2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback Vs. 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

By Justin Cupler | September 4th, 2020

Today’s entry-level hatchback models are nothing like they were decades ago. Gone are the simple designs and limited performance of yesteryear and in comes more style, power, and agility. Two models that excel in one or all of these areas are the 2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback and 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback.

Which of these subcompact hatchback models is best for our Tri-City area shoppers? Continue reading to find out.  

Exterior

Subcompact hatchbacks were once throwaway cars that had little styling to speak of. Today, these cars last longer than ever and now have tons of styling and character. Two examples of this evolution of style are the 2020 Chevy Sonic and the 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback.

 

The 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback is based on the Mazda 2 Hatchback, giving it a  striking look that includes a large lower grille with a gloss-black mesh insert, sweptback headlights, a longer than average hood, and a curved rear hatch. There are not many options to speak of, but the base Yaris Hatchback LE has a pretty long list of standard exterior features, including 16-inch dark-gray alloy wheels, fog lights, a gloss-black mesh-pattern front grille, color-keyed, heated, power mirrors with LED turn signals, color-keyed door handles, a rear spoiler, a chrome-tipped exhaust, and more.

 

 

The Chevy Sonic Hatchback has long been one of the sharpest models in its class, and it recently received a refresh to further improve upon its great looks. Gone are the circular headlights that dominated previous years, but its new one-piece headlights are equally good looking and fit the sharp body lines of this hatchback nicely. Plus, it comes standard with the RS package, which adds black emblems, fog lights, a rear spoiler, RS badging, and sporty rocker moldings. Other standard features include 16-inch aluminum wheels, automatic on/off projector-beam headlights, heated outside mirrors, chrome beltline moldings, LED daytime running lights, and more.

 

 

In terms of sizing, the new-generation Toyota Yaris Hatchback is larger than the Sonic by 1.8 inches in length and wheelbase, but the Sonic is 1.6 inches wider and 0.8 inches taller. The Sonic is also significantly heavier than the Yaris at 2,96 to 2,921 pounds.

 

Measurement 2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Difference
Length 159.8 inches 161.6 inches -1.8 inches
Width 68.3 inches 66.7 inches +1.6 inches
Height 59.7 inches 58.9 inches +0.8 inches
Wheelbase 99.4 inches 101.2 inches -1.8 inches
Ground Clearance 5.5 inches
Curb weight 2,896 to 2,921 pounds 2,396 to 2,445 pounds +451 to +525 pounds

 

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

  •       All-new design

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Sonic Hatchback

  •       More sophisticated looks
  •       Standard RS package

Interior

Inside, subcompact hatchback models like the 2020 Sonic and 2020 Yaris Hatchback must use their space wisely to accommodate passengers, cargo, and equipment. These two small hatchback models do all this very well and look stylish in the process.

 

The 2020 Toyota Yaris shows its deep Mazda2 roots with a cabin that is purely Mazda, all the way down to the steering wheel and air vents. But if there is one model to borrow your interior from, the Mazda2 is a great choice, as it is one of the most stylish subcompact hatchback models you’ll come across with its rounded vents, dash-top touchscreen, clean center stack, and dash-widening chrome strip.

 

 

The 2020 Yaris Hatchback also boasts a wide range of desirable standard in-cabin features, including power door locks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, steering-wheel-mounted controls, keyless unlock and ignition, power windows with driver’s side one-touch up/down, two USB 2.0 ports with iPod connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with commander knob, a six-speaker AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio audio system, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

 

If the Toyota Yaris is stylish because of its simplicity, then the Sonic’s uniqueness is what makes it look great. The 2020 Sonic Hatchback’s cabin is a bit busier than the Yaris’, so it is better suited for a younger or more outgoing buyer. It boasts contrasting dash colors to help spruce things up, rounded air vents, and slick designs on the standard cloth seats.

 

The 2020 Sonic is just as well-equipped as the Yaris Hatchback but also adds standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi to keep everyone connected.

 

 

Because these small hatchbacks often haul young families, safety is key. The 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback gets a leg up on the Sonic with its standard low-speed automatic emergency braking. The Sonic offers forward-collision warning, but no automatic emergency braking is available.

 

In interior roominess, the 2020 Sonic wins in all but one measurement. The biggest victories come in rear headroom with 0.9 extra inches and cargo room with the seats up with an extra 3.1 cubic feet. The Yaris Hatchback only wins in front legroom, and that is by just 0.1 inches.

 

Measurement 2020 Chevrolet Sonic 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Difference
Front headroom 38.7 inches 38.2 inches +0.5 inches
Front legroom 41.8 inches 41.9 inches -0.1 inches
Front shoulder room 53.4 inches 53.2 inches +0.2 inches
Front hip room 51.4 inches
Rear headroom 38.1 inches 37.2 inches +0.9 inches
Rear legroom 34.6 inches 34.4 inches +0.2 inches
Rear shoulder room 53 inches 50 inches +3 inches
Rear hip room 51.6 inches
Cargo room (rear seats up) 19 cubic feet 15.9 cubic feet +3.1 cubic feet
Cargo room (rear seats folded) 47.7 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

  •       Standard automatic emergency braking
  •       Sleek and stylish cabin

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Sonic Hatchback

  •       More seating and cargo room
  •       More creative interior styling

Performance

Subcompact hatchbacks are rarely great performers, but the 2020 Sonic Hatchback and 2020 Yaris Hatchback each has a surprise up its sleeve.

 

The 2020 Yaris Hatchback won’t inspire too much excitement in a straight line with its 1.5-liter engine chugging out just 106 horsepower. This engine pairs to a standard six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, which combine for an estimated 10-second 0-to-60 time. Where the Yaris will impress is in the corners, as its Mazda-based platform holds firmer than most in the twisty stuff.

 

 

Under the 2020 Sonic Hatchback’s hood is a livelier 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. This pushes the Sonic along to 60 mph in just 8.5 seconds. Sure, that is far from hot-hatch territory, but it is a crowning achievement in this class.

 

 

Fuel economy is the name of the game in this class, and the Yaris dominates with 32 mpg city, 40 highway, and 35 combined. Those numbers beat the sonic by 6 mpg across the board. So while it may not beat the Sonic in a quarter-mile race, it may pass it at the pump.  

 

2020 Chevrolet Sonic 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Difference
Engine 1.4-liter turbo 4-cyl 1.5-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 138 hp at 4,900 rpm 106 hp at 6,000 rpm +32 hp
Torque 148 lb-ft at 1,850 rpm 103 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm +45 hp
Transmission 6-spd automatic 6-spd automatic
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 8.5 seconds 10 seconds (est.) -1.5 seconds (est.)
MPG City 26 mpg 32 mpg -6 mpg
MPG Highway 34 mpg 40 mpg -6 mpg
MPG Combined 29 mpg 35 mpg -6 mpg

 

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

  •       Huge fuel economy numbers
  •       Zippy handling

Advantage:

  •       Much quicker to 60 mph
  •       Optional performance suspension

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback has a simple lineup that includes two trim levels – LE and XLE – and their starting prices range from $17,750 to $18,750.

There are also just two trim levels making up the 2020 Chevy Sonic Hatchback: LT and Premier. Their starting prices range from $20,295 to $22,395.

2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LE: $17,750

  •       1.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       Six-speed automatic transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Normal and Sport modes
  •       Sport-tuned electric power steering
  •       Ventilated front disc and 9-inch drum rear brakes
  •       Fog lights
  •       Halogen headlights
  •       Daytime running lights
  •       Gloss-black mesh-pattern front grille
  •       Color-keyed, heated, power mirrors with LED turn signals
  •       Color-keyed door handles
  •       Rear spoiler
  •       16-inch dark-gray split-spoke alloy wheels
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Chrome-tipped exhaust
  •       Roof-mounted shark-fin antenna
  •       Air conditioning
  •       Six-way manual-adjust driver’s seat
  •       Four-way manual-adjusted passenger’s seat
  •       Cloth sport seats
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seats
  •       Metallic interior trim with chrome door handles
  •       Chrome interior door handles
  •       Power door locks
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Keyless unlock and ignition
  •       Power windows with driver’s side one-touch up/down
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       Two USB 2.0 ports with iPod connectivity
  •       Digital clock
  •       Cruise control
  •       7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with commander knob
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio audio system
  •       Stitcher and Aha radio
  •       MP3 connectivity
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Android Auto
  •       Rearview camera
  •       Low-speed automatic emergency braking
  •       Brake Assist
  •       Anti-lock brakes

XLE: $18,750

  •       All LE features, plus
  •       LED headlights with auto-on/off
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Rain-sensing variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Automatic climate control
  •       Leatherette upholstery
  •       Leather-trimmed steering wheel

2020 Chevy Sonic 5-Door Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LT: $20,295

  •       1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  •       Six-speed automatic transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Four-wheel disc brakes
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Power steering
  •       Touring suspension
  •       16-inch aluminum wheels
  •       Automatic on/off headlights
  •       Body-color, heated, power outside mirrors
  •       Chrome beltline moldings
  •       Body-color door handles
  •       Fog lights
  •       Integrated rear spoiler
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Projector-beam headlights
  •       Sporty rocker panel moldings
  •       Black Chevrolet bow tie emblems
  •       RS badging
  •       Intermittent rear wiper
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Two-way manual passenger seat
  •       Four-way manual driver seat
  •       4G LTE Wi-Fi
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM/SiriusXM audio system
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       Air conditioning
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  •       Chevrolet Connected access
  •       Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system
  •       7-inch color touchscreen
  •       Voice command
  •       Android Auto
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Cruise control
  •       Power door locks
  •       Driver information system
  •       Tilt steering wheel
  •       Power windows with one-touch up/down front glass
  •       Piano-black-accented instrument panel
  •       Sport three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrast stitching
  •       Carpeted front and rear floor mats
  •       Rear cargo cover
  •       Remote keyless entry
  •       Remote ignition
  •       Satin-silver shift knob
  •       Deluxe cloth seats
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       USB ports
  •       OnStar
  •       Rearview camera

Premier: $22,395

  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Sport suspension
  •       17-inch black-painted aluminum wheels
  •       Six-way power front seats
  •       Compass
  •       Enhanced driver information display
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Keyless unlock
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob with satin-silver accents
  •       Leatherette-trimmed seats

Who Should Buy the 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

With its lower price and enhanced safety features, the Toyota Yaris Hatchback is a great option for a young family on a tight budget that still needs all the latest equipment. Compounding the savings is the Yaris’ superior fuel economy.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Chevy Sonic Hatchback

With its more unique interior and superior acceleration, the Sonic is an excellent buy for someone looking to save money without altogether abandoning the need for speed and style. Buyers who need maximum cargo hauling will also find the Sonic is the better buy for them.

 

Ready to take the zippy 2020 Chevy Sonic Hatchback home today? Come by the Garber Automall showroom serving the Fleming Island, Orange Park, and surrounding areas today to take it for a test drive. Can’t make it to our Jacksonville area showroom for a test drive today? Check out our online inventory page to see all our in-stock 2020 Sonic Hatchback models, find a few that suit your needs, and schedule a test drive around your busy schedule.