NEWS

2017 Chevrolet Sonic: First Look

img2111435280 1458308617916 jpg 2017 Chevrolet Sonic | Manufacturer image

Competes with: Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa

Looks like: The new Malibu’s nose on the old Sonic’s body

Drivetrain: 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine or 138-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine; six-speed automatic or manual transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2016

CARS.COM — Chevrolet has unveiled the latest versions of its subcompact Sonic sedan and hatchback ahead of the 2016 New York International Auto Show. GM’s diminutive car gets new styling and some updated interior technology.

More 2016 New York Auto Show Coverage

Exterior

The biggest changes to the new Sonic are visual, with fresh front-end styling that brings the Sonic in line with the rest of the new Chevrolet lineup. The headlights and grille look like smaller versions of what the new 2016 Malibu and revised 2017 Trax SUV wear, themselves inspired by the most recent Impala redo. New taillights and bumper are present out back, while there’s a choice of three wheel sizes and four new colors.

The RS package sticks around for 2017, and continues as an appearance package only — but Chevy hasn’t said exactly what the changes will be for the RS model’s exterior.

Interior

The cabin gets a little sprucing up; a new gauge cluster with an analog speedometer replaces the previous digital one, while a segment-exclusive power driver’s seat is now optional. A new standard 7-inch touch-screen has been added for Chevrolet MyLink multimedia systems, while optional are Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G LTE Wi-Fi that lets you connect up to seven wireless devices.

The RS trim level brings some sportier interior duds, including piano-black trim, an RS-badged flat-bottom steering wheel, optional red cloth seats and RS logo floormats. Other new optional equipment includes keyless entry and start and heated seats and steering wheel.

Under the Hood

Mechanically, the Sonic is unchanged, sporting a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Chevy did not give power or fuel economy ratings for the 1.8-liter engine, saying only that it should be similar to the 2016 version. The optional engine is a 138-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder.

Safety

With the change in styling comes additional electronic safety equipment. The Sonic now features optional forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Rear parking assist sensors are newly optional and a backup camera is standard.

Look for the new Sonic sedan and hatchback to hit dealers this autumn.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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