We were warned about the fun factor when we took delivery of the new Chevrolet Sonic RS at our onRoute offices. “It isn’t what you’d expect,” we were told as they handed the keys over. And, after a week of putting it through its paces, it was with a very heavy heart that she was returned. Boy did it knock our socks off!
Anybody who has ever had the chance to race go-karts will understand the thrill one gets from throwing a little race car into a corner with certitude, or jetting off the start line in the blink of an eye. There is very little fear of losing control and the adrenalin rush is second to none. The RS really is like a big go-kart that has been purpose built for the road. The car blitzes off the starting line for a 1.4 and has an impressive top speed too. Its small size and low centre of gravity means you can whip it around like a cowboy on a rodeo bull. The punchy engine is very exciting and when you’re on the highway cruising at 120km/h in sixth gear, it’s great to know that, if you put your foot down, there is still more to come! This little turbo charged engine can get all the way to just under 200km/h. The petrol engine, although only a 1.4 litre, still manages to deliver a very impressive 103kW of power with 200Nm of torque, thrusting you back into your seat. In a car that only weighs around one and a half tons, you’ve got a recipe for incomparable excitement.
“What the Sonic offers under the bonnet, it matches on the inside too. The interior is as sporty as the engine, yet still gives the passengers a level of executive comfort.”
What the Sonic offers under the bonnet, it matches on the inside too. The interior is as sporty as the engine, yet still gives the passengers a level of executive comfort. The speedometer and rev-counter are uniquely laid out in a half-digital-half-analogue format. The onboard entertainment system is a mix of old and new, with touch screen, CD player and radio. It also has smart phone pairing capabilities; with Bluetooth phone operation and audio as well as an app function for the ultimate connectivity. The bucket leather seats hug the figure, yet not too much so as to make for an uncomfortable ride on long hauls. You will be happy to know that even though the Sonic performs like a sports car, the 46 litre fuel tank gave us well over 700km between fill ups.
The Sonic RS is not without fault - the compactness that makes it so much fun to drive also hinders the space for passengers and luggage. The rear seats certainly do prove to be a bit cramped with four adults on board. The boot may be able to take a weekly shopping load, or a laptop and gym bag, but that would be it. People who buy hatches, however, do not generally buy them for their boundless boot space, but more for practicality.
If you live a fast paced life, this car is everything you could ever want and at R225 300, with a five-year, 120 000 kilometre warranty and a three-year or 60 000 kilometre service plan, it’s a steal.
Engine: 1.4 l turbo
Top Speed: 197 km/h
CO2 Emissions: 155g/km
Gearbox: 6 speed Manual
Fuel Consumption: 6.6 l/100km
Price: R225 300
Colour Options: Carbon Flash, Summit White, Switchblade Silver and Orange Rock Metallic