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Taking the Chevy Sonic to a Sonic Drive-In

After the Chevy SXSW Roadtrip last year, the members of my team and I were able to keep a good relationship with the fine folks at Chevy. After attending the launch event for the Chevy Sonic, I was invited to borrow one to try out, but I needed someplace to take it. After reaching out to my friends, it was recommended by my friend Mike that I should take it to a Sonic Drive-In, and so my adventure began.

Living in New York, the Sonic restaurants are not readily accessible, regardless of the advertisements we are regularly bombarded with. A quick search showed me that the nearest one was in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. I wanted to try out the live turn by turn directions and see how it worked on a car without a map screen, but unfortunately there was a communication problem between OnStar and the Sonic I was borrowing. The OnStar people were kind enough, but there was nothing we could do to fix the issue, so it was a quick search and navigation via Google Maps on iPhone to get me there.

The ride was mostly highway, so I was able to get a good feel for how the car drove. The Sonic had good pickup and easily handled the entire time. Since I wasn’t so used to the car, I noticed that the car was going a bit faster than I had anticipated, but handled smoothly, even regardless of how fast I was going. Without traffic I was able to make it there for my first Sonic dining experience in good time.

The Sonic Drive-In itself was a unique dining experience as well. Pulling up next to a speaker, I ordered from my car and paid, to have the food delivered by a waitress on rollerblades. Having never eaten at Sonic before and being born years after the drive-in boom, it was a unique experience to have the food delivered to and eating in the car. The burgers were decent for fast food and I took my friend Tom’s advice and got tater tots to go with it. Sonic also happened to be running a superhero promotion for their kids meals, so I had to pick up the ones they had available, Flash and Aquaman.

I really enjoyed my time with the Chevy Sonic, but my only complaint with it was the radio. I don’t listen to much radio anymore, choosing to use my iPhone instead. The Sonic had a USB port and bluetooth built into the radio, which made it very convenient to listen to the iPhone with. Using the bluetooth gave me full usage of the iPhone but caused the battery to drain. Alternatively, plugging the iPhone in with a USB cord forced me to use the substandard menuing interface for the music and video apps and locked out the controls in the iPhone (the exception being if using another app). I would have been much happier being able to just control my music, podcasts, et al. from the iPhone, but it’s really a minor issue.

It wasn’t till I had returned home that others chimed in with ideas, like bringing a Sonic Screwdriver or a hedgehog, to make the trip even more meta. Regardless of additional props, the Chevy Sonic drove well and is a good economy car that turned heads both on my trip to Sonic and back when we drove them in Manhattan. Once this adventure was over, I had to return the car, but look forward to seeing what happens with it next. And if you want to take the Sonic on an adventure, Chevy is having a contest to Date My Chevy, so head over there and you might be taking the Chevy Sonic on your own adventure.

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