2012 Chevrolet Sonic Turbo: I'd Rather Commute In It Than Road-Trip It
September 13, 2012
I've expressed doubt about our long-term 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Turbo's desirability as a road-trip car, but after a couple 30-mile commutes in moderate to heavy traffic this week, I'm ready to take up its cause again.
The ride isn't perfect (the suspension feels outmatched over certain ruts), but overall, I don't think there's another car in this class that offers the Sonic's compliance and substantial feel. If the Sonic weren't so narrow, you could fool yourself into believing you were driving a car that's one class up -- I've never had that thought in a Honda Fit or Mazda 2.
The clutch takeup in the Sonic is also pretty nice and bearable in traffic. It engages about when and how you think it will, so you can kind of mindlessly trundle along in stop-and-go traffic. Of course, it would be better if the car had quicker throttle response, but you learn to drive around the initial delay.
I still think the Chevy's 6th gear is too tall for all but the steadiest-state cruising on level ground, and for commuting, I don't feel bad leaving it in 5th, as this still has it revving around 3,000 rpm at 65-70 mph -- plenty reasonable.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 11,262 miles