Among subcompacts, the Sonic feels almost grown-up. It's reasonably quiet and has a relatively comfortable ride. Handling is responsive and secure. Braking performance is excellent, too but this car is far from fun to drive.
We tested a sedan with the base 1.8-liter engine and automatic, as well as the hatchback version with the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed manual. Both produce the same 138 hp, but the turbo 1.4 feels more relaxed and proved quicker accelerating to 60 mph on our track. Both also need lots of downshifting to maintain speed on hills. The automatic is a little hesitant and the six-speed manual, with its long throws, feels balky.
We averaged 30 mpg overall. We preferred the six-speed automatic paired with the non-turbo base engine despite its unimpressive 28 mpg.