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ocnblu

Super Sonic?

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I was chatting with a girl I went to school with on Facebook this morning. Last year, she and her husband were looking to replace their Hyundai Elantra. They had been disappointed with the fuel mileage after being fooled by the numbers on the sticker, so I spoke up and recommended the Chevrolet Sonic. They ended up buying an orange Sonic LTZ 1.4t hatch, with sunroof and a manual, after testing it out for themselves. I was telling her about my desire to research a possible replacement for my Patriot, and I asked her for an update on their Chevy.

Her husband believes there is a leak in the heater core... I am not sure of the symptoms.

The radio stays on sometimes after it should shut off with retained accessory power.

And this week, the seat heater quit.

But she says they love it. They're pleased with the fuel mileage and all the nice features of the LTZ trim level.

I remember my Fiesta seat height adjuster would not stay put, and I'd end up close to the floor after a week or so, unable to see over the dash. And the clock would lose 2-3 minutes per week.

I wonder if the foreign tiny hatches are any better, or if I am being too picky. I mean, I really liked that Fiesta, despite the little issues on a first-year car.

Edited by ocnblu

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I've had a lot of seat time with both the Sonic and the Focus. The Focus is a class up from the Sonic but it also feels it. I do like the Sonic, it has good power even with the base engine, the interior looks nice and it drives well. However, like many recent GM transmission geared toward fuel economy, this automatic is dimwitted and can easily be caught sleeping on the job, reluctant to downshift and even sometimes up shift.

The Focus on the other hand has a much smarter transmission (after it was reprogrammed in that recall) and is always ready to up or downshift when needed. It also has a far higher quality interior, even in base trim that's also better put together than the Sonic. The switchgear all feels well damped and precise. It even gets better average fuel economy in similar diving conditions (34 vs 32 mpg in mostly around town driving).

The Focus' only problem was the transmission recall. The Sonic had a couple recalls as I recall, but it also developed a Class A misfire one day. Not sure why, it went away after idling in the parking lot for a few minutes. Also it made a clicking noise under braking from the driver's rear wheel.

So while I do like the Sonic, I'd pick the Focus.

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Well I was comparing the Sonic to the Fiesta, not the Focus, but I appreciate the input. I was wondering about the 1.8L in the Sonic, power-wise. On a small car, I would have to have a manual transmission, no waiting for downshifts or upshifts there. ;)

Before I do anything, I want to learn all I can about the upcoming (March, per the '14 Fiesta website) 2014 Fiesta with 1.0L Ecoboost, and the Fiesta ST with 1.6 EB. Pricing and options on each.

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those two powertrain options on the fiesta are a great market move. the focus st is too spendy and too over the top. the tiny 3 should grab headlines and turn out to be a good everyday car as well.

what a lot of folks don't know is the base focus' have been dirt cheap lately......but that is one without cruise, power windows, power locks. The dealer group i was at even had em ad'ed at 12999 for a few weeks a couple months ago. only 5 speeds on the stick though.

Very impressed with how Ford is keeping the Fiesta fresh and relevant. The Sonic, i sure hope it turns up reliable over time since so many first time buyers are picking one and coming into the GM fold.

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Well I went traveling today, checking out some vehicular conveyances. Before I left, I checked a local Chevy dealer's website, and it showed a Black Granite Sonic RS in stock. But first, I went to "my" (where I purchased my '07 Sierra) Buick-GMC dealer to try out a 2013 Buick Encore AWD Convenience with Nav. They have 3 in now... light blue base FWD, Brilliant Blue Convenience FWD, and a red Convenience AWD. I took out the red one because I wanted to try it with AWD. This thing is really a nice, quiet running vehicle, they've made sure it will be seen as a Buick, but in miniature. There are quite a few buttons on the dash, some I'd probably never use, but they are clearly marked. The high radio display is a welcome design feature, as is the CD slot. The high seating position and unobstructed view of the road ahead are also nice. All in all, I (once again) feel this will sell really well for Buick, as it has all the features of the larger Buicks, without the bulk, and it somehow manages to inject some high-class fun into traditional Buick styling cues.

Bodyshop guy in me noticed a small dent in the front left center of the hood (probably from improper closing by an overzealous person) on the Brilliant Blue one, and a flaw in the stamping of the hood on the left edge that was painted over (should have been seen at the factory and corrected). Other than that, I saw no issues with fit and finish.

Sales kid was knowledgeable and personable. We talked about
cars in general during the drive. He has a Sonic LTZ 1.4t manual, Blue
Topaz sedan, he factory ordered it, he says he really likes it, but the
Encore is a lot quieter on the road (Quiet Tuned and all) even though
they share a platform. He also shares a disappointment that the Cruze diesel will only be available with an automatic. Before I left, I made it clear that I have a list of vehicles I want to drive before I make a decision, and he did not pressure me.

Before I left my town to head to the Chevy dealer aforementioned, I cruised through the Subaru lot... no XV Crosstreks with manual, all CVT (boo), so I didn't inquire within. I also stopped at the closest Ford dealer's overflow lot to look at Escapes... all were optioned up to horrible high MSRP's, and these were mostly SE AWD models... over $29k... not affordable, and with too many unwanted options.

So I headed up to see the Sonic RS... it was gone. BEEN gone... website person at dealership hasn't kept it up to date. So I voiced my displeasure, saleskid agreed. I took a quick look at a Lemonade Spark, but he just as quickly shut me down after I told him I travel on a local 4-lane highway to work... "not for highway use, the way it's geared, this is a city car only, my personal opinion". OK then.

Then, lastly, I took a jaunt across a bit of country to Lititz, PA, to the Ford dealer I bought my Fiesta from. My salesguy was not in today, so the sales manager checked in his computer to see if pricing had come through from Ford on the '14 Fiestas. Nothing yet... '14 Mustangs and Escapes are available for order though. I left a message for them to let me know when the info comes in, so I can price one out and discuss further.

Edited by ocnblu

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Sales kid was knowledgeable and personable. We talked about cars in general during the drive. ....and he did not pressure me.

So I voiced my displeasure, saleskid agreed ,but he just as quickly shut me down "not for highway use, my personal opinion". OK then.

Then, lastly, I took a jaunt across a bit of country to Lititz, PA. My salesguy was not in today, so the sales manager checked in his computer. Nothing yet... I left a message for them to let me know when the salesguy comes in, so I can price one out and discuss further.

This is how Ocn finds his dates for Valentine’s day.

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:lol:

Well, I could say "human transactional interface", but that would be different than my geek.

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:scratchchin: I wonder if a base Mini Cooper has the harsh ride, and subsequent rattles, of a Cooper S? You can still get one for around 20 grand.

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Was that you swiped the one from John Sauder Chevrolet in Ephrata, PA, before I could test it out?

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