2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Review
We take a spin in Chevy's new hot hatch.No Comments
Steering initially felt twitchy and too light, but it seemed to firm up a bit when attacking the corners.
Ford is about to flood our shores with the Euro-influenced Focus ST and Fiesta ST hot hatches, and Chevy isn't taking the challenge lying down--the bow-tie brand is fighting back with the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS.
Lowered and equipped with a turbo four that puts out more torque than the standard Sonic, the RS is a trim package that aims to appeal to enthusiasts who like their cars (and their monthly payments) on the small side.
Chevy tossed us the keys to both manual transmission and automatic transmission versions of the car and turned us loose in the hill country north of San Francisco.
Pricing starts at $20,995 including destination.
Steering initially felt twitchy and too light, but it seemed to firm up a bit when attacking the corners. The RS sets well while cornering, although the rear end got a bit wiggly during late braking while approaching one particularly dastardly hairpin.
Some body roll intruded, but it was tolerable. The shifter on the manual was a bit too loose with throws that were a tad too long, and overall the RS does a nice job zipping from corner to corner while also taking them well, but the car needs a bit more seasoning. Lowering the suspension 10 mm and giving it a sporty tune does make the car more playful than the standard Sonic, but a little more fine-tuning wouldn't hurt.
The Sonic RS has the usual complement of airbags, along with front-knee airbags, and the usual assortment of driving aids, such as ABS and stability control.
The standard Sonic is already a darn good car.The RS feels like a nice improvement, but something seems to be missing. It's kind of like putting whipped cream on a sundae--it improves it, but if you add fudge and a cherry on top, it's even better.
A touch more torque, some sharper responses, a tighter shifter--these additions would go a long way towards making the car even more fun. Right now, the RS is the Sonic of choice for enthusiasts, the sporty version of a solid small car. We just wish it was bit sportier.