2013 Chevrolet Sonic
There are 4 user reviews for the LS Auto Sedan trim shown below
- 5 star safety rating
- loose steering
Purchased As New
I bought a 2013 Sonic LS sedan (base model) in late Feb., 2013. 3,600 miles on it now. Here are the pros and cons:
Pros: It brakes well. The sound system is good. The Hankook tires (made in Korea) are smooth and grip the road well. A/C works well. Height-adjustable driver seat. Fully adjustable steering wheel. Gauges are easy to read, digital speedometer. The car feels solid and I like the 5 star safety rating, one of the main reasons I bought the car. The interior is roomy although the back seat area is a bit tight. The hatchback has more headroom than the sedan due to the sedan's sloping rear window. Gas mileage is good – rated at 35 mpg on the highway, I got 37 – but with a 1.8 liter engine and 6 speed auto, it should be better (see Fiesta, Focus, Civic, and Sentra). Adequate trunk space. The split fold-down rear seats are a plus.
Cons: There are many. The main problem I have had is the steering feels loose, especially at highway speeds. It wanders in the lane and you are constantly having to correct. On a long trip it is tiring to fight the zig-zag of the car. I took it back to the dealer twice for this problem and they said nothing was wrong. I took it to a different Chev. dealer and they said the same thing. I've driven small cars for 40+ years (Beetle, Colt, Corolla, Jetta, Escort, Cavalier, and others) and never had this issue before. Maybe it's a design problem, I don't know, but it is not a good highway car. The heater takes a very long time to warm up. The brake and gas pedals are too close together. The edge of my shoe gets caught under the brake pedal when moving from the gas to the brake. The visibility is poor. Big windshield and side pillars obstruct the view and the rear headrests are large and in the way. I rented a 2012 Ford Fiesta for a week recently and the rear headrests in that car folded down so a better design is possible. The exhaust is noisy, maybe to appeal to younger buyers. The engine idles rough and if you accelerate quickly, it hesitates. The transmission is always shifting and not smoothly. The base upholstery is maybe the worst I have seen. The material feels cheap and the printed-on design makes it look like it is already worn out. The headrests are angled too far forward. I know it's a safety design but it is uncomfortable to drive with your head so far forward all the time. I have the MyLink touchscreen sound system. It's a $600 option and is not worth it. The touchscreen is a distraction while driving and you can't even play CDs with it! The engine requires synthetic oil. If you use anything that is not Dexos certified (i.e. expensive synthetic oil) and there is a lubrication-related engine failure, your 100,000 mile engine warranty is void.
I like to buy American. It gets harder all the time. This Sonic is assembled in Michigan but has a Hungarian-built Opel engine, Korean tires, and a spare tire made in China.
I went to a Honda dealer to see what I could get on a trade for a Civic (more American content than the Sonic, ironically). What they offered on a trade was 27% less than what I paid for it. I know that new cars depreciate quickly but that's ridiculous.
I don't recommend the Sonic at all. I wish I had kept my old 2002 Cavalier. It was more comfortable, roomier, and handled better.
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