These days’ generations have matured beyond their years – or perhaps “mature” is the wrong word. Sixteen year olds are acting like twenty somethings and twenty somethings have babies in tow. But for those have remained semi-sensible, they are looking out for their pocket as well as their image. So why not hop into an affordable, attractive vehicle like the Chevrolet Sonic RS?
The exterior of the car is sporty and fun, matching the way it drives. The halogen headlamps are motorcycle inspired which you wouldn’t think would work on a car, but these really give the little hatch that extra bit of character. The curves on the side of the give it some class that flows back toward the flat rear. The car is small and nimble and Chevrolet really designed it well for city driving and parking in the little gaps.
The interior is reasonably simple yet still modern. Behind the wheel, the first noticeable feature us the instrument panel which is a mix between analogue and digital, and it takes a while to get used to. It is unique, though. The blue digital display demonstrates the speedometer as well as the petrol gauge. It looks a little out of date and place next to the analogue tachometer, which better matches the MyLink infotainment system on the centre consol. The system has everything you need in a car from smartphone integration to Bluetooth audio streaming. We would have subtracted points for not having a navigation system, but almost everyone has a smartphone these days with a GPS. You can charge your phone from the USB port hidden in the top cubby hole which doesn’t have to remain open when something is plugged in because of these grooves. Someone used their heads here.
Chevrolet focused on sprightly performance and reasonable fuel consumption when they designed the Sonic RS. The 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine produces a decent kick with a power output of 103kW and 200Nm of torque. It has quite a hard clutch, so it’ll be a little rough on the knees in traffic. It is boasts fantastic performance and it’s easy to creep over the legal limit. Claimed fuel consumption is at 6.6l/100km and I was able to achieve 6.8 which will be a bit gentler on the pocket. We are still debating whether it can keep up with the Suzuki Swift Sport.
Standard safety features include driver and passenger front and side airbags, ABS brakes, traction control and automatic locking when driving over 20km/h. The Sonic RS will retail for R225 300 and sold with a five year/120 000km warranty and a three year/60 000km service plan.