2013 Chevrolet Sonic

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Thread: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic

  1. #1
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    2013 Chevrolet Sonic

    About a week ago we took delivery of a 2013 Chevy Sonic, LTZ hatchback, automatic. If anyone is interested, I'll post some thoughts on it in detail.

    As for now, for what we expected it to be, we like it. It has been a while since we last drove around in a sub-compact, so there is some getting used to.

    After another couple days, I'll post more thoughts. One thing I can say is after a couple tests (albiet with less than 1000 miles on it) it looks to be getting 38mpg on the highway (round trip, speed at or near 65) and when resetting the trip computer (and verifying accuracy with a half tank calcuating by hand) we are getting just a fraction over 30mpg in 80% urban, 20% highway conditions.

    The car is not fast, but it feels "quick" for its size. With the turbo though, there is about a quarter to half second delay from the time you put the pedal down until the vigorous acceleration.

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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic

    Tell us more! Sonic is not much smaller than our Soul, also @ just under 1000 miles, but it sounds like you get better MPG.

    I try to keep it under 90, don't know if that has anything to do with anything.

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    Hell has frozen over...

    I lead with that title as I always claimed that is what it would take for me to EVER buy a GM product. My parents owned them growing up, I worked on them in high school and college and my in-laws had them when I met them and kept buying them up until about 2004. I hated them. They were crap vehicles. I'll give them credit for building what I thought were reasonably reliable powertrains. But the quality and durability of interior trim and accessories was horrific. I don't think I had been in ANY GM car up until about 2006 that didn't have something on the inside broken, loose, missing or not working. (think Lumina dashboards, J-body steering racks, Cadillac automatic trunk pull down, ignition modules, etc... I could throw out a LOT of examples)

    But apparently hell froze over and I too just bought a Sonic.

    I picked up last month a 2013 LTZ Sedan with auto and the 1.4 turbo. Very happy with this little car so far. Not the fastest little box but this motor has enough torque on the bottom of the rev range to hold speed climbing grades without the trans hunting for gears. The new MyLink audio system is a great move forward over anything GM has typically done in the past. I like the thought of passing off control of my music and navigation to my device. Sound quality is pretty good also. Very satisfied with it.

    I've found the car to be a lot quieter than I would have expected. Handling is also pretty sharp and better than the GM stuff I'm used to. I wouldn't put it up there with our last Mazda3 but I'm happy with it. Interior space is probably a little too tight for us if we used this car for road trips for day to day is just fine. Trunk space for car this size is fantastic. The brakes so far feel smooth and strong. They grab quickly but not abrupt. I've been very happy with the transmission also. It upshifts very quickly and appears to rev-match on downshifts if you use the manual mode. Cool....

    Overall I have very few complaints with the car. The rear suspension feels a little soft with poor shock rebound control compared to the front. It is more noticeable when people are in the rear seats. The drivers armrest is also attached to the seat versus being part of a center console. This lends to the armrest being at a different height than the armrest on the door depending on how your seat is adjusted. This to me IS annoying. There is also no center armrest for the passenger. Lastly the rear seat headrests are HUGE. They block a lot of rearward visibility out of the car. Makes backing out of parking spaces hard with 50% of your viewing area blocked by the headrests.

    We are at about 1700 miles and seeing about 30.4mpg (gallons into actual miles) in mixed city/highway driving. The car does spend most of its miles on the interstate but they are stop/go Atlanta rush hour commuter miles. We did have a fuel pump fail on the car a day or two after taking delivery and was starting to get a bad taste in my mouth thinking I was dealing with old GM again. Fortunately the dealership stepped up, diagnosed it right the first time and fixed it right the first time. I'll give them a pass this time.

    Summary - Damn good little car.

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    Re: Hell has frozen over...

    I think these are great cars and I find that it could replace my Astra at some point. I have not driven one yet but I have read reviews that it is quiet (especially on the highway). In fact, Edmunds InsideLine has one, they took it on a trip to Nevada from CA and they thought it was great to drive a distance, I can't say that about my car now (its almost like they are talking about my car in their last post about the car that tires you out from driving).

    Add in the fact that it is somewhat sporty and is still efficient, owning a car of this size is no longer a terrible thing and it is something I am going to strongly consider.
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    3.0 Liter SIDI V6 GM Customer Service's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic

    Mjd & rodslinger, thank you so much for posting your Sonic reactions! I'm so pleased you all are satisfied, on the whole, and welcome any additional feedback. Please don't hesitate to send me a direct message anytime and I would be happy to investigate your questions or document your opinions where GM departments can view them.

    Best,

    Katie
    GM Customer Service
    Follow us @GMCustomerSvc on Twitter.

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    Re: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic

    Ok, we have had the car a couple of weeks, have over 600 miles on it, and had a chance to drive it around town, a few times on the highway, in weather close to 80 degrees, and in rain and 40 degree windy weather, so here are some more complete thoughts:

    -Comfort in the front is pretty good for what you would think of a Subcompact. I am close to 6'1" and 200 lbs. It took me a few attempts to find adjust the seat the way I liked, but room up front is not that tight. Narrower than a midsizer for sure, but great headroom (much better than the Cruze and even most midsizers.) Back seat is very tight. However, it can be made tolerable for short and even medium length trips if there is one passenger back there and they sit behind the passenger. The front passenger seat can be pulled up more because there is more room behind the dashboard on that side than in most cars. Therefore, the passenger in front can sit closer to the front, and give more leg room for the person behind them.

    If that doesn't make sense the way I explained it, try it in the showroom. A have a front passenger pull their seat forward more tha usual, and they will have more than expected room, leaving good room for the person behind them.

    -Pefrormance: In terms of acceleration, once the turbo kicks on (at just over 2,000 rpms), the engine feels a LOT stronger than its advertised power ratings, all the way up to just above 5,000 rpms. You won't be winning a ton of drag races because it does slow down above 5,000rpms, but for everyday driving (and even some moderate acceleration), it feels like a much quicker car than the 0-60 tests claim. It is basically the same engine as the Cruze, but with a couple hundred lbs less weight.

    -Ride quality: Ok, not great. The car rides smoother than our 2008 Saturn Vue Redline, but not as smoothly as our 2011 V6 Dodge Avenger. It handles well. I think you can take the turns and offramps just as quick as you can in our Avenger, but it feels a little more top heavy (for its size, it is an upright vehicle.)

    -So in terms of all the above points, it is a very Fun car. Why? I am prett confident you can use this as a daily drive and push it pretty hard and still get close to 30mph in overall driving.

    -Ours also has the new radio (touchscreen that comes in the 2013 LTZs.) I haven't linked it up to listen to music out of my phone yet, but I do like the radio unit. I did take some music off of our computer and copied it onto a couple year old small flash drive, then plugged that flash drive into the USB port in the glove box, and the radio plays it just fine. Also, the touch screen is very responsive. Personally, I'd rather not have a touchscreen, but this one responds many times faster (almost instant respons) than the couple units I played around with in Ford vehicles.

    -Fuel economy. On round-trip highway trips (20-30 miles going close to the speedlimit) I'm seeing anywhere from 33 (cold, rainy, windy day) to 38 (same trip where I got 33, but on a 55 degree sunny day with little wind). I haven't done a fuel run around town, but when it is averaged in with the highway mileage, I'm guessing it is near the 27 advertised.

    The last gold thing I'll say (and this applies to all smaller cars I guess, not just the sonic) is it is really nice when it comes time to clean it. Our Vue or Avenger, when it comes time to wash it, dry it, vacuum the outside and do the windows...to do a thorough job it can take up to 2 hours. The Sonic takes me about half that (maybe a bit more than half), but you can clean it and shine it up in no-time compared to larger vehicles.
    Last edited by mjd1001; 10-24-2012 at 08:08 AM.

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