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The Yaris has standard Low-Speed 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.
Both the Yaris and the Sonic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and rearview cameras.
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 Yaris the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 168 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sonic was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2016.
The Yaris’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Sonic’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Yaris 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.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Yaris’ reliability 28 points higher than the Sonic.
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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.
On the EPA test cycle the Yaris Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Sonic (32 city/40 hwy vs. 26 city/34 hwy).
The Yaris offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Sonic doesn’t offer a manual transmission.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Yaris’ wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Sonic (101.2 inches vs. 99.4 inches).
For better maneuverability, the Yaris’ turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Sonic LS/LT’s (32.2 feet vs. 34.5 feet). The Yaris’ turning circle is 3.9 feet tighter than the Sonic LTZ/RS’ (32.2 feet vs. 36.1 feet).
The Toyota Yaris may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 pounds less than the Chevrolet Sonic.
The Yaris is 1 foot shorter than the Sonic Sedan, making the Yaris easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
For excellent aerodynamics, the Yaris has standard flush composite headlights. The Sonic has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
The Yaris’ 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 Yaris 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.
The Yaris XLE’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sonic’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Yaris detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sonic doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The Yaris XLE’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.
Insurance will cost less for the Yaris owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Yaris will cost $135 to $1240 less than the Sonic over a five-year period.
The Yaris will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Yaris will retain 50.54% to 51.36% of its original price after five years, while the Sonic only retains 37.81% to 39.84%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Yaris is less expensive to operate than the Sonic because it costs $4 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Yaris than the Sonic, including $156 less for a water pump, $456 less for a muffler, $175 less for front brake pads, $252 less for a fuel pump and $104 less for a power steering pump.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Yaris will be $3273 to $7175 less than for the Chevrolet Sonic.
Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Yaris as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Sonic isn't recommended.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yaris first among small cars 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.
The Toyota Yaris outsold the Chevrolet Sonic by 74% during the 2019 model year.
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