2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ: Hates The Heat
August 29, 2012
Last year Dan Edmunds drove our Chevy Cruze, which shares its 1.4-liter turbo engine with our long-term Sonic, to Phoenix in June. Turns out, Phoenix is hot in June. Dan observed frustratingly poor low-speed performance from the little boosted engine.
And yesterday, when temps hovered around 100 degrees in Southern California, so did I. In fact, this thing is downright hard to drive when it's this hot.
So significant is the change in power delivery at this temperature that a large adaption is required from its driver. Constant attention must be paid to engine speed so as to not stall when leaving a signal or stop sign. And getting caught a gear or two too high is a regular occurence. Plan on stuffing the Sonic down a few gears often when driving in the heat.
Our car was last filled with 87 octane, which doesn't help. I'll mix in some 91 soon.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor