When it comes to his/hers models of
the Sonic, the Plegers aren’t alone.
By Kate Silver
“Like father, like daughter,” is a familiar phrase to Rachael Pleger. At 18, the college freshman considers her dad her best friend. The two are so similar, in fact, that it wasn’t a huge surprise when they got cars that matched—a red 2012 Chevy Sonic for her and an orange one for him, both hatchbacks.
When it comes to his/hers models of the Sonic, which was named one of the “Best Family Cars of 2012” by Edmunds.com and Parents magazine, the Plegers aren’t alone. Many other fathers and daughters (not to mention husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters) are discovering that their love of the sporty Sonic crosses all barriers—gender, generational and beyond.
For Rachael and Robert, it all began in February 2012. Rachael, then a high school senior, knew her truck was on the verge of its last RPM. Her parents told her they’d buy her a car as a graduation gift, so she called some friends who work at the local Chevrolet dealership and asked their advice. They told her they had just received a brand new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, and they thought the fun car (which also happens to be practical and affordable) was the perfect fit for the 17-year-old.
The moment she saw the bright red hatchback, she agreed. “I said, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s adorable, it’s cute!’” she bubbles. Of course, it took a little more than cuteness to convince her father that this was the right car for his daughter. Robert was more interested in its price, its fuel efficiency (up to an EPA-estimated 40 miles per gallon on the highway*) and its safety record (the 2012 Sonic was awarded a 2012 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). When Rachael brought the car home, she named it Ava—the letters that came on its license plate.
For the next three months, it was hard to tell who loved Ava more—Rachael, who says “Ava” with such admiration you’d think she was referring to a friend, or her dad, who constantly raced her to the driver’s seat. “He tried to drive my car all the time,” she says. After months of arguing over who would drive, Robert took the plunge in May. He’d been hired for a job as a safety consultant with a solar company in California nearly 150 miles away and would be making the commute back and forth to see his family frequently. Impressed by the gas mileage and handling of the Sonic, he purchased an orange one for himself—the LT turbo model.
Rachael has been envious ever since. But Robert’s car is standard (with six-speed manual transmission) and she doesn’t know how to drive stick. So she’s continuing to enjoy Ava, while her dad zips around in his turbo, which he’s named The Creamsicle®. The two joke about one day switching vehicles, but for now they’re happy—happy as ... well, two Sonics in a family garage.
*EPA estimate with available 1.4L turbocharged engine and 6-speed manual transmission.
Edmunds.com, Parents magazine and Creamsicle are trademarks of their respective owners.
Kate Silver is an award-winning journalist and editor based in Chicago. Her work appears regularly in Spirit Magazine, Men’s Health, the Chicago Tribune and Midwest Living, as well as on Parents.com.