Used 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Consumer Reviews

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$5,995 - $6,195

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Sonic LTZ Turbo 1.4 Hatchback

daveh14, 03/05/2012
43 of 44 people found this review helpful

Just purchased a week ago. Car rides and handles great. Had a hard time finding the turbo model - bought it sight unseen as it was in-transit to the dealer. Makes driving enjoyable again (my previous car was a mini-van). Getting great fuel mileage, so far, averaging about 36 with a high of 41 (and that's doing about 70 on the highway). Comfortable seating and looking forwards to a cross-country trip this summer.

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Critics Overlook this Valuable Car

sonicdriver, 06/01/2016
LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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.

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I own TWO 2012 Sonics... Read this Review!

Gary N, 07/04/2016
LT 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6A)
45 of 48 people found this review helpful

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. UPDATE: I sold the 2012 hatch and traded off the 2012 sedan with the 1.8L engine, so we are down to only the 2013 turbo sedan now. Still good cars, but the cooling systems on them do tend to get leaks and cracks in the plastic parts. None of these parts are expensive or difficult to replace for a DIY person, but bleeding the air out of the system after repairs is nearly impossible. I had to take them to a local shop to have them do it for me because we had air in the heater core and it was 20 below zero outside... They pressure tested it and everything was good, but then a month or so later, the water pump started weeping coolant, and it was due for a timing belt... A few months after that I traded it off. The 2013 now has 20k miles on it and the rear shocks are starting to go bad - another common but inexpensive issue. I did this on at least one of the others and it was easier than I thought, but I'm waiting until spring to do this car. I still recommend these cars, but you really need to get the right deal on them, as I did on two of the three I bought. They do tend to have some issues, but they are inexpensive repairs if done yourself and none of them ever left us stranded anywhere. I actually never replaced any of the batteries.

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Amazing performance for a small car!

edtamber, 05/07/2012
17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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!!

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Great Buy

stompthegas, 07/12/2012
16 of 17 people found this review helpful

I have owned a string of Japanese cars for the past 20 years including 2 Camrys, Corolla, Sequioa, Maxima, Infinti, Sentra, Frontier plus a few domestics, Cavalier, Corsica, Dakota RT, Durango, Contour V6, Corvette, and a Taurus. I grew up up on Pintos, Dusters, and other rust buckets. Plus I have rented 100's of car of all various makes and models. This is by far the biggest bang for the buck I have ever owned or drove. I have the base model purchased at a steep discount but the car still far exceeds my expectations. The 1.8 engine combined with the manual 5 speed is a hoot to drive. It feels quick, handles great, and is reasonably comfortable and quiet.

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