Among subcompacts, the Sonic feels almost grown-up. It's reasonably quiet and has a relatively comfortable ride compared to its peers in this spartan class. Handling is responsive and secure, and braking performance is excellent, but the car is far from being fun to drive.
We tested a sedan with the base 1.8-liter engine and automatic, and a 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. And both 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.