Traded in my old Chevy Onix for a brand spanking new Chevy Onix. Thanks to Coronavirus stopping the globe dead on its tracks and everything basically going to shit afterwards, factory grounds are full of unsold cars with big, slashed and discounted price tags.
This car, for example, was set to become a test drive car for a local dealership and came complete with all the bells and whistles up to and including on board Wi Fi and OnStar, but, with test drives basically gone and forgotten, it wound up in the used car lot with a 16 thousand reais discount and a little over 50 miles on the clock. That’s Brazilian reais, mind you, and the original price was a little north of 80 grand. Yup, cars are mad expensive in Brazil.
Anyways, speaking of Brazil, this new Onix, along with the VW Virtus is supposed to be the current state of the art in (not so) Subcompact cars down here. While it’s really nothing to write home about in most places, a car like this would be unthinkable in Brazil a decade or so ago. Back then, tiny, stripped out hatchbacks were the automaker’s bread and butter, and Chevrolet’s entry level sedan was the Prisma, which sold a fraction of what its Celta counterpart did. It Featured a 1.0 or 1.4 liter 4 cylinder, manual 5 speed, 13 inch stamped steel wheels and not much else.
I remember driving a few of these econoboxes of sadness and the contrast to what’s being made here now is actually pretty impressive. Sedans are the norm now, along with 6 and 7 speed autos and turbocharged engines. What used to pass for a large car ten years ago is about the same size as the current crop of compacts, which in turn feel a lot more solid without all the sheetmetal clanging and banging about at speeds even vaguely similar to “fast”.
I figure I have about 5 or 6 years till my next trade in, here’s hoping it’ll be an interesting drive