Smell Begone - 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Long-Term Road Test

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Long Term Road Test

2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ: Smell Begone

August 13, 2012

old seats.jpg

We got the call Saturday morning that Harbor Chevrolet had completed the swap-out of seats in our Sonic. By 10 a.m., the car was vacuumed, washed and ready for pickup. The service folks and I went back to a bay for some photos of the old seats before they were boxed up for return to GM (where a team will doubtless apply "CSI"-like forensics tests to find the source of olfactory unpleasantness.)

As I shot, we talked about what the problem might have been and a service advisor described his own smell nightmare: He once had truck tires that, as he put it, "smelled like plumber's crack" when they'd sat in the sun for a while. So I guess things with the Sonic could have been worse.

But now came the moment of truth.

New Sonic Seats.jpg

I got into the car and like a sommelier, I drew in a deep draught of air. The seats smelled better. Way better. As much as 90 percent better.

My keen-nosed husband agreed. "Now it just smells like a new car," he said. Not like a boatful of decaying fish at the Salton Sea. And even after sitting in 91-degree temperatures Saturday afternoon and Sunday, the car did not stink.

Mike Schmidt added his nose to the assessment this morning: "I don't think it's nearly as bad," he said.

The acid test, of course, will come when Dan Frio brings the car home for his wife's verdict. Still kusai or no?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @10,819 miles

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