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Sonic, so finicky!

Hope General Motors, the parent company wouldn’t mind the outcome?

“The hatch has been given a dynamic diesel engine which is aimed four-square at the only other oil burner with a similar sized powerplant, the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TDI 5-door BlueMotion,” according to some reviews.

As we traversed from one city to another testing its uber and comfy, we realized how impactful the car has to the younger market. They sure, promised to own one as soon as their bank balances are OK. So, they say!

With its beady round headlights, huge and muscular grille, squat shape and hidden rear door handles, the Sonic manages to impart an angry look. Sure, it’s hardly pretty but it does look ready to bully any hot hatch it comes across at the traffic lights. So your VW, Honda and Hyundai you are in for a litmus test.

Glancing over the spec sheet, Sonic seems rather well endowed beneath the bonnet, with a pair of modern 1.4- and 1.6-litre petrol engines. The smallest of these puts out a respectable 74kW at 6000prm and 130Nm at 4000 and the 1.6 is good for 85kW at 6000rpm and 155Nm at 4000.

The Sonic’s agro styling doesn’t prepare one for is the softly sprung suspension. It soaks up the bumps extremely well and provides a comfortable ride on virtually any tar surface. The road holding and steering are not particularly sporty, however, although it feels safe and predictable. It grips well too and body roll is minimal.

Once again muscular grille and beady round headlights give the Sonic an aggressive personality. Watch out, so did some girls at some university whom I won’t mention. You know what you did. Yes, you!

It is a convenient baby but it’s not as much fun to throw around. In my confession, it lacks the upmarket interior ambience offered by others. Granted, there is still a feeling of quality and the cabin is well built and easy on the eye.

Interior is rather decent having thrown-in some pals and their ‘mistresses’ who did not even wink about the space or air their views on comfortability.  

GM says occupant safety was an overriding engineering objective for the new Sonic with a no compromise target of a five-star NCAP safety rating.

Sonic models come in ‘LS’ guise, which ensures all the basic amenities like air conditioning, electric mirrors and windows (front), CD/MP3/Aux sound system, height and reach adjustable steering wheel, front and side airbags and ABS brakes.

15-inch alloy wheels are also standard. You can also opt for a ‘comfort pack’ that adds cruise control, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth and a USB port.

According to one fellow motoring journo, she once noted that “men wouldn’t recline their seats so far back as if engaged in … you know what I mean, and women wouldn’t sit so upright and close to the dashboard as if to make it impossible for well…

You can figure that one out too; and it is for this reason that I have deduced that drivers’ seating positions seem to be as varied as positions in the Karma Sutra.

By and large, men – irrespective of height – sit too far back, in positions that compromise control of the vehicle.”

Perhaps you might ask, if Sonic has anything to do with the statement? Your guess is just not so good as mine…

Having been in the country last year December, according to information from GM, they’re doing OK.

Expect to pay around R156 000 for the 1.4 LS and R170 000 for the 1.6 LS.

Sonic is finicky after all, and fuel consumption- thanks to recent petrol increase- is worth mentioning.


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