2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT modifed with Chevy parts: Semi-hot

2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT modified with Chevrolet accessories

2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT modified with Chevrolet accessories

Chevrolet tells us that, according to their data, about 12 percent of Chevrolet Sonic buyers will “personalize” their cars, and by that they mean more than hanging a unicorn from the rearview mirror or putting a university decal in the back window. They mean special wheels, trim kits and fog lamps, maybe an exhaust system or more.

And to let us know just how special a tarted up Sonic could be, they sent one to us to evaluate for a week. And yes, our test 2014 Chevrolet Sonic five-door LT had special wheels, Chevrolet’s Color Flash Package, fog lamps and a Borla “cat back” performance exhaust, complete with an oversized outlet and a rorty exhaust note.

Chevrolet 16-inch accessory wheels on a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT

Chevrolet 16-inch accessory wheels on a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT make as porty statement. (click to enlarge)

As we just mentioned, the car modified was a Sonic LT. It’s the mid-level trim between the base Sonic LS and the top of the line LTZ, remembering of course that the Sonic is available in both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. And then there’s the Chevrolet Sonic RS, the in-house hotrod. It comes with the turbocharged direct-injection 1.4-liter engine as standard equipment; it’s an option with the LT and LTZ trim levels. Additional standard features on the RS include sport suspension with stiffer shocks and springs and a lower ride height than other Sonics, and 17-inch wheels replacing the 16-inch wheels of the LT and LTZ.

We mention that because we see the 2014 Sonic RS as in-house competition for the modified LT we drove. Here’s the deal. Our test Sonic has a base price of $16,380, versus the $21,150 for the Sonic RS. To that Chevrolet added the 1.4-liter turbo engine—standard on the RS—plus MyLink radio for $200 and the rear camera/Advanced Safety Package for $595.

Chevrolet Sonic LT optional 1.4-liter turbo engine

The optional 1.4-liter turbo engine in our Chevrolet Sonic LT wasn’t modified. (click to enlarge)

Stay with us. So far the total is $18,700. To this Chevrolet added dealer installed accessories that include 16-inch black alloy wheels ($995), Color Flash Package in black, including mirror caps, grille surround and spoiler ($670), and fog lamps ($275).

And then there’s the exhaust system from the catalytic converter back. Borla exhaust systems are tuned to specific applications—and to spare any suspense—yes, it makes the Sonic sound good, inside and out, at least for anyone who likes the sound of a four-cylinder tuned exhaust. But it also adds $705 to the bottom line, more about which anon. And it doesn’t include dealer installation, which we’d use as a bargaining chip in dickering over the actual price paid.

Chevy didn't make any changes to the interior of our test 2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT, but it's well laid out and appointed, though not so well as the Sonic RS. (click to enlarge)

Chevy didn’t make any changes to the interior of our test 2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT, but it’s well laid out and appointed, though not so well as the Sonic RS. (click to enlarge)

However, for a stock 2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS—which includes leather-trimmed seating surfaces with driver and front-passenger heated, a  6-speaker sound system with USB port and Bluetooth audio streaming, Bluetooth hands-free telephone operation—the negotiating starts at $21,150.

Of course, the Sonic LT has the Borla exhaust, and therefore actually sounds sportier than the RS. And it also has the Color Flash kit. Among other things, the kit replaces the bright ring around the grille with black ring, which gives the Sonic a more serious look. As to the black mirror caps and the black rear spoiler, don’t body-color parts usually cost more as part of a higher-than-base trim level? Of course, the Color Flash kit is also available in other colors, but let your taste by your guide…

On the other hand, the stuff that makes the Sonic look and sound better won’t make it any faster, and anyway, doesn’t lower suspension of the Sonic RS look cooler?

Of course, the final question is, what would it cost to have all the good stuff on a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS? The prices below are brought from several places, and all we can say is, like mpg, what you pay may vary, depending too on how, um, flexible your dealer is.

Sonic LT w/ accessories

Sonic RS

Base price

16,380

20,650

Turbo 1.4-liter engine

700

incl

Ext. Black Flash pkg

710

Advanced Safety pkg

395

395

MyLink

200

incl

Rear vision camera

200

200

Acc 16” black wheels

995

Std 17-inch alloy wheels

incl

Fog lamps

275

incl

Cat back Borla exhaust

705

Destination charge

825

825

Total

21,385

22070