1.4 turbo LT auto sedan; a good buy, a few niggles
written on 12-10-2014
This review is for the 1.4 turbo LT sedan, which isn't offered as an option by Edmunds so I have flagged this in the title.
Fun to drive; generally excellent design, one of the few really good touchscreen entertainment systems, excellent on safety, peppy if you get the turbo, a lot of space for the money, larger (but fortunately for parking no longer) than a standard subcompact and the sedan is actually well into the EPA compact category by volume, unusually quiet and smooth for the class. But a number of niggles; front seat comfort issues, awkward stock tuning of engine and transmission, unrefined rear suspension, and appalling stock tires except on the Dusk Edition.
I've owned an. LTZ sedan with the 1.4 turbo and a six-speed manual transmission for two years and more than 30,000 miles.
I'm still very impressed.
Quite peppy in city driving.
We just took a highway ride and ran at speeds up to 80 mph and averaged 39 mpg.
Very solid ride and quiet with little wind noise.
Amazing amount of legroom and headroom for driver and front seat passenger.
I'm six-two and had to move the seat up and had tons of headroom.
I liked the look of the hatchback better but lower price and huge trunk made me pick ther sedan.
We paid less than 18K; I can't think of any car out there to offer this value.
Update after two years: we still like the car very much. It has been flawless with one exception; my independent mechanic noticed a very slight leak in the main rear engine seal. It didn't leak enough to have to add any oil. I brought it to the dealer who replaced the seal under warranty but I haven't had it on a lift to see if the problem is solved.
For the money paid, it's still a fine value although the trade in value is low compared with other subcompacts.
The 201y Chevy Sonic is a good car. It's good on gas, relatively stylish, very dependable. However, it lacks the over 'luster' of a sub-compact car. The transmission is a joke. I'm sure it is set up for economy, but come on Chevy; you can do better than that. The engine lacks power...majorly. The overall interior quality is poor. The seats are awkwardly placed and hard to adjust; especially if you've never been in the car. The interior is covered in flimsy plastic and hardly any soft touch material. But the worst thing about the entire car is how loud it is. Every bit of road and wind noise enters the cabin. Even on smooth pavement, you would think that you are driving on gravel.
When I started looking for a commuter car, the sonic wasn't even on my radar. I read the mileage posts and the reviews. Well I happened onto this sonic at a dealer who somehow happened to have 2 of the only turbo 6 speed cars in the state. Yes, 1LT is the model, sedan 1.4L turbo with a 6spd. When I took it out on the freeway and hit 52mpg. I knew the turbo was the car to have. I commute 120 miles round trip each day. Solid 44.3mpg with premium gas at 80mph with A/C on. 52mpg at 50mph and A/C on. The 44.3mpg is normal in this car. 38-41 around town in stop and go traffic. Also I have over 10K on my car since july.
I bought this car with 20,000 miles under warrenty thank god! This car jerks really bad while it shifts and when you are trying to slow down in rush hour traffic in Atlanta. It has been to the dealership many many times. They tried fixing the problem by changing out the clutches, then a week later the transaxle fell out of place at a stop light, I was an hour away from home near my work. The car could not go anywhere. It just kept rolling backwards. I had to keep my foot on the brake. It wouldn't even work in park, it would still roll backwards. I had to put my emergency brake on and what for a cop to push my car out of the highway. I had to let my car coast all the way to a restaurant. Then get it towed to my dealer. They fixed my transaxle but it still jerks and feels like it's going to stall. I am in the middle of a legal settlement with GM.
Please don't buy this car