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    Thread: Chevy Sonic 1.4L Turbo - Impressions?

    1. Member spongebob_squarepants's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:10 PM #1
      Anyone here had the chance to try one out yet? Seems it might make a great DD without being boring. Probably not the polished package of a GTI, but it is smaller, lighter, and quite a bit less expensive.

      Price-wise, a loaded LTZ is pretty close to a base Cooper or Golf 2.5L.

      I haven't cared for Chevy in ages, but the Sonic has my attention.

      TCL's thoughts on the Sonic?

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      05-15-2012 01:34 PM #2
      An old college buddy of mine is looking for a sporty, economical DD and I recommended he test drive one of these. If he has yet I'll find out and report his views (from a non-TCL perspective). I've been meaning to test one out as well but have been too lazy

    3. Member SoCalDubber's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:38 PM #3
      What do they end up costing?
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    4. Banned SVTDanny's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:39 PM #4
      My wife's Sonic is a 1.8 (non-turbo), automatic, but that car is a blast to drive.

    5. Member delrio's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:41 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by djsheijkdfj View Post
      My wife's Sonic is a 1.8 (non-turbo), automatic, but that car is a blast to drive.
      Hard to believe a 1.8 automatic non-turbo would be a blast to drive
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      I'll have my fun while I can. Automatics aren't so bad. Neither is socialism...

    6. Banned SVTDanny's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:42 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by delrio View Post
      Hard to believe a 1.8 automatic non-turbo would be a blast to drive
      *Glances over to your vehicle list*

      Moving on.....

    7. Member Pablo1.8t's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:44 PM #7
      I looked at the website a few weeks ago, I believe the turbo and non turbo have the same horsepower. I was then confused as to why they even had the turbo version.

      edit: Here are the specs from the site. Even the torque is not much of a difference.

      Engine: ECOTEC® 1.8L 4-cylinder with Variable Valve Timing, 138 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque

      Engine: ECOTEC 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder with Variable Valve Timing, 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque
      Last edited by Pablo1.8t; 05-15-2012 at 01:49 PM.
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    8. Member teklord69's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:46 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Pablo1.8t View Post
      I looked at the website a few weeks ago, I believe the turbo and non turbo have the same horsepower. I was then confused as to why they even had the turbo version.
      Its the Torks!!

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      05-15-2012 01:47 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Pablo1.8t View Post
      I looked at the website a few weeks ago, I believe the turbo and non turbo have the same horsepower. I was then confused as to why they even had the turbo version.
      They do, but then look at when/how they deliver the power. Then look at the tires, suspension, and fuel economy numbers and you'll see why they have the turbo version.

    10. Member teklord69's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:47 PM #10
      I bet that car is peppy even in auto form. Remind me of this 80's car:

    11. Banned SVTDanny's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:47 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Pablo1.8t View Post
      I looked at the website a few weeks ago, I believe the turbo and non turbo have the same horsepower. I was then confused as to why they even had the turbo version.
      1. Gas mileage
      2.

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      05-15-2012 01:47 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by delrio View Post
      Hard to believe a 1.8 automatic non-turbo would be a blast to drive
      Really? Really.
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      05-15-2012 01:52 PM #13
      I drove a cruze 1.4T 6-speed and it really didn't feel terrible. I probably would have gotten it if I didn't get such a good deal on my jetta 2.0T 6M, which drives about 10 times better.

      You can get the 1.4T's ecu reflashed to put out about 170hp and 190ft/lbs. Then it would be a pretty fun car I bet.

      IIRC the cruze wheels had a strange bolt pattern, and I'm not sure if they did the same thing on the sonic or not. But if you ever want to get aftermarket wheels, check that out and know that your choices may be limited...

      Other than that, looks like a good little car with some pep (after tuning) and great fuel economy
      "If your car 'feels like it's on rails,' then you're going too slow."

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      05-15-2012 01:53 PM #14
      If you're coming from most tall, big, and bulky autos then a small hatch like the sonic will always be more entertaining.

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      05-15-2012 01:54 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by djsheijkdfj View Post
      *Glances over to your vehicle list*

      Moving on.....
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    16. Member curvedinfinity's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:54 PM #16
      I've got the 1.8L in my Cruze and its a nice smooth motor. It has VVT which you can hear kick in at high throttle positions. Not "sporty" but its fine from 0-80 mph. At under 50 mph it's enough to be pretty fun IMO.

      Haven't driven a Sonic, but I've only heard good things about them from a driving perspective.
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    17. Member curvedinfinity's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 01:58 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by firstorbit84 View Post
      I drove a cruze 1.4T 6-speed and it really didn't feel terrible. I probably would have gotten it if I didn't get such a good deal on my jetta 2.0T 6M, which drives about 10 times better.

      You can get the 1.4T's ecu reflashed to put out about 170hp and 190ft/lbs. Then it would be a pretty fun car I bet.

      IIRC the cruze wheels had a strange bolt pattern, and I'm not sure if they did the same thing on the sonic or not. But if you ever want to get aftermarket wheels, check that out and know that your choices may be limited...

      Other than that, looks like a good little car with some pep (after tuning) and great fuel economy
      Yeah, the sonic has the same pattern. Sparco and MSW have some good models out
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      05-15-2012 01:59 PM #18
      The Astra 3dr comes with the same 1.8 ECOTEC engine, and the engine is very smooth and eager to rev. I would assume the newer Sonic would have a stiffer body, and probably around the same weight as the Astra = toss-able and fun to wind through the gears..

    19. Member firstorbit84's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 02:07 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post
      Yeah, the sonic has the same pattern. Sparco and MSW have some good models out
      On the upside, you can probably fit a set of 18" cruze ltz wheels, which would look nice

      Edit: just checked out tire rack and the wheel selection has increased exponentially since I last looked
      Last edited by firstorbit84; 05-15-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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    20. Member curvedinfinity's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 02:16 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by too_slow View Post
      The Astra 3dr comes with the same 1.8 ECOTEC engine, and the engine is very smooth and eager to rev. I would assume the newer Sonic would have a stiffer body, and probably around the same weight as the Astra = toss-able and fun to wind through the gears..
      Just a correction here, the Sonic is considerably lighter than the Astra -- about 300 lbs. The Sonic is based on the same platform as the next Opel down in size, the Corsa.
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      05-15-2012 03:12 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post
      Just a correction here, the Sonic is considerably lighter than the Astra -- about 300 lbs. The Sonic is based on the same platform as the next Opel down in size, the Corsa.
      To me it seems like a redesigned aveo with a better interior, possibly better build quality, and a choice in engines.
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    22. 05-15-2012 03:35 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by urbancynic View Post
      To me it seems like a redesigned aveo with a better interior, possibly better build quality, and a choice in engines.
      It's a completely new car. Called the Chevrolet Sonic.


      On another note the 1.8 non-turbo automatic is fun as hell. I am seriously impressed how that thing handles the corners and it actually sounds pretty good doing it!
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      05-15-2012 03:36 PM #23
      Curious if the RS will bring noticeable improvements:
      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...rs_first_look/

      Chevy is saying no more power for the RS model, but since it appears so easy to add power on an otherwise stock 1.4L, wondering if they will announce something closer to the release date.

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      05-15-2012 03:43 PM #24
      At least the RS will get rear disc brakes and lowered / sport suspension. Of course, the price of the LTZ is already pushing $20k, so if the RS is much more than that I think it's a tougher sell.

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      05-15-2012 03:56 PM #25
      I actually crossed shopped this with the 2004 R32 I ended up buying. The real killer for me was the rear drum brakes as I fully intended on autocrossing and tracking the car.

      I like them though; haven't test drove one yet.
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    26. Banned SVTDanny's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 04:30 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by gls:maverick View Post
      The real killer for me was the rear drum brakes as I fully intended on autocrossing and tracking the car.


    27. 05-15-2012 04:41 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by Pablo1.8t View Post
      Engine: ECOTEC® 1.8L 4-cylinder with Variable Valve Timing, 138 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque
      Would dead.

      Quote Originally Posted by Pablo1.8t View Post
      Engine: ECOTEC 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder with Variable Valve Timing, 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque
      Could dead?

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      05-15-2012 04:58 PM #28
      Having some experience with a Trifecta programmed Cruze, I can tell you it makes a world of difference. The car was my Dad's and he wanted more power, so he ordered the tune, got it via email and we uploaded it with his laptop. This tune also messes with the transmission, and let me tell you, this made all the difference in the world. Much more fun. At least with the automatic. I could only imagine that the 6 speed Sonic would be a hoot. The Cruze drives like a very well planted, very expensive car, so if the Sonic is anything like it, it should be a blast.

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      05-15-2012 05:10 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by delrio View Post
      Hard to believe a 1.8 automatic non-turbo would be a blast to drive
      I rented one a month ago and can honestly say it was an absolute boring ride. It was comfortable though.
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      05-15-2012 05:19 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by cheap sunglasses View Post
      Would dead.


      Could dead?
      Trifecta tune: probably won't dead
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      05-15-2012 06:01 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by gls:maverick View Post
      The real killer for me was the rear drum brakes as I fully intended on autocrossing and tracking the car.
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      05-15-2012 06:05 PM #32
      We have one in the long-term fleet: http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/...sonic-ltz.html

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      05-15-2012 06:24 PM #33
      Had one for a rental last year. Drove surprisingly well and was pretty comfortable. My only gripe with the car was when braking the transmission would downshift and was a bit jerky. It got annoying but otherwise the car was great. Don't think we had a turbo though, just a regular LTZ.
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      05-15-2012 06:32 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by gls:maverick View Post
      I actually crossed shopped this with the 2004 R32 I ended up buying. The real killer for me was the rear drum brakes as I fully intended on autocrossing and tracking the car.

      I like them though; haven't test drove one yet.
      You might be surprised to hear that Grassroots Motorsports magazine swapped discs to drums on their project Neon ACR a few years back (similar power and weight to the Sonic). Drums are lighter, and usually have plenty of stopping power in a small car.
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      05-15-2012 07:00 PM #35
      I drove a prius, sonic 1.4t and golf tdi last weekend.

      The prius just isn't my thing. I wanted to like it but didn't.

      The sonic was fun. I wanted to drive the hatchback but the only 6 speed they had was a sedan. It was peppy but didn't feel all that "tight" when driving. I'm guessing the hatch feels different because if it doesn't the reviews were all lies.

      The golf tdi has a good chance to be my next car. I wanted to hate it but couldn't. Like I really wanted to hate it because of my past experiences with VW. It drove well, gets good gas mileage and pulled pretty hard with 3 dudes in it. Yeah, it's 5 grand more than the sonic, but it felt like a much better car. If price was a limiter for me I'd probably pick up a sonic as it seems like a pretty good little car.

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