2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS review, specs, photos, features

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The new 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS hatchback

The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS amps up the Sonic’s sporty style and driving experience with unique exterior and interior features matched with a 1.4L turbo engine that delivers 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm).

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

A specially tuned and lowered suspension, performance-oriented exterior and interior features, and large, 17-inch wheels instantly distinguish Sonic RS, which is offered exclusively in the five-door body style.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

Standard on Sonic RS is Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system with a seven-inch color touch screen. MyLink can display smartphone-based music, videos, photos, and contacts for hands-free calling. MyLink also is compatible with smartphones with apps for Pandora and Stitcher internet radio . Later, an app for full-function GPS navigation will be available.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

It is available in Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic and Black Granite Metallic, a new, premium exterior color for 2013.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

Sonic RS exterior features

One of the most dramatic Sonic RS cues is the front fascia, which has a deep air dam design that enhances the car’s road-hugging stance. Vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia reinforce the wide, low proportion and house the fog lamps. Other features include:

New RS-specific grille
New rear fascia
New rear spoiler
New rocker moldings
Bright exhaust outlet
Unique 17-inch five-spoke wheel design
Lowered and stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers
RS badging
A power, tilt-sliding sunroof with express-open and wind deflector feature is available.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

Sonic RS interior features

The performance theme continues into the cabin, too, with a Jet Black interior exclusive to RS. Features include:

Red-accented leather-appointed front bucket seats with sueded microfiber inserts
New sport three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrasting stitching and racing-inspired flat-bottom design
New, leather-wrapped shifter knob with red stitching (manual transmission)
Aluminum sport pedals
Specific instrument panel cluster graphics.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

Standard Chevrolet MyLink

MyLink is standard on Sonic LTZ and RS, and available on Sonic LS and LT models. It consists of an AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of service) stereo with seek-and-scan, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones, six speakers and voice recognition for connected phones with this capability.

On Sonic, MyLink operates by integrating the owner’s compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe and personalized connectivity while their smartphone is safely stowed.

MyLink is simple to use: The owner selects from options projected onto the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

MyLink-equipped Sonic models will launch with compatibility for two apps: Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio. When owners with these services connect their compatible smartphones, they can access these and other functions:

Personal playlists of stored music
Hands-free calling with Bluetooth-enabled voice activation from the customer’s smartphone when the steering wheel button is depressed. (Visit gm.com/Bluetooth for a list of compatible smartphones)
Ability to project video via USB while the vehicle is parked
Ability to project a photo album in “slideshow” mode via USB while the vehicle is parked, with the last music selection playing in the background. Once the vehicle is moving, a single photo is viewable.

Later, an embedded smartphone application for MyLink that delivers full-function navigation – including live traffic updates – will be available for an extra charge. It also includes:

Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital
Thousands of points of interest
Local Search via Google
Where am I ? locator
Live traffic functionality provides crash reports and lane closures, and with alternative routes
3-D maps
Ability to store native maps to the customer’s smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor. Many GPS-enabled apps do not do this.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

Sonic RS performance

Sonic RS is powered by a standard Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm). It provides an immediate feeling of power sustained across the rpm band, for a greater feeling of performance at lower rpm. It’s matched with a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic.

Unique gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission and unique final drive ratio for the automatic give the Sonic RS a sportier feel than non-RS models.

Complementing the segment-exclusive turbocharged powertrain is MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type rear suspension – featuring a robust, tubular V-shape beam – with gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches (1,509 mm), for well-planted stability and balance, and the suspension is lowered by 10 mm (0.39-inch).

RS is the only Sonic model offered with four-wheel disc brakes, which are partnered with a four-channel anti-lock braking system. The four-sensor system – one at each wheel – incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo.

Electric power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that continually adjusts the system interaction with the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the system.

Standard hill start assist makes it easier to pull away from a stopped position when the vehicle is on a steep uphill or downhill slope .

Sonic RS rides on exclusive, 17-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels and all-season tires.

Sonic RS safety and crash-avoidance features

Sonic RS is designed to help drivers avoid crashes, while protecting the occupants in the event a crash occurs. Safety begins with a strong body structure designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants. More than 60 percent of the body structure is composed of advanced steels.

Other safety and security features include:

Ten standard air bags include side curtain air bags, which provide head protection for outboard passengers in the event of a side-impact or rollover crash
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both
Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes are standard
Four-channel antilock braking is standard and incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo
Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system, which is included in all second-row seating positions
Tire pressure monitoring system on all models
Standard OnStar.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

OnStar details

Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Sonic RS. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.

OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.

Sonic RS also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.

New 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS specifications, photos and images courtesy of Chevrolet.

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