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#4445687 - 06/30/17 07:45 AM 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7162
Loc: 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.


Edited by Cujet (06/30/17 07:46 AM)
_________________________

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#4445761 - 06/30/17 08:57 AM Re: 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo [Re: Cujet]
wemay Offline


Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 8889
Loc: Southeast Florida
Nice review. I've always liked the subtle good looks of the RS. Glad to know it has nice dynamics.
_________________________
2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.4L
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T
Valvoline

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#4445919 - 06/30/17 12:07 PM Re: 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo [Re: Cujet]
ls1mike Offline


Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 5119
Loc: 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

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#4445996 - 06/30/17 02:07 PM Re: 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo [Re: Cujet]
TinyVoices Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 481
Loc: Vienna, 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.
_________________________
1993 Toyota MR2 Hardtop N/A - 157k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Fiancee) - 126k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30

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#4446074 - 06/30/17 04:07 PM Re: 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ review 1.4L turbo [Re: TinyVoices]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I'll have to try one sometime, might make a cheap fun autocross car.
_________________________
07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 206km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 5km FF

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