I'm not sure what some people do with their cars. We have TWO 2012 Sonic LT Auto's, both with the 1.8L engine. One is a Sedan and the other is a Hatch. I like the sedan a bit better because is is actually longer, giving more cargo space in most cases. Plus, due to aerodynamics, the sedan gets better MPG, especially on the highway, where we routinely get 37 MPG out of that car. But, I also like the hatch, because it has the bigger wheels and fog lights. If it only got the same MPG... There have been a few recall issues, but not many. I do my own oil/filter changes and full synthetic is the way to go. The only odd thing on the sedan was the air intake hose between the air box and manifold cracked on the sedan and that tripped the engine light. It was a $35 part, so I just replaced it in the garage. UPDATE: GM extended the warranty on this part and reimbursed my repair cost. UPDATE: Both cars have had the air intake break and both were fixed by GM. Also, we are starting to get some thermostat codes popping on the one with 75k miles on it. It's either a dirty connector, or a failed sensor (less than $50) as they all seem to do this. On the hatch, I took a pot-holed exit ramp too fast and broke a ball joint, so that was $150 with labor and alignment. Other than that, we have about 100K miles combined and ONE unexpected repair. BTW tie rods and ball joints on smaller cars are almost routine maintenance when driving on Michigan roads. Overall pretty good repair record, in my opinion. These are good cars for the money. The insurance is reasonable (we are over 50) they ride pretty well for being so small, especially compared to the imports. We live in Michigan and have full sets of snow tires for these cars, since the factory tires are useless in the snow. But, with the right tires, they are good in winter. I routinely drive though 6-8 inches of snow and isolated patches up to a foot and have never been stranded. The sedan was rear-ended early on, and the fix was done well at the dealership. We take care of our cars and these have been particularly trouble-free. But, a lot of younger people buy these cars and maybe they don't take care of them. Also, a lot of used Sonics are coming on the market now from rental fleets, so they might not have been cared for that well either. The flood of rental returns is also lowering the resale right now. All things considered, I'd buy another one tomorrow, probably a turbo LT sedan. UPDATE: I did buy a 2013 LT Turbo Sedan, slightly used a few months ago, so now I have THREE Sonics. They are pretty good cars, my only recent gripe being a few rattles have developed, but they are cheap and easy to fix. The dealer put a replacement set of plastic stabilizer bar links on the 2013 with only 5k miles and there was a TSB put out for a bad seal between the engine and transmission on the car with the turbo engine. That leak was fixed at no cost to me.
This was my first new car purchase after college. I've grown up driving Hyundai, Mercury, Ford, etc, but never a Chevrolet. The dealer and service support is fantastic, and this car is worth every penny. After 50k miles, I've only needed one minor repair on the fuel valve, and the warranty covered everything. This car has some road noise, but that's what happens when you're in a small, fast car low to the ground on the highway. Yes, gas and brakes are sensitive in the best way possible - I've lived in Dallas for four years and have never gotten in an accident, thanks to the amazing brake response. Acceleration is super easy - I've caught myself speeding a few times without meaning to. The car handles well and the alignment is still perfect four years after purchasing. The A/C is super efficient and the sound system is decent enough. There is major storage space. The only drawback is that the car IS little, so not perfect for roadtrips of 4 or more people, considering rear seat space. The size of the car makes up for it since there's no parking space too small for this car, but it totally doesn't feel like a small car from the driver or front passenger seat. Perfect for families of three or less. My average MPG in the DFW area is around 32, but gets up to 45 on long road trips. Definitely would buy again.
My husband actually brought this car to my attention after my current vehicle had to put in the shop with no hope of repair. After going back and forth, I finally decided to give it a chance and test drove the vehicle for 2 days. I was amazed! I have one child and there was plenty of room for him in the back and they really made every little bit of space count in this car!! Needless to say I was sold and we ended up buying it on the day I was to return it!!
I drive about 120 miles per day and do get a little better gas mileage than my last car. The problem is the gas tank is so small I have to fuel up every other day, although the tank is smaller than my last car. My check engine light started coming on recently and I had the codes checked, indicating an oxygen sensor. I checked and the bold that holds the bracket and wiring for the oxygen sensor had fallen out and was gone leaving the oxygen sensor cable on the hot manifold. Can't find the bolt so I have it zip tied to a little loop on the engine. I have checked some forums and it is common on the Sonic and Cruz (same motor) The engine over temp light started coming on as well.
Sophie the Sonic is a great car for my teen driver
written on 07-06-2016
This car is very well suited for my new teen driver. We love the many airbags and it's size is easy for her to handle. We have big SUV's and Crossovers so this smaller car was much needed. Don't let the size fool you - my husband 6 ft. 2 in. and not a small guy and can sit in the front and back very comfortably. The price point was great and we love Chevy's and GMC's so this was a great buy for us.
I = 3.82, II = 2.05, III = 1.30, IV = 0.96, V = 0.74, VII = 0.61, R = 3.54, FD = 3.65
What's the point of all this turbocharged torque if it's not available from a stop? Tried to launch (traction control off) at 3,500 rpm, but electronics pull revs down. Squeezed throttle almost to the floor and got just 4,000 rpm. Let the clutch out quickly, but obvious torque-reduction measure(s) cause the car to bog, bog, bog no matter what I tried. Slip the clutch; bog. Get clutch out ASAP and go to WOT; bog. Infuriating. Must have a fragile drivetrain to be so heavily protected by software. Finally, there's some sort of shift-shock reduction happening between upshifts that encourages slow, smooth shifts and otherwise punishes by taking throttle away, then returning it -- long delay. So disappointing overall because of all the potential, but that's why we test on track -- to find limitations.
Completely normal, adequate brakes without a hint of fade in distance or pedal feel. Like the Mazda 2 (tested the same day), it also jacks the rear up, then "falls" back to level after I release the brake.
Skid pad: Plenty of grip, but with so little off-throttle engine braking, it's less responsive to steering with the throttle. Mild understeer at the limit is met with throttle closure first, then brake check (that remains on for much longer than it should). Heavy-handed ESC. Steering weight is appropriate and offers some sense of pending understeer. Slalom: The suspension was apparently tuned to have an aptitude for predictable oversteer in a single corner/event... not for six quick transitions. By the 3-4 cone mark, the rear of the car is feeling like a caboose that's close to coming off the rails. A perfect run, catching the rear with opposite lock at each and every cone might be possible, but the sun might go down first. ESC is heavy-handed and long-lingering. I do like the steering.