For the 2013 model year, the Chevrolet Sonic is offered in two body styles, a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. As far as trim levels, the list is quite lengthy as it's being offered in their LS, LT, LTZ and now an RS performance version. The RS is only sold as a five-door hatchback. Each body style delivers notable class-leading rear seat roominess and cargo space. Additionally, Sonic was designated as one of the Best Family Cars of 2012, as voted by the editors of Edmunds and Parents magazine. The car's interior was named one of Ward’s 10 Best Interiors for last year's model, which of course, is basically carryover for 2013. Just about from every viewed angle , the Sonic sedan and five-door hatchback convey strength, stability and refinement. The car also shows a wide and firmly planted stance, with it's wheels pushed out to the corners. Other aggressive exterior design cues include flared fenders and motorcycle inspired round headlamps. With notable Chevrolet global design, Sonic has a dual element front grille assembly and round tail lamps. The leading edge of the car's engine cover hood assembly forms character lines above the front headlamps. This all flows into an overall sleek side profile. It's further characterized by uninterrupted body side lines, a high beltline and low roof line. The side mirrors appear to seemingly disappear into the car's unique profile. For 2013, Chevrolet included integral blind spot mirrors for enhanced visibility. Depending on the trim level ordered, Sonic offers two varieties each of cloth and leather seating surfaces as optional. The instrument panel surface flows into the upper doors. Premium, low gloss finishes are also used. The automatic transmission shift knob has a “cobra head” design, while the manual shifter has a chrome finished knob. The interior is also quite functional. This includes at no additional cost storage compartments in the center stack and storage wells formed in the door panels. The rear seats fold virtually flat for carrying larger items such as sports gear. Front bucket seats in Sonic are standard equipment. However, heated front seats are available from the factory as optional. Since its introduction in late 2011, the Chevrolet Sonic remains the only subcompact car built in America with the assembly plant not too far from Detroit. The spirited and nimble driving RS shows a vehicle price point of $20,185. That doesn't include the $810 needed for the shipping and destination charges. The factory included features on the RS model starts with their 1.4-liter turbo four cylinder engine matched with their Australian manufactured six speed manual transmission. I would however have welcomed a more precise and smother shifting manual gear selector on this model. A six speed automatic is also available. The smooth operating engine is rated at 138-horsepower and 148 lb.-ft of torque. Also included on the RS are four wheel disc brakes (which convey a very positive stopping and pedal feel), a performance tuned taunt suspension, electronic power steering, slightly lowered body ride height (compared to the standard Sonic models), unique contemporary looking 17-inch performance all weather tires and five spoke aluminum wheels, cruise control, air conditioning and steering wheel mounted audio controls. Also included with this performance version is standout “RS” accent lettering included with the leather seating and a track inspired and tested flat bottom steering wheel, as opposed to a completely round conventional type steering wheel. Chevrolet also elected to include their MyLink infotainment connectivity system developed exclusively for smart phone users. Under the heading of safety items, Sonic comes with ten standard airbags including side curtain airbags. Additionally, they include automatic and electronic safety stability control, four-wheel ABS brakes and advanced high strength structural steel used throughout the under skin. The car is also a 2013 top safety pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with it's five star crash rating. The final fuel economy numbers reflect 27-mpg city/34-mpg highway and as an average, 30-mpg combined when equipped with the manual gear box. Plenty of additional product information is also posted on Chevrolet's consumer web site where the new five door lift back Sonic RS is spotlighted. It's accessible at www.chevy.com.