By Matt Schmitz on August 9, 2013
When Cars.com reviewer David Thomas tested the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic's sporty version, the RS, he found little reason to pay the extra money when the LTZ hatchback version was just as powerful, and the additional "sportiness" marginal at best. Still, he said the RS is a fun, zippy compact with excellent fuel economy.
The Sonic that Thomas drove was Victory Red with a Jet Black interior and came with all RS-standard equipment at a cost of $20,995, including an $810 destination charge. The engine was a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual transmission, good for 138 horsepower and EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27/34 mpg city/highway. The Sonic earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 2013 Top Safety Pick award, but fell short in the new small overlap front test, earning a "marginal" rating.
Standard interior features included the RS trim package with piano black, bright silver and hydrographic film accents; power windows and door locks; leather seat trim with microfiber inserts; driver and front-passenger heated seats; a split-back folding rear seat; premium floor mats with RS emblems; a rear movable cargo shelf; a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob with red stitching; tilt/telescoping steering; the Chevrolet MyLink multimedia system with phone voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity; and a six-speaker premium audio system and XM Radio.
Coming standard on the exterior were heated, power adjustable mirrors with a black granite metallic finish; 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; front fog lamps; an RS-specific roof-mounted rear spoiler; rocker-panel extensions; and trapezoidal bright exhaust outlet.
Check out the gallery below by Cars.com photographer Evan Sears.
News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt