The Chevrolet Sonic’s Days Are Numbered24
With each passing day, it becomes increasingly more apparent that the Chevrolet Sonic will be discontinued in the near future. Exact timelines for the model’s discontinuation are currently unclear, but sources tell GM Authority not to expect the subcompact vehicle range to live on past the 2021 model year, if not before that.
Available in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles, the Sonic is one of three remaining passenger cars offered by the Bow Tie brand, after it discontinued the Cruze compact car range and Impala full-size sedan. As of this writing, Chevy’s other two remaining passenger cars are the Spark and Malibu.
“The Sonic remains in our line-up and we haven’t announced anything related to its future,” Chevrolet cars and crossovers communications director, Kevin Kelly, told GM Authority in a statement back in May.
Once Sonic production ends at the GM Lake Orion plant near Detroit, the newfound assembly capacity will be transferred to the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt EUV. The Bolt EUV will be a slightly larger version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV crossover, also produced at the Lake Orion facility.
Sources tell GM Authority that the plant started the 2020 calendar year producing the Sonic at increased levels in order to shore up inventory once production comes to an end.
Initially introduced for the 2012 model year to replace Aveo, the Chevrolet Sonic went on sale in August 2011. According to the GM Authority data center, U.S. Chevy Sonic sales totaled 81,247 units in 2012 and 85,646 units in 2013. The model’s best year was 2014, when it saw 93,518 deliveries.
Things have been in a downward spiral ever since, with 30,290 units delivered in 2017, 20,613 units in 2018 and a mere 13,971 units in 2019 for its lowest yearly sales performance in history. The 2020 calendar year is trending to be about the same as 2019 volumes.
The Sonic has already been discontinued in all markets outside the United States. It was first dropped in Latin America, where it was replaced by lower-cost models including the Onix, Cobalt, and Cavalier (depending on market). Subsequently, the Sonic was dropped in Africa, South Korea, as well as Australia and New Zealand (where it was sold as the Holden Barina). Most recently, the Sonic was discontinued in Canada. In fact, the U.S. is the only remaining market where the Sonic remains on sale.
Chevy gave the Sonic family a midcycle enhancement (MCE / refresh) for the 2017 model year that consisted of updated front and rear facias and a few updates to the interior. Inspired by the second-generation Chevrolet Spark, the refresh was often criticized for eliminating the playful character and charm of the original, pre-facelift model.
If the 2021 model year becomes the last for the Sonic, then it will have lived quite a lengthy life spanning ten years.
No Replacement Planned
No replacement for the Sonic is currently planned, though GM theoretically could change that by bringing the Chevrolet Onix to the U.S. and Canada. Having quickly risen to become the best-selling automobile in South America, the Onix was only recently overhauled atop the new Global Emerging Markets (GEM) platform. As of this writing, the all-new model is made at the following plants:
- GM Gravatai plant in Brazil
- SAIC-GM Dong Yue plant in China
- GM San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico
Currently, vehicles on the GEM platform are not sold in the U.S. and Canada, being reserved only for Mexico, countries in Central and South America, and China.
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GM Korea needs to develop next gen sonic!
Yes please. I love the build quality coming out of Korea right now. If GM doesn’t start bringing in some more competitive B/C segment vehicles I’ll just have to end up putting another Japanese or Korean car in the driveway.
With the new trade deal in effect with Mexico I expect an US Onix announcement soon.
I have had more fun driving my 2012 Chevy Sonic Turbo than any other car I’ve owned. That includes a ’73 Corvette, ’86 Firebird, a Duster, Jeep and an F350 dually. When this one was passed its lifespan, I fully intended on getting the new model. Very, very disappointing to hear this news.
We can still hold out hope. I love my 2013 Sonic, super practical, economical, and pretty fun little daily driver. I am really hoping that the Trailblazer evolves into something that I would want to own, but the 1.3t just did’t cut it in my test drive. I am a GM enthusiast and would really like to remain loyal, but if they fail to deliver a competitive B/C segment vehicle I will take my business else where.
I’ve seen the Onix with the RS package and it isn’t bad. It might come with a three cylinder engine, but I suppose that’s better than being left with only crossovers to choose from.
Eww…. Nope, hard pass. I’ll just buy a Korean or Japanese make if that’s the case.
There should be a Sonic Amp barreling down the pipeline, if not. What a shame!
Was the Sonic not discontinued in 2018…..I bought a 18 and was told it was the last year……
In Canada, yes. It was announced that they were killing here as well, but that didn’t happen.
Because it’s a garbage car. From 78000mi to the present I’ve done $5000 in engine work. It’s practically been rebuilt at this point. GM didn’t care. Pretty much told me that the car really isn’t built to last past the warranty and that I should have traded it in for another GM vehicle. They don’t care. It gets poor gas mileage the AC doesn’t run when does at a light or idling… It’s only a 2014.. I should have bought foreign.
My 2012 Sonic has 212000 miles on it and it’s running great. Outstanding purchase. I believe I’m in for $400 service since purchase.
When is everyone gonna learn the only real benefit of purchasing a sedan over its comparable cuv counterpart is for handling and performance. And guess what? Most people buying in these segments don’t care about handling and performance. Notice i said most. Why do you think the little fast and furious tuner cars died out? It was a rise and fall niche, just like punk rock. So once you slide the niche market out the way, you see the meat and potatoes of the sedan market were ordinary chums who wanted a cheap, fuel economical, practical vehicle with durability and some capability. Enter the crossover. Crossovers set up higher, so not only are they easier to enter and exit, they don’t get beat up as bad over rough road and from minor road kill incidents. The plastic cladding on a crossover keeps rocks and other things from chipping the paint. Crossovers are usually available with awd for bad weather situations. You have more storage room in a crossover, say if you buy a new tv and you got a full car of passengers at the same time. So why the hell would i buy a sonic over the new trailerblazer? Don’t be an idiot and just down thimb me, actually respond and give me and the rest of the world a genuine reason to buy a sonic over a trailblazer. And if you say because you want something sporty I’m going to point you to a base model camaro with the 2.0.
I have a 2012 manual 6 speed sonic, bought it with 19k on it, love it, 40 mpg on normal driving and 34 in traffic only problem I have had is both times I have had the oil flush I have had to replace my turbo. And 2 coolant hoses have blown. This car goes off road everyday, 3 kids learned/learning to drive, it sad they quit making it with a manual. I have always been a truck man but this abused little car has exceeded my expectations! I have seen many cars go to $hit, while my puddle jumper just keeps going. I have watch a Yaris and Focus not able to hold up to my rd where my sonic plays daily.
I understand your argument that that vehicles in this segment are not “performance” but they still need to be able to perform. My problem with you trying to validate the trailblazer is an improvement over the Sonic is 2 fold. 1) The cargo room of a Trailblazer without the rear seats folded down is not all that much larger than a Sonic, you can thank the fuel tank and awd components for that. 2) the larger, more glaring problem is that it is has a woefully inadequate motor, with the additional drive train weight of awd this problem is exacerbated. The 0-60 of the Trailblazer is 2 seconds slower than the 10 year old Sonic. And honestly the GM reported torque figure of 170ft-lbs seems exaggerated, I’d love to see a private dyno result.
If an educated consumer wants something sportier sure they could opt for the Camaro. Or, more logically, they could buy any number of b/c segment competitors that are infinitely more sporty than the Trailblazer. For the price of a loaded Trailblazer a consumer could purchase any number of these b/c segement vehicle: GTI, several models of more powerful Mazda’s, A couple different Hyundai’s, a few different Kias, some Honda’s, Toyota Corolla hatch, and more I’m sure. With Mazda announcing the 3 with awd and 2.5t and Toyota teasing a Corolla GRMN sport GM is only falling further and further behind.
The Bolt, at $27k, is a decent replacement for the Sonic, but there are some still some obvious and well established draw backs to electric vehicles at this time. Not to mention, is the charger included in the bolt purchase price? Does GM pay for the electrician to install it? So you’re looking at another $2k in real world ownership cost right on the drop. I think the next decade will still see a pretty significant demand for ICE vehicles and if GM wants to lose all of those b/c segment customers all they have to do is keep following the path they’re on. I am a GM enthusiast, but the only product I would consider buying from them right now is the Regal Sportback 2.0t, and that wouldn’t be at the top of my list. The Trailblazer would sit pretty close to the bottom of that list.
I have a 2013 sonic i love that car it goes fast i like chevy when i got that care though my ac went out.now my left window wont go up either i didnt buy it new i got it in 2015.im gonna keep it since there gonna be no more. Its a good car got 4 new tires for it.