2020 Toyota C-HR vs. 2020 Chevrolet Sonic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/05

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota C-HR have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Chevrolet Sonic doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The C-HR has standard Pre-Collision System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Sonic offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

To help make backing safer, the C-HR XLE/Limited’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Sonic doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The C-HR’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Sonic doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-HR and the Sonic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota C-HR is safer than the Chevrolet Sonic:

C-HR

Sonic

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

80

104

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

126 G’s

184 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

508 lbs.

761 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

714 lbs.

885 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the C-HR the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 169 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sonic was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Warranty

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The C-HR’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Sonic’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the C-HR for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Sonic.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the C-HR has a standard 520-amp battery. The Sonic’s 438-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 25th.

Engine

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The C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 6 more horsepower (144 vs. 138) than the Sonic’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The C-HR has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Sonic (13.2 vs. 12.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The C-HR has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Sonic doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the C-HR’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sonic:

C-HR

Sonic

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

9” drums

The C-HR’s brakes have 154% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Sonic (420 vs. 165.3 square inches), so the C-HR has more braking power available.

The Toyota C-HR has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Sonic. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The C-HR stops much shorter than the Sonic:

C-HR

Sonic

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the C-HR has larger standard tires than the Sonic (215/60R17 vs. 195/65R15). The C-HR XLE/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonic (225/50R18 vs. 205/55R16).

The C-HR LE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonic LS/LT’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the C-HR LE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Sonic LS/LT. The C-HR XLE/Limited’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the Sonic.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Toyota C-HR has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Sonic has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The C-HR has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the C-HR flat and controlled during cornering. The Sonic’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-HR’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Sonic (103.9 inches vs. 99.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the C-HR is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Sonic.

For better maneuverability, the C-HR’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Sonic LS/LT’s (34.2 feet vs. 34.5 feet). The C-HR’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Sonic LTZ/RS’ (34.2 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis

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For excellent aerodynamics, the C-HR has standard flush composite headlights. The Sonic has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Ergonomics

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The C-HR’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sonic has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The C-HR’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Sonic LT/Premier.

The C-HR’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Sonic LT/Premier’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the C-HR the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Sonic can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The C-HR has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Sonic doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the C-HR’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Sonic’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the C-HR detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sonic doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the C-HR Limited has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sonic doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-HR XLE/Limited has standard extendable sun visors. The Sonic doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The C-HR’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Sonic LT/Premier.

The C-HR’s standard rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sonic doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The C-HR’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Sonic doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The C-HR’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Sonic doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the C-HR has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sonic doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the C-HR has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Sonic doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/05

Insurance will cost less for the C-HR owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the C-HR will cost $55 to $1310 less than the Sonic over a five-year period.

The C-HR will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the C-HR will retain 57.63% to 57.78% of its original price after five years, while the Sonic only retains 37.81% to 39.84%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/05

J.D. Power and Associates rated the C-HR second among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Sonic isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Toyota C-HR outsold the Chevrolet Sonic by almost four to one during the 2019 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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