2013 Chevrolet Sonic Around-Town Action >

Wish Chevrolet had it waiting with a big ol’ bowtie the Friday before Christmas. The bright Victory red 2013 Chevy Sonic RS hatchback looked so new with just around 400 miles on the odometer, smelled so new and ready for action when I first viewed it. And around-town action it saw Christmas week, serving as the preferred mode of transport to parties, more parties and even a few more parties!

Because days are so short in December, I appreciated the bright courtesy lights on the Sonic RS hatchback. I also liked the great manually operated heated leather front bucket seats that have sueded microfiber sides to hug the legs in place; they were very supportive in hard cornering. Chevy equips the 2013 Sonic RS with a large central screen that holds its MyLink infotainment system that, in this instance, works for the tri-band (AM, FM, XM) audio and phone.

I love the Sonic’s office with omnipresent RS trim. It allows the driver to assume a proper driving position, access all pertinent information, pound three rubber-tipped pedals and haul butt. This is all thanks to the 1.4-liter Ecotec inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that emits 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Sure doesn’t sound like a lot in theory but in reality there’s buckets of fun, particularly with the easy-to-shift six-speed manual gearbox specified for this hatch.

The Chevy Sonic RS model gets special racy changes, including four-wheel disc brakes, lowered ride height and performance-tuned suspension. It also has rather light electric power steering. The front fascia looks mean and nasty on the RS model – intentionally, Chevy says – and the Sonic RS has special P205/50R Hankook rubber riding on matte gray five-spoke 17-inch wheels. It all looks purposeful and, gasp, behaves the same.
There’s no temperature gauge on the Sonic RS but there is a compass. This hatch uses a real key and has automatic lights mounted on the dash. The only added closed storage I found is atop the glovebox and holds a USB and auxiliary plug – great for hiding cells and such. There is a mirror imbedded in each outside mirror that allows a driver to see beyond the wide final pillar that would otherwise impede rearward vision. Cargo space is excellent at a max of 47.7 cubic feet with the 60/40 rear seat fold implemented.

All of this goodness comes at a real-world price of $20,995 – there were no options on this hatch. Mileage is rated at 27/34 with an average of 30 mpg using regular unleaded. And goodness is the appropriate word to describe the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS – I’m so glad Chevy is emphasizing performance in a small car for those of us that like stealth machines – even Christmas red ones.

Written by: Anne Proffit HerHighway Contributor and Editor Christina Selter