Chevrolet reveals 2017 Sonic hatchback, sedan

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

The Chevrolet Sonic subcompact hatchback and sedan are receiving exterior facelifts and more technology for the 2017 model-year.

Chevy released photos Friday of the youth-oriented car that features a redesigned exterior, including tweaked front and rear facias that resemble other cars in the Chevrolet lineup. The new look is smoother than the current generation, particularly the front of the vehicle that removes circular headlights for rectangular LED signature lighting.

“The new styling and features of the 2017 Sonic reinforce its position as a fun, efficient small car with leading technology — all at an affordable price,” Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers, said in a statement. “This is an important segment for Chevrolet, as we really have an opportunity to introduce ourselves to new buyers and show them what we’re all about.”

The Detroit-based automaker touts more than 20 percent of them younger than 35, and nearly 30 percent trading in non-GM vehicles.

Inside the car, Chevrolet has made a heated steering wheel available and a 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen standard for its the new MyLink infotainment system. Rear Park Assist and other technologies and features, including segment-first Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, also are new. senior analyst Michelle Krebs said the new interior features of the car could help sales more than the exterior redesign.

“It doesn’t look radically different, but that segment has been pretty soft,” she said. “To add in things like Apple CarPlay and the technology, that’s probably more important than how it looks.”

Sonic sales declined roughly 30 percent last year compared with 2014 to less than 65,000 cars sold.

The 2017 Sonic goes on sale this fall, offered in LS, LT and Premier trims (replacing the top-end LTZ) on sedan models. The hatchback returns exclusively in RS, offered in LT and Premier trims. An RS package is also available on the sedan.

Engine options for the car include a standard Ecotec 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an available Ecotec 1.4-liter turbo engine rated at 138 hp, and backed by a six-speed automatic or manual transmission.

Official EPA estimates and pricing will be announced closer to the car arriving in dealerships, according to GM spokeswoman Courtney Moats.

The 2017 Sonic hatchback will make its official public debut next week at the New York International Auto Show. A sedan version won’t be shown at the show, Moats said.

The Sonic will continue to be produced at GM’s Lake Orion Assembly in Orion Township.

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