2012 Chevy Sonic LTZ: Disjointed
February 13, 2012
I'm not sure how we've gone this far into our long term review of the Sonic without mentioning this, but the interior of the Sonic is completely chaotic and disjointed. What is going on here?
First, let's start with the instrument cluster that I guess is supposed to be motorcycle inspired. I should mention that this is not, in any way, a motorcycle. But like a motorcycle, this cluster of things -- speedo, tach, information screen -- has just been glued somewhere relatively in front of the driver. This method of attachment makes sense on a motorcycle as the rider only has handlebars in front of them. This method is annoying on a car where you have an entire dash to work with. Sticking something on top of it just looks funny.
Next up is the center console. Two useless bins, a giant seam, a slot that throws your parking card onto the carpet as soon as you accelerate, and at least 11 different materials. From dead-on it looks like a sad elephant.
There are circles, squares, rectangles, seams, cut-lines, knobs, lights, buttons, fake metallic finish, levers and every other kind of design feature-- other than wood or carbon fiber-- you can think of all crammed into one relatively small package. On the plus side, the materials and assembly of them are quite good for this class. Another bright spot are the seats. They're attractive, supportive and the leatherette feels good.
After a few days of being in it, the girlfriend finally spoke up on the car and summarized my thoughts, "An adult could never buy this car. The interior is hyperactive -- like five guys all under 20 designed it for guys under 16 who drink too much Redbull."
Judging by GM's Sonic Super Bowl Spots, she might not be too far from the truth.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com @ 2,800 miles