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2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo #4445687
06/30/17 06:45 AM
06/30/17 06:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,686
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline OP
Cujet  Offline OP
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,686
Jupiter, Florida
I recently rented a 2016 Chevy Sonic with the 1.4L turbo. Overall, it drove well, was fun to drive, was comfortable and got good MPG. I enjoyed driving it. I found the steering responsive, accurate and smooth, just the way I like it. I started out at Laguardia Airport in NYC and spent a week in NY. Perfect city car, small, quick enough and easy to park. Then drove it to Vermont.

The 1.4L turbo engine is the older, port injected version, previously found (lacking) in the Chevy Cruise. It is not a high output engine at only 138HP, and it's not particularly smooth at higher RPM. However, it's mid range torque was absolutely sufficient for the New England hills and it never struggled to maintain speed. I did find it easiest to simply manually select 5th gear and about 3500RPM for the hills. Otherwise it would downshift to 4th and run about 5000RPM. Nice, fun, but not perfect. The newer 1.4L that is used in the Cruise would make an ideal engine for this little car. Too bad.

The front seats were comfortable and a good place to be for longer trips. However, the two seats are so close together, there is only one tiny armrest, mounted on the drivers seat, between them. Putting the two front occupants so close together, they interfere with each other. Great if you want to be forced to hold hands. Not so great if you really don't want to be close..

The back seat is fair at best, and can fit 12 year olds with ease. Otherwise, get a bigger car.

The cargo space is near nil. As there is about 15 inches behind the rear seat. It can fit only one carry on bag behind the rear seat. So I had to put my other bag on the back seat.

I got about 32MPG overall, in mixed driving.

As many here know, driving dynamics, seat comfort and mid range torque are important to me. This little car delivers on the fun to drive factor, is comfortable, and has enough power that it never struggles. So I have to admit I liked it, especially considering the low price. Unlike the far more expensive Chevy impala with a 4 cylinder, this thing could actually climb hills or accelerate with sporty traffic, without incessantly being at redline.

Last edited by Cujet; 06/30/17 06:46 AM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo [Re: Cujet] #4445761
06/30/17 07:57 AM
06/30/17 07:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 9,836
Kendall, FL
wemay Offline
wemay  Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 9,836
Kendall, FL
Nice review. I've always liked the subtle good looks of the RS. Glad to know it has nice dynamics.


18 Sportage 2.4L AWD: Mobil1 Annual Protection 5W20 + Mobil1-104A + e air WIX10335
13 Santa Fe Sport 2.0T: Pennzoil Platinum 10W30 + FRAM XG9688 + e air WIX49670

Re: 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo [Re: Cujet] #4445919
06/30/17 11:07 AM
06/30/17 11:07 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,419
In the Garage...
ls1mike Offline
ls1mike  Offline
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,419
In the Garage...
Originally Posted By: Cujet
I recently rented a 2016 Chevy Sonic with the 1.4L turbo. Overall, it drove well, was fun to drive, was comfortable and got good MPG. I enjoyed driving it. I found the steering responsive, accurate and smooth, just the way I like it. I started out at Laguardia Airport in NYC and spent a week in NY. Perfect city car, small, quick enough and easy to park. Then drove it to Vermont.

The 1.4L turbo engine is the older, port injected version, previously found (lacking) in the Chevy Cruise. It is not a high output engine at only 138HP, and it's not particularly smooth at higher RPM. However, it's mid range torque was absolutely sufficient for the New England hills and it never struggled to maintain speed. I did find it easiest to simply manually select 5th gear and about 3500RPM for the hills. Otherwise it would downshift to 4th and run about 5000RPM. Nice, fun, but not perfect. The newer 1.4L that is used in the Cruise would make an ideal engine for this little car. Too bad.

The front seats were comfortable and a good place to be for longer trips. However, the two seats are so close together, there is only one tiny armrest, mounted on the drivers seat, between them. Putting the two front occupants so close together, they interfere with each other. Great if you want to be forced to hold hands. Not so great if you really don't want to be close..

The back seat is fair at best, and can fit 12 year olds with ease. Otherwise, get a bigger car.

The cargo space is near nil. As there is about 15 inches behind the rear seat. It can fit only one carry on bag behind the rear seat. So I had to put my other bag on the back seat.

I got about 32MPG overall, in mixed driving.

As many here know, driving dynamics, seat comfort and mid range torque are important to me. This little car delivers on the fun to drive factor, is comfortable, and has enough power that it never struggles. So I have to admit I liked it, especially considering the low price. Unlike the far more expensive Chevy impala with a 4 cylinder, this thing could actually climb hills or accelerate with sporty traffic, without incessantly being at redline.


I liked our 2015 Malibu with the 2.0 LTG Turbo better. 259HP/310 FT/lbs of torque. It is not a bad driver.

Nice review.


Mike
00 Trans Am WS6 5.7 LS1
02 Silverado 2500HD 6.0
14 Caprice PPV 6.0
15 Malibu LTZ Turbo
12 Passport TT
Re: 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo [Re: Cujet] #4445996
06/30/17 01:07 PM
06/30/17 01:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 524
Fairfax, VA
TinyVoices Offline
TinyVoices  Offline
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 524
Fairfax, VA
A company called Trifecta makes a tune for the 1.4l sonic and also has a trans reprogram available for the auto. Most people with the 93 tune dyno at like 170hp. And 225 torque. Tune is between $200 and $400 depending what level and features you want.

Not a bad deal if you ask me.


2010 Mazda RX8 Sport - 37k miles - ????
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Wife) - 130k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
Re: 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo [Re: TinyVoices] #4446074
06/30/17 03:07 PM
06/30/17 03:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
IndyIan Offline
IndyIan  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
I'll have to try one sometime, might make a cheap fun autocross car.


07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 218km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 15km 0W20

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