Great for fuel economy, terrible for spare parts – A Chevrolet Sonic review – TopAuto
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Great for fuel economy, terrible for spare parts – A Chevrolet Sonic review

The Chevrolet Sonic is a great car if you want to achieve a good fuel economy, but getting parts for the vehicle is not always smooth sailing.

This is according to TopAuto reader Quinton, who owns a Sonic and provided insight into what it’s like to own the car.

Which model do you own?

I own a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic 1.3l turbo-diesel, 5-door, with 104,000km on the clock.

When did you get the car?

I got my Sonic in 2012, new, in a great all-inclusive deal when Chevrolet was still in South Africa.

What are your three favourite things about the car?

It’s really economical on fuel. Even approaching nine years old, I can still easily get 650km from a tank.

Because my travel times are so short, I only fill up once a month. I now have more money in the bank to spend on crypto investment schemes.

Aside from some wear-and-tear issues associated with age, the car has also been reliable and easy to maintain.

Since Chevrolet abandoned South Africa, it’s been easy to find third parties to do the services.

It doesn’t show its age either, in my opinion. I like the design and still think it looks pretty trendy. It’s not sexy, but it’s also not ugly.

Which three things do you like least about the car?

After Chevrolet left South Africa, I no longer feel secure in having a go-to service facility when I need it.

I’ve also encountered a situation where I needed a specialised part, and the cost to import it was astronomical. Not ideal.

Because it’s a diesel, it’s really loud. People hear me before they see me, and they’re often on the lookout for a tractor.

I like attention, but I prefer it to be for my good looks.

I also feel really judged for all the carbon I’m emitting. Soccer moms look at me with disgust and whisper to their children as I pass by.

“It’s his fault you won’t have a future,” I hear them say.

What is it like to drive your car every day?

I’m just happy I’ve got wheels to get me from A to B without costing me an arm and a leg.

It’s really time for a new car, but this guy’s fully paid up and not falling apart just yet.

Maybe next year. 10 years is a good innings.

What is the hardest journey you have done with your car?

I’ve done a couple of 12-hour drives to PE, and several trips to OppiKoppi when that was still a thing. Distance and dust.

In April 2021, it will be 9 years old, and still going. Can’t fault it there.

Would you recommend your car to friends and family?


Without Chevrolet in the country, there are undoubtedly better options – and if you’re looking for attention, there are easier ways to get it than being blamed for global climate change.

I don’t know much about cars and the only reason I got this one was because of the fuel economy. The only other option at the time was a (old-style) Hyundai i20.

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