201Chevy Sonic is Unsafe

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Mar 26, 2019
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#1
I have been driving for more than 45 years. I have owned 16 different cars in that time. On November 14, 2018 I bought a 2018 Chevy Sonic from Gary Lang Chevy. Out of all of the cars that I have owned, the 2018 Chevy Sonic is absolutely the worst car to drive in the snow. The Chevy Sonic is unsafe to drive at any speed when there is any amount of snow on the road. I have never had this problem with any of the cars that I have owned. I have a 2002 Honda Civic that I have safely driven across northern Illinois during 17 very harsh Winters with no problem. My 2014 Hyundai Sonata has no problem with the snow. I have had two minivans, a Voyager and a Villager that were much safer and easier to drive in the snow than my Chevy Sonic.

To add insult to injury, the Chevy Sonic only gets 28 miles per gallon with a 10 gallon gas tank. My Civic gets 32 miles per gallon and my Sonata gets 36 miles per gallon. So now I spent all of this money on a brand new Chevy Sonic that gets poor gas mileage and requires frequent fill-ups.

My Sonata and my Civic are both smooth riding cars that are easy to drive. My brand new Chevy Sonic sounds like a bucket of bolts, rattling and creaking as I drive. My Sonic does not have a smooth ride at all; it is just a poorly made car that represents the lack of quality of the Chevrolet brand.

I contacted the Chevrolet customer service department and after two weeks of getting the runaround, I was told that there was nothing that Chevrolet could do and that they do not get involved and I had to work with the dealership.

The dealership told me that I could trade my Sonic in on another car. This would cause me to lose thousands of dollars after only owning the Sonic for a couple of months. My salesman did say that “The Sonic is the second cheapest car that Chevrolet makes. The implication is that you can not expect Chevrolet to make a car that is both affordable and safe. Then the dealership told me that my Sonic might be safer if I bought better tires. In fact they offered to sell me a set of better tires for $562 plus mounting and balancing.

The bottom line is that the dealership is saying that for $19,000, I bought a poorly made Chevrolet with crappy tires and I should not expect the car to be safe to drive. The dealership is only nice to customers until they get your money.

I am very disappointed and I regret buying the 2018 Chevy Sonic. Even more disappointing is the lack of customer service by both Chevrolet and Gary Lang. I would like to get rid of this terrible car as soon as possibl
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
Have you escalated this to the GM (Gary Lang?). If not, I suggest that you do, as I have experienced success with that approach.

Whatever path you choose form here, I recommend you state the facts, without emotion, and let them speak for you . . .
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,950
2,040
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Maui Hawaii
#3
The handling of a typical FWD compact car in snow is essentially unrelated to the car and 95+% related to the tires. Your car either has summer tires which are worthless (and dangerous) in the snow, or "all weather" tires which are poor to mediocre in the snow. If you need to drive in snow you need to put hydrophilic snow M+S rated tires (on all 4 wheels). This will solve your problem. Alternatively, if you really, really, really need to drive in snow, you need to purchase an all-wheel-drive car and put 4 snow tires on it. A Subaru would solve your issues and might not even need snow tires, just good "all season" tires.

This is not a Chevrolet problem but a tire problem. If you put 4 snow tires on the car you will also save miles on your other tires.

BTW, now is the time to buy snow tires. All the large tire warehouses want to get rid of their winter inventory and are having sales. Also NEVER buy tires from an automobile dealer; they will sell you what they have, not what you need, at an inflated price.
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#4
This sounds like buyers remorse and I’m not sure what Chevy can do for you. I have to agree with weihlac that you might need different tires for driving in the snow.

Mileage also depends on how you drive a car. Did you check Consumer Reports before you bought?

It’s a sub compact car. Your other cars are considered compact, not sub compact. Your other cars were a better brand, larger and better made. Is there a reason you opted for this car when you
were happy with the other brands?

This car received 5 out of 5 stars for safety by the NHTSA so it’s not an unsafe car. It’s just very light and you need better tires if you feel unsafe in the snow.

SAFETY

The NHTSA gave the 2018 Sonic a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS testing, the 2018 Sonic received a Good score for all crashworthiness tests except the passenger side front small overlap test where it hasn’t been tested yet (Good is the highest possible score).

On the LT and Premier grades, the Driver Confidence package adds forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

https://www.motortrend.com/cars/chevrolet/sonic/2018/
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
What sticks out to me is this from Corey: "My brand new Chevy Sonic sounds like a bucket of bolts, rattling and creaking as I drive." Handling in snow is a separate issue.

Even though "The Sonic is the second cheapest car that Chevrolet makes", no new car should "shake, rattle, and roll" (my opinion) . . .
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,867
17,080
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Then the dealer should look at it to ensure there is nothing wrong.

My wife drives a Hyundai Accent, I had a Sonata and her car is extremely noisy and not as well built as my Hyundai was. Hers does feel like a bucket of bolts compared to mine. We attribute it to being more than $10,000 cheaper than mine.
 
Likes: ADM

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,950
2,040
113
Maui Hawaii
#7
If you look at tirerack.com you will find high-quality Michelin and Bridgestone snow tires for under $100 each. You can get these tires mounted and balanced on new steel wheels for essentially what the dealer quoted you for new tires alone.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,408
8,515
113
San Francisco
#8
Oh this is awful. What kind of research did you do before you purchased this vehicle? Were you led to believe certain kinds of performance and find that not to be the case? How about the gas mileage? What was the car rated for? Growing up in Northern Minnesota, I have to agree with my colleagues that the tires are probably causing the driveability problem. I don't think I've ever encountered a dealer who took back a vehicle that they sold as new and now have to declare used because the buyer changed his mind. But obviously you're never going to be comfortable driving that thing, so appealing to the dealer is probably a good idea. I presume he has a reputation to maintain, right?
 
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