My first impression of the Chevrolet Sonic RS (Hatch-back) reminded me of a hedge-hog – Sonic the Hedge-Hog.
The Chevrolet Sonic RS has a somewhat stocky-build, chunky with athletic contours. Front on: Sonic’s bares a heavy frown, scowling head-lamps and sturdy physique are the visual signature of the RS model. Side On: Tracing the Sonic’s aerodynamic body lines from rear to front create a semblance of an elevated tail-end, tapering towards a diving nose at the front end as if the car is in positive rake – which has a strong resemblance to a “track car.” Brawny wheel arches flaunt the 17” low profiles with smoky black alloy rims and creases in the all the right places – compliment the Sonic’s robust look.
Sonics’ interior is embossed, but not ornate, with chrome and etched detail characterise the Sonics vivacity and sporty appeal. Steering wheel, seats and gear stick assembly are embellished with tight fitting leather trim – clean cut with a high quality feel. While you are soaking up the ambiance and detaching from the outside world; there’s the MyLink infotainment system with Bluetooth, audio/visual connectivity; configured on the 7” touch screen display and interfaced to the steering wheel controls – cruise control included. The cabin is compact but practical; with sufficient leg room in the rear, utility compartments and cup holders – you will not be short for comfort or for space. Last but not least- the speedometer (digital). Lucid and so “sci-fi” without it, Sonic would be a very dark soul.
Drawn into the Sonic’s racing allure; this Hatch-back loves showing-off and flexing its muscles. The 1.4T EcoTec engine produces 103Kw and 200Nm of torque transmitted to the front wheels by a 6 speed manual gearbox. Disappointing though off the line and down the straight, the Sonic’s performance is not mind blowing, (0 – 100Km/h: 9.5sec’ / Top speed: 197Km/h) and it takes a little practice dealing with torque steer and timing your shifts for maximum boost – keep the needle off the red line though. The highlight: the Sonic RS’ handling and agility – not many other drivers will go toe-to-toe with you through a tight corner – the Sonic RS’ aura has an air of mystique and superiority, especially, in the manner in which the Sonic RS holds to a line. Apexing the corner with so much precision, skill and enough brake-force to rein-in all 140 horses to a sudden halt – a very well specked machine.
Rands and cents: R231 000
Fuel Tank: 46L
Fuel Economy: 7/8L/ 100Km
Standard safety features:
Hill Start Assist
5 Year / 120 000km Warranty (Roadside Assistance included)
3 Year / 60 000Km Service Plan (12 Month / 15 000Km Service Intervals)
Verdict: The Sonic RS needs a few more KW and Nm’s, especially at bottom-end and perhaps the option of a Tiptronic gearbox. The RS emblem also creates a lot of misconceptions, personally, Sonic S (sport) would be a more accurate description. This car is styled and designed for overall driving pleasure and the durability of an EcoTec motor offers peace of mind maintenance.