An everyday run of the mill hatchback is exactly that. A no frills, no fuss, to work and back car that does pretty much everything well. When looking at the Sonic, you realise that there is nothing special about it… or is there?
The headlights are almost projector-looking and stick out of their mouldings, almost like the head light is unfinished and its missing a cover. It actually looks pretty good and very different, if you are not used to that sort of styling. The fresh styling has been carried throughout the whole car and the same sort of tailing popping out of the covers look is featured at the back. Our model, the 1.3D LS features 15inch alloy wheels and spotlights, which also give the Sonic a sporty sort of appearance. The hidden rear door handles also give the car smoother running lines.
The Sonic’s interior is pretty good. Apart from a little bit of hard plastic here and there, which should be forgiven in this price bracket, its looks pretty good. The dials, speedo and trip computer works great. You have a digital speedo with an analogue rev counter, which for a diesel, runs just past four clicks. Driving the 70kw 1.3 turbo diesel engine can be pretty fun too. At first it’s a little laggy before the power comes on, but when it does, it’s a real kick in the backside as the 210nm torque makes you fly through the slick 6 speed gear box. The gears are pretty well spaced apart for maximum fuel economy and on our everyday driving, we averaged about 16km/l and combine that with 46l fuel tank, your range is pretty impressive.
The stereo is a 6 speaker unit which plays Mp3’s and also has a USB input. Bluetooth is also standard on the LS model which obviously lets you connect your phone and I must admit, unlike some vehicles where pairing the car and phone can take a while, this was a fairly quick and painless process. All this can be controlled, including the stereo from the steering wheel controls. The interior quality is pretty good again and you get what you pay for. It’s another way of getting good value for your money.
The Sonic also features ABS braking with EBD and front, side and seat airbags for driver and passenger. Boot space is an average 290l or 653l with the seats folded flat. The little 1.3 can also tow and is rated at 500kg unbraked, or 1000kg braked. The Sonic is so surprising and versatile, it’s no wonder there are so many on our roads. Have a serious look at the Sonic if you are in the market for a no frills, no fuss, do it all hatchback. Our 1.3 D LS retails at R181 700, Please see www.chevrolet.co.za for more.