Affordable Cars: 2018 Chevrolet Sonic

2018 Sonic Hatchback

If you are in search of an affordable new car, look no further than the 2018 Chevrolet Sonic. As a compact auto, this vehicle is incredibly affordable, with many configurations available for under $20,000. You could even get a fully loaded new car for less than the cost of a larger entry-level vehicle. Even so, the Sonic makes a big impression with its efficiency, personalization, and technology.


For the price point of the Sonic, you cannot expect to be wowed. Yet this compact car does all it can to appeal to the masses. Last year’s refresh brings its styling closer in line with other recent Chevrolets. It offers a redesigned hood, LED daytime running lights, two-part grille, projector-beam headlights, and available fog lights. There are also new wheel designs and exterior colors. The interior styling was also updated last year, giving the Sonic an advantage over some competitors. The infotainment system sits right in the center and receives high reviews.

Efficiency Over Performance

As is common in the segment, the Chevy Sonic prioritizes efficiency instead of performance in the car or hatchback. In fact, the powertrains have remained almost the same since the model first appeared in 2012. You can stick to the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with 138 horsepower or go with the 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. It also has 138 horsepower but boosts the torque from the base’s 125 pound-feet to 148 pound-feet. Overall, this turbocharged engine is faster and more efficient. You can enjoy a 6-speed automatic with either engine. However, the base offers a 5-speed manual and the turbo offers a 6-speed manual.

To make up for the lackluster power, the 2018 Sonic delivers an impressive fuel economy. For the best gas mileage, opt for the turbocharged engine with the 6-speed manual. This configuration delivers 28 city/37 highway/32 combined mpg. The next-best option is the same engine with the automatic, getting 27/35/30 mpg. The base engine gets 26/35/29 mpg with the manual or 25/34/28 with the automatic.


The 2018 Chevy Sonic is reasonably versatile thanks to its choice of either a sedan or hatchback body style. The sedan has 14.9 cubic feet in the trunk. However, the hatchback has 19 cubes with all seats occupied, which increases when you fold the rear seats down. There is also convenient hidden storage underneath the cargo deck, perfect for a tablet or laptop in its protective bag.


Every single 2018 Chevrolet Sonic comes with the features you truly need, including Bluetooth, audio controls for the steering wheel, keyless entry, OnStar, and air conditioning. Just keep in mind that the mirrors adjust manually and the windows are windup on the base trim. Upgrading can give you deluxe cloth seat trim, cruise control, power mirrors and windows, six speakers, and access to options. The top trim level delivers power-adjustable and heated front seats, leather on the steering wheel, fog lights, and enhanced digital instruments. It also gives you access to options like a 7-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, and a sunroof.

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