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Sonic Boom

With the Sonic, you might say that Chevrolet went from worst to first in the subcompact segment. After decades of trying, it leads the pack when it was once embarrassed by it. Sonic is roomy, well built and expressively styled. If you get the sporty LTZ sedan, you’ll have a barnstormer with a price that won’t bust your bloomers.

 

I prefer the available five-door hatchback’s utility, but the sedan is handsome with a planted stance and aggressive front design. Creased sidelines impart a sporty character, while neatly sculpted curves around the front-wheel openings lend the automobile a touch of grace. I love the LTZ five-spoke alloys, ground affects and flashy fog lamps.

Its sporty attitude is fortified with deeply bolstered, heated, perforated leather sport seats, aluminum pedals and grey finish around the centre controls. Grip the thick leather-wrapped steering wheel to get busy. And the motorcycle-inspired digital gauges rock.

Better, connect smartphones to access apps for Pandora, Stitcher, TuneIn global radio and BringGo navigation through the touch screen. A back-up camera, forward collision alert and lane-departure warning systems go a long way to enhance safety. Even if you’re accustomed to luxury cars, you won’t find the Sonic’s interior lacking for much.

Shoving it forward is a 103kW/138 horsepower, 1.4-litre turbo-four connected to a six-speed manual transmission. Forget racing Corvettes, but dip into the turbo on the freeway to pulse forward with a big grin across your face. More smiles: fuel economy rates 7.3/5.1 litre/100km city/hwy. Add to that a firm suspension, 17-inch alloys and brakes that grab like Super Glue for a car that devours back roads, while pumping up for high-speed highways.

Especially in LTZ trim, Sonic delights urbanites without boring enthusiasts. Better, it’s a great first car for those who care about style A base price of $13,995, or $24,490 as-tested, brings it within reach of consumers who don’t want to sacrifice style for savings.

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