Segment-first tech leads the march with Chevrolet's updated 2017 Sonic

Chevy's wide-eyed little Sonic has always tried its best to compete with the likes of the Honda Fit and the Ford Fiesta. Thanks to a solid refresh for the 2017 model year, which includes some segment-first additions, the fight is renewed once more.

The Sonic's new look is immediately noticeable. Its bug-eyed headlights are gone in favor of a slimmer, slightly more aggressive (and less playful) look than before, which helps bring it in line with other new offerings, like the Cruze or the Bolt. Projector headlamps are standard equipment now.

As Chevrolet is wont to do, it's loaded the Sonic with plenty of standard and optional tech. Every Sonic now receives a backup camera and a 7-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system. If you like ticking options boxes, you can outfit your compact with a heated steering wheel, parking sensors and a 4G LTE hotspot with Wi-Fi connectivity. Two safety systems are on offer, as well -- forward collision warning and lane-departure warning.


Also included with the 2017 update are two segment firsts -- a power driver's seat, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Many new MyLink systems come with both CP and AA out of the box, in a nod to our smartphone overlords.

Powertrain options remain twofold. The base engine is a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder unit, and Sonic RS models are treated to a 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-pot. The latter mates to either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.

The car hits dealers this fall, and is available in both hatchback and sedan variants. The hatch is RS-only, with two trim levels -- LT and Premier. The sedan has an optional RS package, and comes in three trim levels -- LS, LT and Premier.


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