2012 Chevrolet Sonic Turbo: More Thoughts from the Central Valley
August 11, 2012
It's interesting how a road trip can change your perspective on a car. After my 750-mile trip, I'm still a fan of the turbo Chevrolet Sonic, I still like its packaging, but I'd be hesitant to buy one myself.
One reason is the seats. They feel fine for a couple hours, but once I was past that threshold, the flat seat-bottom cushion was a problem. Definite case of dead butt, and I was still in some discomfort for about an hour after I arrived home. It's hard for me to lobby for Chevy to put more expensive seats in an inexpensive car, but I could use more firm support.
Also, while the manual air-conditioning is up to the task of cooling the car in triple-digit heat (although I'm not a good judge of this... I never set any auto climate control system below 72 degrees, and I never went past the "2" fan speed in the Sonic), the car has a lot of upright glass area -- because it's a tall hatchback. And the single visor doesn't extend. So when driving north on Interstate 5, the afternoon sun came streaming in from the west and there was no way to shade my face.
So what did I like?
Well, I like the instrumentation and the control layout. The steering wheel buttons work well, and the cruise buttons are pretty much the same as what you get in the X3. I also think you get an awfully nice stereo display, considering there's no factory navigation. Pressing the info button while you're on any of the active XM/MLB stations shows you who's playing and the inning, number of outs and the score.
I also was pretty content with the fuel economy, or at least I was until I compared notes with James. I got 31.6 mpg (running 91 octane)... which is about what he got in the BRZ. Why am I driving a practical car again? Oh, yeah, because I like hatches.