2014 Chevrolet Sonic: What's Changed

  • Most significant changes: Backup camera now standard on LTZ and RS; new optional safety package with forward collision alert and lane departure warning
  • Price change: The starting price dropped by $15 to $14,170, but the destination charge increased by $15 to $825, so it's a wash.
  • On sale: September
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? The 2014. With no net price change and the addition of new safety equipment, going with the new model seems like a no-brainer.

Changes to the popular Chevrolet Sonic for the 2014 model year are few but welcome. The subcompact adds new safety equipment, available tech features, a new trim package and expanded color options. Meanwhile, the price has technically been reduced by $15 — though an equivalent hike in the destination charge brings the starting price back up to $14,995, same as 2013.

The Sonic is again available in two body styles, sedan and hatchback, and in LS, LT, LTZ and hatchback-only RS trim. Standard on all non-RS models is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, good for 138 horsepower and an EPA-estimated 35 mpg on the highway. Also available on LT and LTZ models, and standard on the RS, is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder; when paired with the six-speed automatic transmission it makes 138 hp and gets an estimated 40 mpg on the highway.

Topping the list of new safety offerings on the Sonic — the only car in its class to get a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — is a backup camera. It's standard on LTZ and RS versions and available on the LT when the MyLink multimedia system is ordered. In addition, a new advanced safety package is available on all base Sonic models and includes forward collision alert and lane departure warning as well as a backup camera.

Also new for 2014 is the "limited-availability" LT Promotional Package, which adds Chevrolet MyLink radio, a power sunroof and front fog lamps. Moreover, late in the 2013 model year, the automaker added MyLink compatibility with Apple's Siri Eyes Free for customers with a compatible iPhone, as well as apps for BringGo in-dash navigation for an additional charge and TuneIn, which provides access to 70,000 global radio stations and apps for Pandora and Stitcher internet radio.

A trio of new available colors for 2014 includes Red Hot, Ashen Gray Metallic and Cool Blue. The new additions join Silver Ice Metallic, Summit White, Blue Topaz Metallic and Mocha Bronze Metallic, White Diamond, Crystal Red Tintcoat and Black Granite Metallic. That's in addition to Deep Magenta Metallic, Chevy's second pink offering and first in a series of limited-edition colors.

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News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers.  Email Matt