• Starting price of $20,995 with a 6-speed manual transmission.
  • 6-speed automatic offered at a $1,285 premium.
  • 138-horsepower engine and sporty RS-specific styling.

Chevrolet announced pricing for the sportier, turbocharged Sonic RS, a 5-door compact hatchback aimed at young buyers. Equipped with a standard 6-speed manual, the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS has a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) just under $21,000. Along with a turbocharged engine with more robust output than the base Sonic's standard motor, the RS model includes sporty styling tweaks and interior appointments.

The turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine in the RS is also available as a $700 option on the top two trim levels of the base Sonic. Its horsepower rating is the same as that of the standard 1.8-liter engine, but the turbo motor is gutsier, with 148 pound-feet torque compared with the 1.8's 125 lb-ft. With a 6-speed manual transmission, the Sonic RS has an MSRP of $20,995. Replacing the manual with a 6-speed automatic ups the price to $22,280.

Regardless of transmission choice, the Sonic RS's performance upgrades are not limited to the drivetrain. Chassis enhancements include lower and stiffer suspension with sport-tuned dampers. Four-wheel disc brakes are offered exclusively on the RS, and 17-inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels are included.

Exterior styling includes RS-specific front and rear bumpers with fog lamps up front and a chrome-finish exhaust tip out back. The Sonic RS also includes rocker moldings, a rear spoiler and RS badges.

Inside, the RS has leather seats with sueded microfiber inserts, a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel with contrasting stitching, a leather-wrapped shift knob for manual transmission models and aluminum pedals.

Chevrolet's MyLink system is standard on the Sonic RS. It allows the driver to interact with a connected smartphone through a 7-in touchscreen mounted in the center stack. The RS includes 6-speaker audio with SiriusXM, USB input and Bluetooth.

The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS arrives at dealerships this fall.

What it means to you: With a starting price under $21,000, the Sonic RS 5-door hatchback offers sporty performance, unique styling and a host of standard equipment.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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