pick award because of the limited availability of driver-assistance features. Key safety features include the lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, and rear parking sensors