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2013 Chevrolet Sonic Review

If you’re in the market for a high-scoring subcompact car with sporty handling, smooth transmissions, a comfortable and spacious interior, and an above-average reliability rating, you may want to consider a used 2013 Chevrolet Sonic.

Pros & Cons

  • Sharp handling
  • Ample cargo space
  • Generous back-seat legroom
  • Rivals have more upscale cabin materials

New for 2013

  • RS hatchback debuted
  • Integrated blind spot mirrors became standard
  • Six-speaker stereo became available
  • MyLink infotainment system became available




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Chevrolet Sonic Overview

Is the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic a Good Used Car?

The 2013 Chevy Sonic is a good used car. It has a roomy passenger cabin and above-average safety ratings for the subcompact car segment. The Sonic’s interior doesn’t have the best materials, but it offers a quiet ride that rivals the hushed cabins of more expensive brands.

Used 2013 Chevrolet Sonic Performance and Interior

The Sonic comes standard with a 138-horsepower four-cylinder engine. An available turbocharged four-cylinder engine has the same horsepower but more torque for better acceleration. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard with the base engine, while a six-speed manual is standard with the turbocharged engine. A six-speed automatic is available for both engines. Generally, the Sonic has a smooth ride, but it can get choppy over rough pavement. Fuel economy ratings range from 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway (with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission) to 28/38 mpg city/highway (with the turbo four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual).

Read more about Sonic performance »

The Chevy Sonic is available as both a sedan and a hatchback. It seats five in a cabin that’s quieter than class rivals’. There is room for tall adults in the second row, which is not typical for such a small car. Cloth seats are standard, while leatherette and leather seats are available in some models. Rear visibility is partially impaired by the rear pillars. The Sonic has complete sets of LATCH connectors for securing child safety seats in the rear outboard seats. A middle-seat tether anchor is standard as well.

The Sonic’s base model has few standard features, though it does come with Bluetooth. Satellite radio, a USB port, and Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system with Bluetooth audio streaming are available. The Sonic’s audio controls are well-regarded for their simplicity, though rivals have better standard interior materials. At 14.9 cubic feet, the Sonic sedan has good cargo space. In contrast, the hatchback’s 19 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 47.7 cubic feet with the seats folded is considered low for the segment.

Read more about Sonic interior »

Used 2013 Chevrolet Sonic Prices

The price of a used 2013 Chevrolet Sonic ranges from about $6,500 to $10,000. Your exact price will depend on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 74 Reviews Analyzed

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 74 professional evaluations for this 2013 Chevrolet Sonic review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic?

The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic has a reliability score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is above average for the industry. It’s also a better score than most cars in this segment earn.

See Sonic reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Sonic?

The 2013 Sonic received an overall safety score of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Chevy earned five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Sonic a Top Safety Pick. The Chevy received the highest rating of Good in the IIHS’ moderate overlap front, side, rear, and roof strength crash tests. It earned the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the small overlap front crash test on the driver’s side. There are no standard or available active safety features for the Sonic.

See Sonic safety scores »

Is the 2013 Sonic the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic is part of a generation that launched in 2012. If you are looking to save money, the 2012 Sonic may suffice – just note you won’t be able to buy a hatchback model. The 2012 Sonic also lacks a standard blind spot mirror. The 2014 Sonic will likely cost more, but it adds an available rearview camera, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Sonic »

Which Used Chevrolet Sonic Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Sonic comes in four trims: LS, LT, LTZ, and RS. All but the hatchback-only RS are available as a sedan or a hatchback. The LS trim’s features include remote keyless entry, Bluetooth for phones, and single-zone manual climate control. The LT adds features like a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio, USB, Bluetooth audio streaming, cruise control, and heated blind spot mirrors. The LTZ has perforated leatherette seating with heated front seats, Chevy’s MyLink radio with a 7-inch touch screen, and a leather steering wheel. The RS includes a three-spoke sport steering wheel with a flat-bottom design, a sport exhaust with a chrome outlet, and a stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers. The LT trim should offer enough features for most buyers.

Even with its above-average reliability, you might consider a certified pre-owned Sonic. For all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Chevrolet certified pre-owned program »

2013 Chevrolet Sonic and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic or 2013 Ford Fiesta?

The 2013 Ford Fiesta is a better choice than the Sonic in many ways, except in one important area: reliability. The Fiesta has better steering and fuel economy than the Chevy, as well as a more stylish interior with excellent fit and finish. The Fiesta also has lower ownership costs. You might need those savings, however, because the Ford earns the lowest reliability rating possible. The Sonic is the better choice.

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic or 2013 Hyundai Accent?

Like the Sonic, the 2013 Hyundai Accent is offered as a sedan and a hatchback. Both cars have similar reliability scores. The Sonic’s significantly higher safety ranking makes it the better choice – despite its slightly higher ownership costs.

Compare the Sonic, Fiesta, and Accent »

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