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Old 10-07-2017, 04:05 PM   #11
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2012 Sonic HB LT 1.4 Turbo Manual -120,000 miles....5+ years of ownership

DISCLAIMER: This review is only my opinion of the car, please don't get offended if you don't like what I say good or bad about it

Why did i buy the Sonic from the get-go?

In 2012, I wanted a cheap-ish car (under 20k) that had great economy, but at same time mod-friendly (have a turbo), and have enough space to actually fit people in the back. The Fiesta ST and the Hyundai Veloster Turbo hadn't come out yet and was over 20k. Thus i got the Sonic 1.4 turbo.

Although, I still love my Sonic it is now my "beater" for the last couple of years. For what it was made for (economy kinda-fun daily driver) i thought it was fantastic. Had a Trifecta tune on it (early version when Vince was still running the show), but later on switched to a BNR tune. Loved both tunes, totally changed my car. I was getting better mileage and more power, and actually made it incredibly fun.

I know some folks don't think a tune is a good idea, but it's usually the folks that have never had a tune. It takes a pretty good car and just adds so much more (IMO). Ask anyone who's ever taken their tune off for dealership visits how it feels to go back to stock.

Side note: One thing great about Chevy Dealerships is their scan software doesn't do deep dives for ECU tunes like say VW/Audi. I have taken my car to multiple dealerships multiple times (UNFORTUNATELY) and they never found remnants of the tune once i removed it prior.

Now for the bad, and why I chose not to continue to upgrade/modify my car. There comes a time in a "build" where u have to question if the upgrades (more power, more handling) is worth the time and money to do said upgrades. I would have loved to have gone Tune with FBO (full bolt-ons - Intake, downpipe, intercooler, Catback exhaust), but the car was spending so much time at the dealership just to keep the freaking car running without problems. Every time i got it fixed, i would say "now that the car is running normal, i can go buy an intake for it, or a downpipe, etc"....then boom, something else would fail, before i even got a chance to buy the mod...lol.

Coil-packs problems
PCV problems
AC going out in first year
Coolant leaks
Window visor broke
Radiator broke
etc...

All the above happened while still under warranty at least, but then it all happened again after warranty...

But believe it or not, finally at 120,000 miles the car is running pretty great(no CEL's) and doesn't buck or stutter under acceleration anymore. Still dealing with the disappearing coolant problem though..(i actually carry a bottle of coolant with me wherever i go now, just in case).

In conclusion: still love the car even after all that drama, cause when she is running good, she runs great. But this isn't 2012 anymore, and there are LOTS and LOTS of much better alternatives considering everything is turbocharged now. The Sonic would not even make the list of cars I'd get if i was buying a econo turbo vehicle. I still don't understand why Chevy isn't coming out with a competitive Hot Hatch like everyone else has.

My advice if it matters to anyone new to the Sonic Turbo, get a tune and some cosmetic and suspension mods and stop there, u can still keep ur warranty in tact and have a fun-er car with better mileage. If you want to go mod crazy, pick another car that has better potential (Fiesta St, Civic 1.5 turbo, Golf 1.8 turbo, Kia 1.6 turbo) or better yet, get a used higher class hot hatch that is cheaper. (GTI, Focus St, WRX, etc...) It kills me when i see younger owners with limited funds spend sooo much money and time to upgrade a car with very limited potential when they could have saved the money spent upgrading on a used higher class car and been better off in the long term.

Having said all that...I STILL LOVE MY SONIC TURBO...and i'm keeping her till she dies, also because every time I try to sell her i get ridiculously low offers...
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:06 PM   #12
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Yup, agree with most of the above. If modding and sport driving is what you are after. Except the only other one I would consider on your list is the Fiesta ST. And better get one now, cuz not too sure about it going from 4 cylinder engine to a 3 cylinder in 2018(19?) and claiming the same HP.

The others mentioned - - - either likely more expensive if new or not as good as they used to be. Buying used in a "sport" little vehicle is a bit of a gamble. You never know how it was really treated. Just last night a midnight road warrior and his buddies were on the prowl and revving the pi$$ out of the engines under no load at red lights to try and impress each other with whatever exhaust mod they had.

Will be interesting to see what GM might do with a new Sonic. I would like to see the newer 1.5L turbo plus a 2.0L option. For me, I just enjoy the little guy RS we have the way it is. Not into Tokyo Drifting. Just some nice cornering at regular street speeds and decent MPG.
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Last edited by JTee2017; 10-07-2017 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:55 PM   #13
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I am on 4.5 years on my silver Sonic Hatchback just about to break 100k and have a few minor issues such as the intake pipe.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVOX_SPEED3 View Post
2012 Sonic HB LT 1.4 Turbo Manual -120,000 miles....5+ years of ownership

DISCLAIMER: This review is only my opinion of the car, please don't get offended if you don't like what I say good or bad about it

Why did i buy the Sonic from the get-go?

In 2012, I wanted a cheap-ish car (under 20k) that had great economy, but at same time mod-friendly (have a turbo), and have enough space to actually fit people in the back. The Fiesta ST and the Hyundai Veloster Turbo hadn't come out yet and was over 20k. Thus i got the Sonic 1.4 turbo.

Although, I still love my Sonic it is now my "beater" for the last couple of years. For what it was made for (economy kinda-fun daily driver) i thought it was fantastic. Had a Trifecta tune on it (early version when Vince was still running the show), but later on switched to a BNR tune. Loved both tunes, totally changed my car. I was getting better mileage and more power, and actually made it incredibly fun.

I know some folks don't think a tune is a good idea, but it's usually the folks that have never had a tune. It takes a pretty good car and just adds so much more (IMO). Ask anyone who's ever taken their tune off for dealership visits how it feels to go back to stock.

Side note: One thing great about Chevy Dealerships is their scan software doesn't do deep dives for ECU tunes like say VW/Audi. I have taken my car to multiple dealerships multiple times (UNFORTUNATELY) and they never found remnants of the tune once i removed it prior.

Now for the bad, and why I chose not to continue to upgrade/modify my car. There comes a time in a "build" where u have to question if the upgrades (more power, more handling) is worth the time and money to do said upgrades. I would have loved to have gone Tune with FBO (full bolt-ons - Intake, downpipe, intercooler, Catback exhaust), but the car was spending so much time at the dealership just to keep the freaking car running without problems. Every time i got it fixed, i would say "now that the car is running normal, i can go buy an intake for it, or a downpipe, etc"....then boom, something else would fail, before i even got a chance to buy the mod...lol.

Coil-packs problems
PCV problems
AC going out in first year
Coolant leaks
Window visor broke
Radiator broke
etc...

All the above happened while still under warranty at least, but then it all happened again after warranty...

But believe it or not, finally at 120,000 miles the car is running pretty great(no CEL's) and doesn't buck or stutter under acceleration anymore. Still dealing with the disappearing coolant problem though..(i actually carry a bottle of coolant with me wherever i go now, just in case).

In conclusion: still love the car even after all that drama, cause when she is running good, she runs great. But this isn't 2012 anymore, and there are LOTS and LOTS of much better alternatives considering everything is turbocharged now. The Sonic would not even make the list of cars I'd get if i was buying a econo turbo vehicle. I still don't understand why Chevy isn't coming out with a competitive Hot Hatch like everyone else has.

My advice if it matters to anyone new to the Sonic Turbo, get a tune and some cosmetic and suspension mods and stop there, u can still keep ur warranty in tact and have a fun-er car with better mileage. If you want to go mod crazy, pick another car that has better potential (Fiesta St, Civic 1.5 turbo, Golf 1.8 turbo, Kia 1.6 turbo) or better yet, get a used higher class hot hatch that is cheaper. (GTI, Focus St, WRX, etc...) It kills me when i see younger owners with limited funds spend sooo much money and time to upgrade a car with very limited potential when they could have saved the money spent upgrading on a used higher class car and been better off in the long term.

Having said all that...I STILL LOVE MY SONIC TURBO...and i'm keeping her till she dies, also because every time I try to sell her i get ridiculously low offers...
Funner - N
More gooder than just fun......
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2013 Sonic 1.4T AT Hatch
Summit White

Trifecta Tuned REMOVED because the car is in college getting smarter

Injen Intake REMOVED because my son does not need to send out "Look At Me calls to the Campus or City police

DDM Rear Brace REMOVED because it's a piece of crap and creaks

Chevy Cruze Eco Wheels BEAUTIFUL

Pirelli Cinturato P7 205 50 17 AWESOME (much better than the equivalent Michelins)
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