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8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Chevrolet Sonic Review

The Chevrolet Sonic is among the better cars in the subcompact class, with pleasant handling, great tech features, a comfortable interior, and superb safety scores. 

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Peppy turbocharged engine
  • Spacious rear seats and trunk
  • User-friendly features
  • Base model’s so-so fuel economy

2015 Chevrolet Sonic Overview

Is the 2015 Chevrolet Sonic a Good Used Car?

The Chevy Sonic is a great used subcompact car. Available in sedan and hatchback body styles, the Sonic impresses with its smooth ride, athletic handling, decent gas mileage, and zesty pickup from its optional turbocharged engine. The Sonic also offers advanced safety features like forward collision warning, which isn’t common in the class. Factor in user-friendly controls and roomy seating space, and it’s not hard to see why the Sonic ranks highly in its class. That said, its predicted reliability rating is good for the industry, but not as good as top rivals’ scores.

Used 2015 Chevrolet Sonic Performance and Interior

The Chevy Sonic is available with two engine options: a 138-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder and a 138-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder. Five- and six-speed manual transmissions are standard, depending on the trim level. A six-speed automatic transmission is available. All Sonics are front-wheel drive.

The standard 1.8-liter engine provides acceptable performance, but it’s outshined by the zippier 1.4-liter turbo, which offers better acceleration, passing power, and fuel economy (up to 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway). The Sonic impresses with especially well-balanced handling. It feels composed and athletic through tight turns, and its steering is precise. The Sonic also rides comfortably, which isn’t always common in this class. RS models feature a sport-tuned suspension that enhances the Sonic’s driving dynamics with only a minimal drop in ride comfort.

Read more about Sonic performance »

The Chevy Sonic seats five in both sedan and hatchback body styles. The Sonic’s front seats are comfy and supportive, and they provide a nice seating position. The rear seats offer fine passenger comfort as well, thanks in part to ample head- and legroom. The Sonic’s interior is cleanly designed and looks particularly upscale. In fact, the easy-to-read gauge cluster would look right at home in a sports car. That said, many of the cabin materials are hard plastics that feel rather cheap upon closer inspection.

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child safety seats. Cloth upholstery is standard; leather upholstery and heated front seats are available. The Sonic sedan offers a relatively spacious 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which can expand by folding the 60/40 split rear seat. The Sonic hatchback has a practical 47.7 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats folded.

Chevrolet equips all models with Bluetooth, OnStar telematics, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include satellite radio, a USB input, and a 7-inch touch screen. The standard audio and climate controls are simple and easy to use. The MyLink touch-screen infotainment system is user-friendly as well, and it adds great features like Pandora internet radio, voice recognition with Siri Eyes Free support for iPhones, and a BringGo navigation app that uses your phone for navigation. The graphics are crisp, though the screen is occasionally slow to recognize inputs.

Read more about Sonic interior »

Used 2015 Chevrolet Sonic Prices

The price of a used 2015 Chevy Sonic ranges from about $9,000 for a base LS model to around $13,700 for an RS model. The exact price will vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 79 Reviews Analyzed

We researched 79 Chevy Sonic reviews alongside hard data points like reliability scores and costs of ownership to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking new cars and used cars for a decade, and we have more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to giving helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and the advertising on our site is handled by an outside team.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Chevrolet Sonic?

The Chevy Sonic has average predicted reliability, earning three out of five points from J.D. Power and Associates.

Read more about Sonic reliability »

How Safe Is the Sonic?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Sonic the highest rating of Good in all five areas tested and named it a 2015 Top Safety Pick. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Sonic a perfect five-star rating for overall, front, and side impact safety, as well as four stars for rollover safety.

A rearview camera is standard in all Sonic LTZ and RS models (and available in LT models). An Advanced Safety package with forward collision warning and lane departure warning is optional in LT, LTZ, and RS trims.

See Sonic safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Sonic?

The 2015 Chevy Sonic marks the fourth model year of the vehicle’s first generation. Updates for 2015 included the addition of a standard Wi-Fi hot spot in all models, but the Sonic was otherwise unchanged. As a result, you may find similarly equipped 2014 models at lower prices. Notably, the 2013 Sonic models weren’t available with forward collision warning, a rearview camera, or lane departure warning.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Sonic »

Which Used Chevrolet Sonic Is Right for Me?

The Sonic comes in four trim levels: LS, LT, LTZ, and RS. The Sonic LS (1.8-liter engine only) has an AM/FM radio, four speakers, Bluetooth, OnStar with Wi-Fi, manual windows, air conditioning, and remote keyless entry. The Sonic LT (1.8- and 1.4-liter engines) has a USB input, satellite radio, six speakers, power windows, remote start, and cruise control. The Sonic LTZ (1.4-liter engine only) adds a 7-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Siri Eyes Free, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Sonic RS (1.4-liter engine only) adds a sport-tuned suspension and leather upholstery.

For added peace of mind, 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.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Chevrolet certified pre-owned program »

2015 Chevrolet Sonic and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Chevrolet Sonic or 2015 Chevrolet Spark?

The 2015 Chevrolet Spark hatchback offers the same great infotainment features as the larger Sonic. It gets better gas mileage as well (up to 31/38 mpg city/highway), and used models are typically far less expensive. However, the Spark only seats four and offers less cargo space, anemic engine power, and a below-average predicted reliability rating. The Sonic is the better buy.

Which Is Better: 2015 Chevrolet Sonic or 2015 Chevrolet Cruze?

The compact 2015 Chevrolet Cruze and the subcompact Sonic are both good used car options in their respective classes. Each offers pleasant handling, user-friendly infotainment features, and peppy performance from its available turbocharged engines. The Cruze has a slightly higher predicted reliability rating and an available diesel engine that returns a fantastic 44 mpg on the highway. The Sonic, however, is often less expensive and is the ­better cargo hauler thanks to its roomy hatchback.

Which Is Better: 2015 Chevrolet Sonic or 2015 Ford Fiesta?

The Sonic is a much better used car pick than the 2015 Ford Fiesta. While the Fiesta may be fun to drive, it trails the Chevy with low safety and predicted reliability ratings, a cramped interior, and awkward infotainment controls.

Compare the Sonic, Spark, and Cruze »

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