Of any new vehicle heading to market, a small car like the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic is not one you’d imagine returning lesser fuel economy. But, that’s the case according to official MPG ratings at FuelEconomy.gov. 2017 marks the first year vehicles will be rated on a slightly tweaked test, surmounting in mileage drops across the board.
Flipping through the 2016 and 2017 model years, fuel economy decreases are present between both the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 1.8-liter four-cylinder. They’re also present and differing between the manual and automatic gearbox.
The 2017 Sonic, when equipped with the manual transmission and 1.4-liter turbo, returns 28 MPG city and 38 MPG highway. In all, it returns 32 MPG combined. That’s 1 MPG city, 2 MPG highway and 1 MPG combined less than the 2016 model it replaces. The 2017 Sonic with the 1.4-liter and automatic transmission nets a 1 MPG loss on the highway, and 1 MPG loss in combined driving.
As for the 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the 2017 Sonic equipped with the manual transmission really suffers. Fuel economy ratings drop to 25 MPG city, 33 MPG highway and 28 MPG combined. In comparison, the 2016 Sonic in identical configuration returned 26 city, 35 highway and 30 MPG combined.
The automatic eases the difference some, with the 2017 Sonic returning 1 MPG less on the highway with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder.