Is the 2020 Chevy Sonic Worth It Even After a Big Discount?

The automotive market is all over the place these days. While some automakers are crushing it, others are getting whooped. Chevrolet announced that it would be discontinuing the Chevy Sonic this year. Along with the discontinuation, they are also offering a hefty discount of 15 percent on all 2020 Chevy Sonic models. This new discount will mark the end of the incentives on all 2019 model Sonics. 

Changes to 2020 Chevy Sonic

Chevrolet isn’t offering anything new to the final Sonic. In fact, GM Authority says the only changes are color discontinuations from 2019 and adding two new colors for 2020, Oasis Blue and Cayenne Orange Metallic. The manual transmission has been deleted across the board. We are already off to a boring start for the new Sonic. 

2020 Chevy Sonic
2020 Chevy Sonic | Chevrolet

The Sonic still comes in the same trim packages, LS, LT, and Premier. The five-door hatchback comes in LT and Premier trims. 

Chevy did, however, drop the 1.8-liter four-pot in exchange for the 1.4-liter turbocharged four making 134 hp. Admittedly, this was a pretty decent trade for the Chevy Sonic. The manual delete made way for a six-speed automatic transmission that Car and Driver called “smooth and quick.” Although it’s not a bad transmission, Car and Driver make a point to say they preferred the five-speed manual.

The base model is exceptionally basic. It is a simple, no-frills car that doesn’t offer the driver much except a box with four wheels and a steering wheel. It is an unbelievable uninspiring thing to behold. The higher trims do get better, though.  

The mid-level LT hatchback is probably the best way to go if you had to pick a Sonic. It has SiriusXM, six speakers, power windows, cruise control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. That must be the most boring list of “features” in the marketplace today. The LT hatch after the 15 percent discount comes in just under $20,000. 

Luckily, there are better options

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Compared to other cars in the same category, like the Toyota Yaris, or Hyundai Accent, it doesn’t stack up very well. As a matter of fact, it’s ranked dead last on Car and Driver’s top six of the small-car class. 

We are talking about a small car with a small motor, making small horsepower. It should be getting screaming gas milage, and it doesn’t. Car and Driver report that the Chevy Sonic is only getting 31 mph on the highway. For comparison, the 1.6-liter Mini Countryman S (more room, bigger overall, faster, and better-equipped interior) get a combined 27 mpg. When compared to its direct competitors, you’ll see the trend continue. The Kia Rio clocks 43 mpg, and the Honda Fit is holding down 41 mpg. 

The 2020 Chevy Sonic only comes in front-wheel drive. From the bottom-of-the-barrel LS model to the top, there is no all-wheel-drive version to be had. Car and Driver reports a smooth enough ride, but that if pressed, the Sonic does not inspire confidence. This little economy car doesn’t appear to be bad so far, but what could possibly make someone want to own it? Asking for a friend. 

The one positive thing is still very boring

Car and Driver reports that the one shining spot in their test is how little road noise there is. At 60 mph, they recorded only 67 decibels inside the car. That is less than the Mercedes E450. That counts for something, sure, but it is unquestionably the most boring stat imaginable. 

Car and Driver goes on to say that the materials for the interior feel cheap. They also say the Sonic is slow, clocking a 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds. Lastly, it holds less cargo than its similarly small-sized competitors. 

That brings us here, dear reader, facing the looming question of, “is the 15 percent discount enough to make the 2020 Chevy Sonic worth it?” No. No, it’s not.