2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ Turbo: Yeah, I Could Own This Car
June 20, 2012
I put a lot of freeway miles on our long-term 2012 Chevrolet Sonic over the weekend. A lot of it was light traffic, but I did time in stop-and-go jams as well.
One thing that struck me about it is that it just feels natural to be in this car. It feels like my car. I've never felt that way about a Cruze, Malibu or Equinox.
It starts with a really normal driving position. OK, so you sit a little tall in this car (as you do in most of these short-stuff budget hatchbacks), but there are plenty of adjustments, so it's not bad. Second, there's the interior room. It feels spacious. I'm not bumping elbows with the front passenger, and another (small) adult can sit in back and still have adequate room. Also, the A/C system is up to the task of keeping the cabin cool on a 90-degree day with three aboard.
Alas, when you're running the A/C is exaggerates the one thing I don't like about this car -- its pokeyness off the line. Seems to be a combination of an EPA-friendly, this-is-how-you-drive-a-manual-son (read: dead) throttle calibration and the A/C compressor sapping power.
Whatever. It's annoying, but it doesn't ruin the driving experience for me (though, admittedly, you don't have to run the air-conditioner all day, every day where I live). I like the clutch takeup otherwise, and I like how the shifter moves fluidly through the gates. On most freeways, I really like the ride quality -- only over the really broken ones does the ride get harsh. And I think the steering is nice and precise.
Add in a nice dose of hatchback utility, and you have an Erin-friendly car.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 9,501 miles