It's as if Chevrolet was attempting to build an actual car.
You won’t climb long hills in sixth gear – a subcompact Chevy with a six-speed? Will wonders never cease? – but downshifting past fifth is unnecessary under most conditions. Fuel mileage is outstanding, and filling a 10-gallon tank makes you look down your nose at drivers filling SUVs at the pump.
Complaints are exceedingly minor. I like the idea of the fold-down armrest for the driver, but it needs to offer a little bit more of a downward angle, especially in Sonics with a manual transmission. A leftward head-check over the shoulder when changing lanes results in a B-pillar that almost completely blocks your view. The cargo area is good for not much more than a knapsack and a pair of running shoes.
That’s it, though. In total, it was an honestly enjoyable car to drive on a long trip, which is a lot more than I can say for cars like the truly awful Geo Metro. Well done.
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee