Chevrolet’s 2013 Sonic RS, a sportier subcompact model, has a starting price of $20,995 (including destination charges). Last January, Chevrolet previewed the 2013 Sonic RS at the Detroit Auto Show. General Motors said that this starting price is for a Sonic RS with a 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 and a six-speed manual. It is about $2135 more expensive than a 2012 Sonic LTZ hatchback with the same powertrain.
The price goes up to $22,280 when the Sonic RS is equipped with the optional six-speed automatic. The added $2100 or higher to the price doesn’t mean that it has higher power though. The turbocharged 1.4-liter still has an output of 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. However, there is a mild improvement in its looks and its handling.
It rides 10mm lower and it has been fitted with distinctive springs and dampers. Instead of rear drum brakes, the vehicle gets discs. The stick-shift fans would be glad to know that the six-speed manual transmission will gain new gear ratios in order to hasten acceleration. Sonic RS models get new front fascias with angular fog lamps, new grille inserts, and unique 17-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels.
Its interior also gets a racy appearance as the car gets a flat-bottom steering wheel, aluminum pedals, and seats trimmed in both leatherette and faux suede. Buyers can make the choice from any of the four exterior paint colors (Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray, and Black Granite) but they would have stay inside.
It was also interesting how the Jet Black interior, highlighted with red accents, is unique to the Sonic RS model. Other features unique to the Sonic RS model include a Jet Black interior with red accents.
The RS can’t really be called a hot hatch since it is more of a more enjoyable Sonic. The revised gear ratios help to acquire the 1.4-liter’s full potential, and the revised electric power steering seems to be heavier and more direct than before. It has been subjected to a new suspension tuning that makes the car attempt to pass through tight corners. However, there isn’t much that can be done about body roll.