What follows is a small memoir of my first year with my 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS. It also serves as my message of gratitude and appreciation towards the awesome opposite lock community.
Nearly 2 years ago I was the moderately happy owner of a 2011 Kia Forte Koup SX. It was painted Titanium and had every option box ticked: nav, sunroof, spoiler, automatic. I know some of you may scoff at me for saying this, but that was actually a really great little car. It felt much more luxurious than it had any business to with a leather interior, wireless key, push button start, the aforementioned nav system, and slick color matched wheels.
I loved my little Kia, but there were a few issues. First of all, it was an automatic. Don't hold it against me: I wanted nav when I bought it and you couldn't get a manual with nav, and I had only driven manual once or twice with limited success, so at the time the idea of purchasing a new car with a manual was scary.
Second of all, it was a coupe. Shouldn't have been a problem for a young single person such as myself, but one of my hobbies happens to be flying remote control airplanes, and as my collection of airplanes grew bigger, the space in the Kia quickly vanished
I had started to realize I might need some more space, and even confessed to such on Oppo. It took a while before those thoughts started to materialize though.
After Ford announced the Fiesta ST, I was hooked with the idea of a small hot hatchback. Manual transmission, turbocharged engines, better performance than my Kia (although with 174 hp the Kia wasn't half bad), and enough space to carry anything I'd ever need. I'm not a very patient person, so I started shopping well before the FiST become available. I had heard of this little Chevrolet Sonic, and I knew there was an RS version, but I brushed it off at first. I live down the street from a Chevy dealer though, so one day after work I stopped in. I was a bit surprised by what I saw
I was immediately smitten by the exterior, I still think it's the best looking subcompact available in the US
The interior though, damn. It blew me away. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I certainly didn't expect to like it so much. Very comfortable seats but not overly bolstered like the Recaros in the Focus ST (sorry, I don't like them for day to day use). Sharp looking motorcycle dashboard. User friendly and attractive mylink system. A well designed flat floor cargo area.
But the Sonic isn't exactly a powerhouse, and I even questioned if it'd be any fun to drive in that first post
Didn't get to drive one, the only manual they had was in the showroom. Shame it's so down on power though, at 138 HP it's probably not very fun to drive, at least not compared to the Fiesta or Focus.
I couldn't shake that first impression though. The car was so good loooking, and the interior was so nice that I had fallen for it. A couple opposite lock members pointed out how tuneable the car was in that first post (more on how awesome you all are later), so it started to get more and more appealing (thanks DBWine and Axel-Ripper!)
I have a tuned Chevy Cruze (same 1.4T engine) and I can whole heartedly say that it REALLY wakes the car up. This is what I got, but for my Cruze:http://store.badnewsracing.net/Trifecta-Budge… (Trifecta is the way to go, great support).
Later that night I started justifying a purchase. This post was literally just a late night (1:52 am!) musing that made little to no sense, but it was 1:52 in the morning and I had nowhere to be other than oppo
A few days later I drove what would soon be my car. I loved it. I pretty much knew right then I was going to own it
Sure, it wasn't blisteringly quick, but it was peppier than you'd think given the 138 hp rating. It handled extremely well though, and for ~$20k it was cheaper than any Fiesta ST would be, so why wait?
Surprisingly I didn't buy it the next day. Five days later though, a year ago today on July 25th, 2013 I purchased my 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS
Here it is sitting on the showroom floor looking all shiny. It was mine at this point, just some paperwork to fill out. I was so excited I accidentally a word (Handles really)
The next day I was a bit in shock, and gave some quick impressions. A sign of things to come, I had supposedly driven ~100 miles in a day?! I would later go on to drive 3000 miles in the first month
So thus began my year of hot hatch ownership. Many things happened in that year, and that's why I made this post. I did my first ever performance modifications, starting with an intake for whooshy noises (video link)
Ordered the tune and a catback exhaust on black friday. Tune came about a month or so later, I can't find my original post but it is glorious.
But this spring, the Sonic started to really shine. Correction: I started to really understand just how awesome the Oppositelock community is. I organized the first Wichita meet up, and thus began the awesome journey of taking the fun from oppositelock and applying it outside of the internet
At the meet I met AthomSfere and midengineer (formerly mrtwotastic (I still like that name)), and was finally convinced to try autocross by a friend and coworker of mine. It took another few months before that happened, but now I'm actually a member of the SCCA, which has been great. I've made new friends, had new experiences (like driving a Cayman R), and learned so much about driving. My little Sonic has been a bit of a star, I've gotten all sorts of compliments about it from SCCA guys which is a nice testament to the character of this little hatch
It was here I met My Buick is Too A Real Muscle Car and had one of the more terrifying experiences of my life riding in the murder sofa at speeds it should never be allowed to go
Also this spring/summer I started hanging out with the Wichita crew regularly at Friday Night Car shows, even getting a chance for some car swapping to see people experience the tuned Sonic
I've sort of rambled on, but it's been a great year. Buying this Sonic may not have been a great financial decision, but I couldn't be happier with it. It's sparked a greater interest in cars for me, and that interest along with the awesome community has helped me build new friendships, experience new thrills, and just all around have a fantastic freaking year of ownership.
I don't really know how else to say it, but thanks for the great year oppo. This truly is among the greatest communities on the internet. Where else can a picture like that happen with no animosity towards one another based on the cars we drive? In the past year this community has done some amazing things to, whether it's supporting fallen members like CalzoneGolum after his unfortunate back injury, or giving advice and support to members in need even when it's not car related. We've gotten our name on a race car, shared memories and experiences, highs and lows, but through it all you've all proven time and time again why I'm proud to display that oppo sticker on the back of my car. There's no car club in the world I'd rather be a part of, so give yourselves a pat on the back and then take a drive, you've earned it