Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2016 Ford Fiesta VS 2016 Chevrolet Sonic Near Avondale, AZ

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2016 Ford Fiesta

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2016 Chevrolet Sonic

Safety Comparison

Both the Fiesta and the Sonic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 and available rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Fiesta is safer than the Chevrolet Sonic:





5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

246 lbs.

262 lbs.

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

60 lbs.

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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fiesta is safer than the Chevrolet Sonic:



Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches




Hip Force

717 lbs.

885 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Fiesta has a standard 500-amp battery. The Sonic’s 438-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fiesta SFE 3 cyl. Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Sonic turbo 4 cyl. Manual (31 city/43 hwy vs. 29 city/40 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Fiesta gets better fuel mileage than the Sonic:



1.6 4 cyl./5-spd. Manual

28 city/36 hwy

26 city/35 hwy

1.8 4 cyl./Manual



27 city/34 hwy

1.4 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

1.6 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

27 city/37 hwy

24 city/35 hwy

1.8 4 cyl./Auto



25 city/33 hwy

1.4 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

The Fiesta has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sonic LT 1.4 Turbo Manual’s standard fuel tank (12.4 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Fiesta has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sonic doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fiesta stops much shorter than the Sonic:



80 to 0 MPH

138 feet

223 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

126 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Fiesta’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.

The Fiesta SE/Titanium Sedan has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Sonic, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Fiesta’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sonic doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Fiesta’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.4% to 40.6%) than the Sonic’s (62.5% to 37.5%). This gives the Fiesta more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Fiesta’s turning circle is .1 feet tighter than the Sonic LS/LT’s (34.4 feet vs. 34.5 feet). The Fiesta’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Sonic LTZ/RS’ (34.4 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Fiesta Titanium Five-Door Hatchback is quieter than the Sonic LTZ Hatchback (75 vs. 79 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fiesta Sedan has .4 inches more front headroom and .4 inches more front legroom than the Sonic Sedan.

The Fiesta Five-Door Hatchback has .4 inches more front headroom and 1.8 inches more front legroom than the Sonic Hatchback.

Ergonomics Comparison

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fiesta’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Sonic doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar ® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Intelligent Access Key standard on the Fiesta Titanium allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Sonic doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Fiesta has standard power remote mirrors. The Sonic LS doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Fiesta Titanium’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 Fiesta (except S)’s optional 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 Fiesta has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sonic doesn’t offer rear vents.

The Fiesta (except S)’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sonic’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Fiesta owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Fiesta will cost $125 less than the Sonic over a five-year period.

The Fiesta will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Fiesta will retain 33% to 35% of its original price after five years, while the Sonic only retains 27% to 31%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fiesta is less expensive to operate than the Sonic because typical repairs cost less on the Fiesta than the Sonic, including $7 less for a water pump, $146 less for an alternator, $68 less for front brake pads, $8 less for front struts and $147 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fiesta will be $126 to $3105 less than for the Chevrolet Sonic.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic won an award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

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