Why You Shouldn't Discount the "Small" 2016 Chevy Sonic




In an attempt to promote its array of "small" car offerings, Chevy has recently launched ChevySmallCars.com. Aiming at a younger customer, the website will attempt sway to potential buyers on Chevy's tinier selections. One of their many strategies is using comedian Al Madrigal (as well as comedy website 'Funny or Die') to produce episodes of "Small Talk," which will comically review each of the brand's cars.

“The Spark, Sonic and Trax all target a younger, more socially savvy buyer,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet's Director of Cars and Crossovers. “When we looked at reasons for purchase, cross consideration and demographics, we found a number of similarities. By aligning these products we can be more strategic and create more engaging, sharable content that speaks directly to this audience.”

The Sonic is probably the Chevy vehicle that first comes to mind when you think of their "smaller" offerings, and the brand is certainly touting the capabilities of this little ride. In one of their attempts to promote the nameplate, the company brought in the 'Kickstand Band' to perform one of their songs in the vehicle. Surprisingly, the group had little issues carrying out the song in the "tiny" 2016 Sonic.

With the website, potential customers can use the "Find Your Smallmate" application, a quiz that will essentially point you towards the proper Chevy vehicle. The website also offers podcasts, mini mix tapes by "up-and-coming" artists, a customization tool, and several other small-car tutorials.

Of course, while a consumer can appreciate all of these advertising campaigns, they still want to know what makes these tiny vehicles stand out. Using the 2016 Chevy Sonic as an example, let's see how the brand made these smaller rides so powerful and mighty...


Powerful Engine Options



The Sonic may be small (and the engine even smaller), but that doesn't mean it's any less capable than your typical sedan. The ECOTEC 1.8-liter I-4 engine is partnered with a five-speed manual transmission to pump out 138 horsepower and 125 pounds-feet of torque. Alternatively, drivers could opt for the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and the six-speed manual transmission, which produces 138 horsepower and 148 pounds-feet of torque.

Regardless of which engine you ultimately choose, you'll be assured of excellent fuel efficiency. The ECOTEC 1.8-liter engine delivers a 26 city/35 highway mile per gallon efficiency, while drivers can expect an estimated 40 miles per gallon from the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Overall, these are some of the best specs in the entire class, but that shouldn't necessarily be surprising coming from such a "small" car.


Strong, Reliable Design



Sure, the Chevy Sonic may look like it could be pushed around. However, the vehicle is actually quite mighty thanks to the high-strength steel used to compose the vehicle. This doesn't only make for a better driving experience, but it will provide some much-needed protection in the event of an emergency.

That's not it for the mighty Sonic's safety features. The sedan includes 10 standard air bags, thus making it the first vehicle in its class to offer this much protection. The interior sensors will figure out how many of those airbags will be deployed, preventing accidental injury from the system.

Of course, there are also a number of technological amenities that should keep the driver out of harm's way. The Lane Departure Warning alerts drivers via audible and visual cues when it's unsafe to switch lanes, while the Forward Collision Alert warns the driver when they're approaching another vehicle at too great of a speed.


Surprisingly Roomy Interior



You wouldn't expect your sedan to offer a whole lot of cargo and passenger room, but the 2016 Sonic is doing its best to buck that trend. The vehicle offers 14.9-cubic-feet of trunk space, and the 60/40 split-folding rear seats will allow the driver to sneak some of that cargo into the interior. If drivers are seeking even more space, they could opt for the Sonic hatchback, which provides 47.7-cubic-feet of space when the rear seats are down (or 19-cubic-feet when the seats are in their ordinary position).

Plus, there's plenty of room for all of the occupants to spread out. Rear passengers can expect 37.8-inches of head room, 51.6-inches of hip room, 34.6-inches of leg room, and 53-inches of shoulder room. These numbers increase as you make your way towards the front of the vehicle.


Number of Options

Despite being one of the smaller vehicles on the road, Chevy didn't neglect their 2016 Sonic. In fact, they ensured that the sedan would offer a number of ways for drivers to personalize their new ride. Naturally, this includes a number of striking color options:

  • Blue Velvet Metallic
  • Red Hot
  • Nightfall Gray Metallic
  • Silver Ice Metallic
  • Summit White
  • Mosaic Black Metallic
  • Mocha Bronze Metallic
  • Crystal Red Tintcoat (extra $395)
  • White Diamond Tricoat (extra $645)
  • Kinetic Blue Metallic (extra $395)

The brand also offers a number of wheel options, including 15-, 16-, or 17-inch steel and aluminum offerings. Drivers can opt for either the sedan or hatchback version, and they can adorn their interior in a number of different materials, including:

  • Jet Black/Dark Titanium Sport Cloth Seat Trim
  • Jet Black/Dark Titanium Deluxe Cloth Seat Trim (with available Brick instrument panel and door accent)
  • Dark Pewter/Dark Titanium Deluxe Cloth Seat Trim


As drivers get older, they'll naturally start straying away from sedans and smaller vehicles. Instead, they'll opt for the SUVs that better cater to their growing family. However, as Majoros explained, Chevy's crop of smaller sedans still shouldn't be discounted.

“Sonic, Spark and Trax customers are likely to be first-time new car buyers and traditionally are more likely to stay with the brand as their needs and lifestyle changes, and they need to move up to a bigger sedan or SUV,” said Majoros. “We’ve introduced a lot of new vehicles in the last few years and the new website is a great way to expose a portion of our portfolio that not everyone knows about.”

As you've read, the vehicle still offers a number of amenities and capabilities, making the 2016 Chevy Sonic just as capable as a larger sedan. Whether the driver is appreciating the performance, the rugged design, or the spacious interior, they'll likely forget that they're operating one of the smaller sedan options out there.