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Tuesday
Aug092016

2016 Malibu - Its Impressive

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier

2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbocharged 250 HP with 8 Speed Automatic

Iridescent Pearl with Loft Brown Leather Interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Malibu...click.

Going back a few years, the first car we reviewed was a Malibu. At the time that car impressed us and several folks who did not think that a Chevrolet could make a good sedan.

We pick up this tester, its Pearl White which is always a "hot color" on a GM car, the styling is fresh, crisp, and its a fastback sedan which you would expect. This car has evocative street presence. While the 19 inch Turbine wheels add character.

The interior finished in Loft Brown leather captures the attention, its stylish and surprisingly well finished for a mid range sedan. "Somebody at Chevrolet did their due diligence to execute this interior". In addition all the features that you expect, from navigation, satellite radio, wifi, back up camera, power driver seat with memory, to name a few are all present. Including a panorama roof.

Did we forget the heated and ventilated front seats. The controls are easy, and intuitive, and will not permit you to be distracted. You cannot enter an address in the navigation system while the car is moving as an example.

The Bose sound system is surprisingly good for a mid range car, and the volume control behind the steering wheel are even easier than controls on the wheel.

Rear seat leg room is ample for adults. The folding seat back increases the versatility, and carrying capacity.

You can configure your own Malibu...here.

The drive...its where this car truly captures your attention.

The styling, interior, the vast array of features are almost surprising in a Malibu. Experiencing the 2.0L turbo really caught our attention.

By now we have driven a good choice of vehicles with 4 cylinders, be it naturally aspirated, and with turbos. Most of these engines have comparable horsepower, and every manufacturer tweaks their computer management especially on the turbo motors, to what they think the customer wants.

From our perspective the 2.0L turbo with the 8 speed automatic is a "benchmark" powertrain for a mid size sedan. With solid acceleration complemented by robust passing power on the highway, or when you need to optimise the road position. There is no torque steer, but you sense torque in the steering wheel.

This car urges you to get exuberant...

The steering has a good level of feel for a sedan, the brakes are good, while the 245/40 tires provide the road adherence.  Its not a hard core sport sedan, its not rear wheel drive, its a Malibu that is fun to drive, and urges you to seek the next level.

While we agree that mid size sedans are migrating towards utilities.

If you are considering a mid size sedan, and perhaps the Malibu did not even blip on your radar. Agreed...there are numerous wonderful mid size sedans being offered by various manufacturers. We urge you to experience a Malibu 2.0T for yourself prior to finalising your decision.

The car will refresh your priorities, and raise your expectations.

Strada Talking Points

  • Attractive styling
  • Compelling interior finishes
  • A deluge of features and technology
  • Benchmark powertrain
  • Strong value proposition

The quick review...

 

 

Thursday
Apr142016

2016 Chevrolet Colorado

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab SWB Z71

3.6L V6 302 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Red Hot with Jet Black / Grey cloth insert interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Colorado...click.

It's a cool "urban truck"....

Although at the launch of the Colorado we had reservations about a compact/mid size pick up from Chevrolet. Full size pick ups make a compelling "macho" statement. While their size is often overwhelming in an urban environment, even with all the cameras.

They are big...

The Colorado removes the emphasis from big. Its similar to pick ups from a generation ago. Agreed considered small by current full size pick ups. It fills a void in the "urban" pick up segment.

In an urban setting its right sized, pleasant to use, while making a reserved statement, with discreet street presence.

The styling is let's call it pick up attractive, and the red of our tester made a strong statement.

The interior is refreshing from the perspective its a pick up that is not trying to emulate a luxury car. The fit and finish is very good, the cloth inserts on the seats are distinctive. We appreciated the interior styling, choice of materials, and the "pick up" message the interior sends. Yes...you can get a full leather interior if you absolutely need to emulate a luxury car.

As you would expect all the features are present from a good Bose sound system, navigation, satellite radio, obvious power windows, locks, back up camera which is surprisingly very accurate, opening rear glass, lockable tailgate which is cool. Lets not forget the 4G WiFi.

Rear seat leg room is very good, and obvious better than most mid sized sedan.

You can configure your own Colorado...here.

How does it drive?

Compared to a full size pick up its a "sports car", with better manoeuvrability which inspires you to be  a bit more spirited. Good on center feel of the steering, strong brakes which you always expect in an unloaded truck, and agile acceleration especially at full throttle, the V6 has an authoritative growl, with a well calibrated transmission.

This tester had the Z71 option with a 2 speed transfer case which from our perspective is essential in any 4 wheel drive pick up, as well as a rear auto locking differential to increase the versatility. The off road suspension ads a level of stiffness which is a personal choice. It also includes an old fashioned skid plate under the transfer case.

Probably for the sake of fuel economy bragging rights part throttle operation is sluggish, you can sense that its due to software coding and algorithms.

Yes...a pick up is always useful, there is always a bunch of stuff that you can suddenly do and/or carry.

If you are considering a pick up, and the full size version is simply too big. Or if you are considering a "utility" vehicle, and are concerned that it will put you in the "me too" category. The Colorado works well as a pick up, and a cool utility vehicle with a frame, 2 speed transfer case, 4 doors, and a bed to haul all sorts of stuff.

Strada Talking Points

  • Right sized for an urban truck.
  • Appropriate pick up interior.
  • All the features you expect including a 2 speed transfer case.
  • Pleasant styling.
  • Good level of power from the V6.

The quick review

 

 

Monday
Jul272015

2015 Camaro SS Convertible

2015 Camaro SS Convertible - Commemorative Special Edition

6.2L V8 400 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Red Hot with Adrenaline Red and Black Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the Camaro...Click

We had not experienced a Camaro in some time. Its interesting to spend a few days with a convertible and an automatic transmission.

This tester is very red, with in your face street presence. We have a myriad of vehicles in our driveway at different times. This very red Camaro is the one that elicited a comment "Love that car" from one of our neighbours.

Compared to the one we had a few years ago, the grille is refreshed with a more appealing headlight treatment. Now there is a center screen in the dash. The wheels on this tester from our perspective are nicer too.

The power bulge on the hood with the functional vent...its iconic, nostalgia, just plain cool.

The interior is well executed with a good choice of materials, and contrast stitching. The front seats are power adjustable, and very comfortable, the rear seat is strictly for occasional use. Good sound system, manual HVAC, with the iconic gauges on the console, the center screen has a navigation system, as well as a back up camera which is useful. Its a convertible, the trunk is diminutive.

The softop is easy to operate, although a little slow to open or close with a manual lock at the windshield.

You can configure your own Camaro...here.

Its a convertible, its a Camaro with 400 HP, and an automatic transmission with paddle shifts. It should be a fun car...it absolutely does not disappoint...its a seriously fun open top Camaro.

Very solid for a convertible even on our favorite broken pavement road, and obvious there is some additional road noise with the top up which is expected with a convertible.

The drive...

Strong performance with superior acceleration, a smooth highway cruiser with authoritative passing power. Good steering feel although from our perspective it could have a heavier feel, strong Brembo brakes, well calibrated automatic transmission with authoritative shifts when required.

Its summer...put the top down...seek out your favorite winding road, put the shifter in manual mode, adjust the HUD (heads up display) to see which gear you are in and go a pleasant drive.

Totally cool experience with the paddle shifts, especially on down shifts with the engine rev matching and positive shifts to set up an apex. This car will forcefully instigate you to get exuberant, while inspiring confidence especially in tight turns.

You probably don't need a Camaro convertible as a daily driver. Do you want one on a wonderful summer day to enjoy with the top down...yes you do its a priceless experience.

Strada Talking Points

  • In your face street presence
  • Strong V8 with 400 HP
  • Solid structure
  • Responsive paddle shift
  • Motoring fun with the top down

The quick review

 

Thursday
Jul162015

2015 Chevrolet Suburban

2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ

5.3 L V8 355 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Crystal Red with Jet Black Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the Suburban...click.

We have always had through the years unique and memorable experiences with Suburbans. Needless to tell you we were looking forward to spending a few days with this new Suburban, and even take it on an extended road trip.

Did you know that Suburbans have been around since 1935?

From our road trip, its a phenomenal highway cruiser, with an exceptional adaptive cruise control.

Although its a personal choice we find the styling appealing especially the rear roof line and glass area. its unique and immediately sets this Suburban apart providing a distinct street presence. Yes...its big, Suburbans have always been big with a cavernous interior and 3 rows of seats.

The interior with leather seating surfaces, wood trim, contrast stitching ads a touch of luxury. The roof mounted screens of the entertainment system will make travelling with children or adults seeking entertainment an effortless experience. The power folding 3rd and rear seat are an appreciated convenience. Fold down the seats and the cargo area turns into an old school pick up with an 8 foot box.

Lets not forget the 4 inch screen in the instrument panel with classic truck style gauges.

The retractable running boards are a wonderful feature, even if they are a little pricey.

All the features you expect are there, starting with a great sound system, sunroof, navigation, keyless entry, rear camera, blind spot and cross traffic monitor. In addition to heated and cooled front seats which are appreciated on a longer drive.

Do we have to tell you that rear seat leg room is abundant.

This tester had the "max trailering package" with the 2 speed transfer case, and 3.42 gears...agreed you need a low range in the transfer case to increase the versatility of any Suburban. Lets not forget the 22" wheels.

You can configure your own Suburban...here.

How does it drive...

Its big, its easy to manoeuvre in tight spots, and it weighs 2,620 kilos, its a lot of truck and surprisingly easy to drive. It has an imposing presence in any parking area.

The electric power steering has a good on center feel, the brakes are certainly up to the task, the magnetic ride suspension is simply awesome on the highway. Its not a sport sedan, and you will not be seeking apexes with a Suburban. Although its more agile, than you would think or expect. The power is adequate accompanied by responsive shifts from the transmission.

On the highway it has surprising passing power, and immediately communicates that it can cruise all day in a quiet, comfortable, smooth fashion. The adaptive cruise control is a brilliant feature, and turned into the memorable part of our Suburban experience.

A Suburban has its own niche, cool factor, if you fit in the niche, and can use the versatility get one.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Unique and versatile "utility" vehicle
  • Appealing styling / strong street presence
  • Magnetic ride suspension
  • Power folding seats
  • Supreme highway cruiser

 The quick review

 

 

Monday
Sep082014

2014 Silverado 1500

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Crew Cab 4x4

5.3L V8 355 HP with 6 Speed Automatic transmission

White Diamond with Jet Black leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the Silverado...Click.

We were anxious to spend a few days with the new Silverado, especially that the last time was a few years ago with Clifford.

The competition in the pick up segment is at epic levels in Canada. Yes... discovering this new Silverado generated excitement.

By now you have concluded like us, that grilles on pick ups are massive. This Silverado does not disappoint with a huge grille, complemented by softer lines, its an appealing truck.

The street presence is unmistakable how can you miss that its a pick up, and from the grille a Chevrolet. This tester finished in Diamond White had the luxury look too.

The quiet interior is immense ready to accomodate a work crew or a family, putting any car to shame, and with a myriad of features, including heated and ventilated seats, complemented by an immense sunroof, directly competing with any luxury car. 

Obvious the console facilitates working in the truck, the outlets enable charging, and using various smart devices. 

The instrument layout caught our attention with the small gauges on top, its refreshing to see actual gauges with needle indicators.

Chevrolet refined the interior of this new Silverado with a larger center of the dash screen, a huge panorama roof, a power rear sliding window, a great sound system. In addition to paying attention to details, enhanced by contrast stitching. Agreed most folks also come to expect luxury car features in a top of the line crew cab, obvious this Silverado does not disappoint.

This pick up has the uncanny ability to constantly communicate that its ready to work, its prepared to perform a task. Even the ride improves and smoothes out with a few hundred pounds of stuff in the bed.

Lets not the forget that this pick up has a frame, a 2 speed transfer case with a low range for the 4x4, its a configuration to work, compared to most urban SUV's.

How does it drive?

When a pick up drives like a pick up, feels like a pick up, constantly communicates that its ready to work, its an endearing feature. We get the feeling that the folks at Chevrolet ensured that its a pick up. It certainly has enough power, the 6 speed automatic has a pick up algorithm to smoothly carry or pull a load, the steering is on center, the brakes are strong. 

Its a great cruiser, effortlessly maintaining highway speeds, and feels a little cumbersome navigating parking lots, its remains a crew cab which is huge compared to most cars.

What struck us is the myriad of improvements from the previous version, the gauges in the dash, the steps in the rear bumper, the soft open of the tailgate, the quieter cabin to name a few. The improvements all add up to make a compelling, and capable pick up. 

 

The quick review

 

 

 

Wednesday
Aug132014

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

2014 Chevrolet Malibu LT

2.5L 4 Cylinder 196 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Ashen Grey Metallic with Grey Leather Interior

The photo gallery slide show of the Malibu...click

We started doing reviews a few years ago with a Malibu, and 100 reviews later we again have the new Malibu. You could not plan this out if you tried, this is our 100th review, its a Malibu.

It is a milestone for us!

We were anxious to spend a few days with this Malibu. Especially to see how it compared to the previous version which was a benchmark car for GM at the time.

The styling is mid size sedan inoffensively appealing. Accompanied by a subdued street presence. Yes we know that styling is a personal preference.

The interior is well executed for this segment, and price range. As you know GM made quantum leaps a few years ago with interiors. This Malibu continues the interior progression. Its as good as it gets in a mid size sedan. Good materials, soft touch areas, contrasts stitching.

This tester has the 7 inch screen in the center of the dash, My Link, as well as navigation, accompanied by a solid performing sound system to enjoy the satellite radio. The front seats are comfortable, supportive and power assisted, the rear seat provides ample leg room for adults. The trunk is a generous size.

You can configure your own Malibu here.

With a 4 cylinder and a 6 speed automatic the performance is middle of the road, like most mid size sedans. Its an impressive, superb highway cruiser that encourages you to cover appreciable distances.

One gets the impression that the folks at Chevrolet did an appreciable amount of due diligence to refine the Malibu so that it does everything well, with a strong value proposition. Its a competent, solid, reassuring car. 

From our perspective Chevrolet did everything right. Compared to the previous model, its an improvement in all areas. With the exception of being inspiring, for some reason Chevrolet overlooked making this car inspiring. 

Why you should consider a Malibu? In a crowded and competitive mid size sedan segment this car is supremely competent, and does everything that you expect very well. It does it so well, in such an unassuming fashion that its quickly taken for granted. 

The Malibu might not blip on your radar screen. We urge you to make it a point to experience the Malibu, it will realign you mid seize sedan thought process.

 

The quick review

 

 

Tuesday
Sep242013

2014 Chevrolet Impala - Impressive

2014 Chevrolet Impala LT

3.6 L V6 305HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Silver Ice Metallic with Grey Leather/Ultra Suede

The photo gallery/slide show of the Impala...Click

We are all familiar with the outgoing Impala, and its vocation as a daily rental. We recently had an opportunity to experience a rental Impala for a few days...an uninspiring, competent car, disconnected from the Impalas of old.

On first seeing the new for 2014 Impala, the car inspires and through its styling sends a powerful message that its breaking tradition with the previous Impala. While perhaps espousing what an Impala was all about from a few years, or perhaps decades ago.

Even the Impala logos on the B pillars are a reminder of the historical Impalas...from back in the day when Chevrolet ruled, and the Impala was the top of the line. 

Although styling is a personal preference, this car is evocative, makes a statement, has a strong street presence, reinforced by the fastback roof. One recent styling trend is to have bigger grilles, this Impala complies adding a sizeable "bow tie" in the grille.

The interior reinforces the message conveyed by the styling, its fresh, the ultra suede inserts and piping add a touch of distinction, the stitching on the dash enhances the sophistication. Its a cool interior, the controls are easy, the centre display/touch screen is quite easy to use. The Navigation screen in horizon mode ads a cool factor. You can connect your device through bluetooth and listen to your own music on a great Bose sound system. 

The indirect interior lighting is a totally cool feature.

The rear seat is a revelation with huge leg room, you expect good leg room from a full size sedan, this is immense, and a reminder of cars costing thousands more with extended wheelbases. Yes...the rear seat is inviting for adults.

The trunk is big, and with a folding seat back will accomodate all sorts of stuff.

You can configure the Impala here

How does it drive? We kept on saying among ourselves, its a good car, it drives really well, good level of power, good brakes, responsive steering.

You expect all of the above, but this car does it well, and makes sure that you immediately realise that it does it very well, its competent, its seamless, its reassuring.

The V6 with 305HP generates appreciable power to provide authoritative acceleration and confident highway passing, the transmission is smooth with a shift algorithm directed towards smoothness.In addition the car is solid on our stretch of broken pavement.

Although imperceptible due to the styling, the tires are positively huge, this car has 245/45R19 tires which you would not expect on a sedan. Obvious they also make a contribution to how the car handles, brakes, steers.

There are a ton of mid to full size sedan that are very good and competent, what is so special about this car?Simple...the folks at Chevrolet have done their due diligence and reenergised the historic Impala value equation...its a competent full size sedan with a strong value proposition which is what the historic Impala was all about...when Chevrolet ruled.

If you are considering a mid size or full size sedan you probably never considered an Impala, it did not even blip on your radar. We strongly urge you to experience this new Impala, it will redefine how you look at the other vehicles in the segment. 

The quick review.

 

 

Friday
Aug312012

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet SparkThe Spark caught our attention in Detroit Auto Show a while back, and the instrument cluster really caught our attention with the sport bike look. When the opportunity presented itself to experience the Spark in a downtown Toronto urban environment...we jumped...talk about the power of an instrument cluster. 

As usual GM and Chevrolet are gracious hosts, we had a great time at the Gladstone Hotel, and participating "in person social media" with @George_S, and @Stephanie_Ruth of GM and many more. 

In the small car segment with a myriad of offerings from most manufacturers, here comes Chevrolet with its own offering, its great news, and the folks at Chevrolet are palpably excited with their new small car for the Canadian market. 

We have experienced the Sonic, the Cruze, and several others, there is en endearing cachet to small cars, and from our perspective the Spark has character, the styling is urban aggressive, the dash is cool, and its comfortably small.

Encouraging to see that Chevrolet has grasped that cars do not need a myriad of in dash technology, what they need is a seamless interface with a smart device. The Spark quickly and seamlessley adopts your smart phone on its 7 inch display, making the Spark adopt all the technology that is on your smart phone.

A few points relevant to the Spark:

> Its the most affordable Chevrolet in their portfolio of models.

> Base MSRP for the LS is $ 13,485. 

> Powered by a 1.25 L 4 cylynder with 84 HP and a 4 Speed Auto or 5 Speed Manual.

> Enhanced sound absorption (which means more Dynamat in critical areas).

> Standard 15 inch alloy wheels.

 

Needless to mention that 1.25 L, 84 HP, 4 speed automatic, raises a level of concern, the lingering thought of a small 4 cylinder, and only a 4 speed automatic kept on swirling in our mind.

When the time to drive arrived, we always leave it to serendipity to see which car is assigned, and who will be our "partner" for the drive. The results of the serendipity are always interesting, and generate fascinating conversations with the "partner".

In an urban setting of surface streets the car is nimble, reasonable power, easy to drive, while fitting in spaces that are small but also adequate for the Spark. It has an undeniable urban cool factor.

The interior space is more than adequate considering the size of the car, its comfortably roomy in the car. The colour co ordinate interior panels brighten the interior, and raise the cool factor.

The first highway use was heading east on the 403, we are driving, lets see what 84 HP and a 4 speed automatic in a Techno Pink Spark can do? It immediately became a WOW moment, this performance is much better than the numbers indicate.

The other comment being, the sound deadening really works, this car is much quiter than several other cars in the segment, which are "buzzy" on the highway with a variety of wind and road sounds.     

If you are at a stage where you require an urban car that is cool, fun, versatile, as well as having reasonable highway capabilities. You certainly have a few vehicles that are of interest to you. Probably the Spark is not one of them...

We urge you to experience the Spark prior to finalising your decision.

More photos of the Chevrolet Spark.

 

 

Monday
Dec052011

2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Volt

1.4L 4 cyl 85 HP gasoline engine

110 Kw Primary Drive Electric Motor + 55 Kw Secondary Drive Motor / Generator 

16 Kwh Lithium-Ion Battery

Crystal Red Tincoat with Light Neutral Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the Volt

2012 chevrolet voltNeedles to tell you that we were anxious to spend a few days with the Volt. Although we have an enduring attachement for serious horsepower, we also appreciate vehicles that have an electric motor, and less horsepower. 

The Volt is our first experience with a vehicle that actually covers a distance without resorting to an ICE (internal combustion engine)...from our perspective its totally cool. 

What is so cool about a Volt? 

Its a good looking car with original styling, that sets it apart from most small cars. As you can imagine most folks view the car as an oddity. 

It makes interesting sounds as it starts, since electric cars do not start in the conventional sense, lets just say that it makes interesting sounds when it "engages" and when it "disengages"...a reminder of Star Wars.

The interior is well finished, and distinctive communicating that its a different car, with a different powerplant. The rear bucket seats are novel.

Contrary to many small cars, the Volt has a full complement of options, including Navigation, a good sound system, accompanied by intuitive controls.

Agreed that due to the roof line the rear doors are headroom challenged. 

What is genuine surprisw...the car feels bigger than it is, is supremely quiet, often not realising how fast you are going...yes, that quiet, and smooth. Its refreshing since some smaller hybrids have an entrenched small car feel about them with an elevated price. 

Numerous pundits have experienced the Volt and shared their thoughts on the various aspects of "electric".

Our thoughts from our experience...

As we entered a 400 series highway staying with the flow of traffic we anticipated the battery to quickly run out, which it did after 40 kms, while being totally cool to keep on going with a "dead battery" and an engine that feels like a generator with no relation to the speed of the car. 

On surface streets/suburbia environment its a memorable experience using the Volt with the electric motor only, and plugging in to recharge the Lithium-Ion battery. In start and stop use of mostly short distances, where a gasoline engine would not reach its operating temperature, while accompanied by poor fuel economy. The Volt is a revelation with the gas engine never starting. 

Charging the car is intuitive, with a green monitor on the dash indicating that its charging. In addition when the car is locked if the charge cable is disconnected the alarm will sound. 

As you can imgine the elctronic controls to balance the ICE and 2 electric motors are sophisticated while making the entire operation completely seamless. The displays on the instrument panels keep you informed of the various interactions that are going on.

The habitual economy question....lets take a look. We drove 100 kms draining the battery after 40 kms and covering the other 60 kms with the ICE generating the electricity in a surface street, 400 series highway application. We used 3.38 liters of premium gas and 10 Kw/h of electricity. 

Lets say that it took 11 Kw to recharge the 10Kw battery at 8.3 cents per Kw = 91 cents (8.3x11) and the car indicated that it used  3.38 liters of premium at 1.32 per liter = 4.46 for a total of 5.37 (4.46+.91)

How much gas does $5.37 buy, even regular and how far will you go with a 4 or a 6, or an 8 cylinder engine. 

From our perspective there is an undeniable cool factor using an electric car, especially one that does not impose range anxiety. 

The quick review

 

 

Monday
Oct312011

2012 Chevrolet Sonic

2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ 5 Door

1.4 L Turbocharged 4 cylinder 138 HP with 6 Speed Manual Transmission

Inferno Orange Metallic with Dark Titanium Leatherette

The photo gallery/slide show of the Sonic.

Its not a secret that small cars are a reinvigorated segment, in an atmosphere of less is more, small cars are totally cool, especially when they are multifunctional with 5 doors.

The 5 door Sonic has an appealing cool factor, and a refreshing street presence. Especially that one does not expect such a car from Chevrolet. By now we know that the small car platforms are engineered, and styled by GM in Korea for a global marketplace, with expectations and aspirations that are huge.

You expect the car to be "world class"...it is.

Our tester is the LTZ version (top of the line), the leatherette interior is well finished, the hard plastic surfaces are grey, not so hard, and with a pleasing texture. In this segment, at this price range one expects, and gets plastic, with the Sonic its "pleasing plastic". The interior is surprisingly spacious for a small car, with rear doors facilitating ingress, and egress will easily accommodate 4 adults for a period of time. The rear hatch, and folding rear seats increase the overall functionality.

The instrument panel with the sport bike look is unique, hyper cool, and grasps the attention. It caught our attention the fist time we saw this car.

The controls are intuitive, and easy, the sound system is acceptable, yes...you expect XM satellite, manual HVAC controls, the leather wrapped steering wheel is a pleasant surprise. The driver seatbelt buckle is encumbered by the hand brake lever, and somewhat annoying if you apply the hand brake prior to unbuckling the seat belt.

There is a wow moment...for a small car, its useful, functional, versatile...which increasingly is what you anticipate from a small package that is well executed.

The turbo motor with 138 PH generates the most power for this segment (usually 100 HP), has an interesting mid range from 2,500 to 4,500 RPM where the effects of the turbo are the most prominent.

All the specifications and configurator for the Sonic are...here.

How does it drive...

Although from our perspective its ideally suited for surface streets, and congested urban environments...yes all small cars must be good on urban surface streets. The Sonic does not disappoint, its solid, handles our stretch of rough pavement with aplomb, accompanied by on center steering, and good brakes. 

The manual transmission is great for highway cruising with a tall 6th gear, this car can effortlessly cruise all day. Although we are of the opinion that the automatic version is perhaps better suited to the mid range of the engine. Put it this way...we would get an automatic.

If you are considering a versatile small car, we agree with you...there are numerous offerings...we agree with you that you would not expect a cool small car from Chevrolet. Until a few months ago, when we saw the Sonic for the first time, and had an opportunity to spend some time with the folks from GM that are responsible for the Sonic...we would have probably looked elsewhere for a small car.

If you are considering a small car, make it a point to experience the Sonic...its more than its small size!

The quick review

2012 Chevrolet Sonic