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BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE WANTS A CROSSOVER/SUV

March 14, 2017

BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE WANTS A CROSSOVER/SUV

BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE WANTS A CROSSOVER/SUV
— 2017 Chevrolet Sonic

by Jim Corbran

Although it’s often hard to tell when you look around the mall parking lots these days, not everyone is driving an SUV, crossover, or pickup truck. There are still some people out there (my hand is raised) who prefer what we’ll refer to here as a normal car. And this week we’ll focus on a small normal car.

Specifically, the Chevrolet Sonic. (Chevy also sells the even smaller Spark, but it’s really tiny.)

The Environmental Protection Agency, in its infinite wisdom and confusing categorization process, has come up with seven size classes for cars: compact (like the Cruze), large (Impala), midsize (Malibu), minicompact (Fiat 500), subcompact (Spark), Two Seaters (Corvette), and Midsize and Small Station Wagons (Toyota Prius V and, surprisingly — Sonic hatchback, respectively).

We’ll focus here on the Sonic sedan, as its general three-box shape (think hood, roof, and trunk areas) pretty much reflect what is traditionally thought of as a normal car.

The Sonic was revamped for model year 2017, with new styling, instrument cluster design, wheels, colors, and a list of new available equipment.

The sedan comes in a choice of three trim levels: LS, LT, and Premier. Power for the LS and LT models comes from a 1.8L DOHC inline four, while the Premier has a 1.4L turbocharged DOHC I-4. Surprisingly, both are rated at 138 hp. They are connected to a five-speed manual transmission on the LS and LT, while a six-speed automatic is standard equipment on the Premier and optional on the other two. Depending on powertrain, EPA figures range from 28/38 mpg city/hwy, to 24/34.

The Sonic interior has available seating for five, assuming that the three back seat passengers are well-acquainted with each other (they will be by the end of their trip). If you’re looking for something that doesn’t scream rental car, you’ll want something other than the standard LS Jet Black Sport Cloth with Dark Titanium Accents interior trim. I went online and built my own version of a Premier sedan with the RS package (below right) which looks much more inviting.

Standard equipment on all Sonics includes: Chevrolet MyLink® Radio — a 7-inch color touchscreen with am/fm stereo, digital clock, Bluetooth audio streaming for music and select phones, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability for select phones; OnStar Basic Plan for five years; tilt/telescope wheel; 10 air bags; rear vision camera; tire pressure monitoring system; climate control; 60/40 rear folding seat; and power door locks. Note the missing power windows — the base LS has crank-operated windows, just like Grandpa’s first car! The others have power.

Some of the other features on the Premier include: the ECOTEC 1.4L turbo, rear spoiler, sport exhaust with chrome outlet, the RS package (sport body kit, fog lamps, RS lettering, piano black-accented instrument panel, 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrasting stitching, deluxe carpeted floor mats), 17” black-painted aluminum wheels (I opted for the white spoke wheels — see photo at top), keyless entry and start, enhanced driver information center, leatherette seating surfaces, heated front seats, and 6-way power driver’s seat.

The total? A mere $21,385 — including freight, Cajun Red Tintcoat ($395), and the white rims ($895). Sonic prices start at $16,020 for the sedan, and $18,455 for the hatchback.

More info, or build your own at chevy.com 

The post “BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE WANTS A CROSSOVER/SUV
— 2017 Chevrolet Sonic”
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