In this review: GOTTA GO FAST!
Personally I think it looks better than most hatchbacks out there. Sharp creases and angular proportions give it a slightly more juvenile feel than a Golf, but the separated headlights give it a nice splash of character. Not a huge fan of the bumper bar splitting the grille, there are quite a few fake vents/covered spots, and the fog lights look like a Spark's headlights, but that's really the only problems I can find with this design.
With the tune and CAI present on this car, 0-60 takes place somewhere in the realm of 7.5 seconds depending on how good the guy rowing the gears is. It's not as quick as some other hot hatches, but you certainly won't be twiddling your thumbs. Will chirp its wheels in 2nd gear, which is always fun.
The Sonic RS' interior is comfortable and much more spacious than the compact exterior would suggest. The seats are supportive (kinda), though I was a bit small and still sloshed about between the bolsters. There is no elevation control on the passenger seat, which seemed odd in the most expensive trim level. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is comfortable and the small size makes it easy to whip around, and the motorcycle-inspired dashboard was much less jarring than I thought it would be.
It's worth noting the amount of cubbyholes this thing has. Either side of the radio, on front of the shifter, TWO gloveboxes, one of which has an aux jack and charging port inside of it, and a tray on top of the dash. There's room for a lot of knicknacks to get forgotten in here.
The materials used in the construction aren't amazingly high-quality. There isn't much cow hide to be found, or nice supple cloth. Most of what you find are soft-touch and textured plastics, which is most pronounced when resting your hand on the door while driving. It just feels cheap and unwelcoming.
I haven't driven many cars with a manual (obviously) so I don't have many to compare this one against, but it had decent throws, was notchy and substantial, and the clutch engagement point was very easy to figure out. For a benchmark on this car, I went from never driving a manual before to, 3 hours later, being able to semi-competently scoot around some neighborhood roads at low speeds.
I was impressed by me.
The sanic corners really REALLY well. The recent addition of a rear sway bar (in RED!) has made turn-ins much quicker and steering response is instantaneous. A small amount of lift-off oversteer lets the car rotate around due to the stiff rear end, but even stock the RS was a decent performer in this category.
BRRRRRRRR *PSHHHHHH* BRRRRRRRR *PSSSSHHHH*
You want turbo noise? The sanic has turbo noise in SPADES. The cold air intake means that each gear change is accompanied by the sound of a hurricane escaping from the adorably tiny turbocharger. The noise coming from the cat-less modified exhaust isn't for everyone, but it's a surprisingly unoffensive noise from a 4cyl. The only thing I would want from this car is a little bit more turbo whistle.
The speakers are good not great. They're good enough that one wouldn't be immediately concerned with upgrading them, but they are definitely nowhere near "premium."
Conclusion (2/60) needs more hedgehog stickers
Actual Conclusion (50/60):
Peppy small hatchback that makes lots of noise, carves corners like I carve a turkey (bad analogy. When I carve a turkey there is usually blood and sadness), and provides a pretty good driver experience on a modest budget.
Would sanic again.