2017 Chevrolet Sonic Review

Sonic

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2017 Chevrolet Sonic Overview

With a big refresh for the 2017 model year, Chevrolet’s Sonic gets a sportier look and some upgrades to its standard and available features. Rest assured, however, that this 5-passenger subcompact retains every bit of its solid value.

Again for the upcoming model year, the Sonic sedan will be delivered in the base LS and the mid-level LT, while a new high-end Premier trim replaces the LTZ. The Sonic hatchback is expected to be offered in the LT and Premier trim levels, with the RS styling cues, features, and power now standard. Changes to the lineup's look include a new hood, grille, and front fascia design. Reworked wheels and available LED running lights are also available for the upcoming model year.

Inside, keyless entry and ignition are slated to debut, along with a new heated steering wheel and heated cloth-upholstered front seats in the LT. All higher trims are anticipated to offer a power-adjustable driver’s seat and rear parking sensors for the upcoming model year, and GM's touted MyLink system will now feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app capabilities.

Sedan versions of the 2017 Sonic will again offer 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space, while the hatchback returns with 47.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded.

The standard powertrain aboard the 2017 Sonic LS and LT remains a 138-hp 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine mated with either the standard 5-speed manual transmission (with hill-hold feature) or the available 6-speed shiftable automatic, with each managing 125 lb-ft of torque. Expect mileage figures similar to the current edition’s 26 mpg city/35 highway/30 combined with the manual and 24/35/28 with the automatic.

A 1.4-liter turbocharged I4 comes standard aboard the Premier and both Hatchback trims. Managed by either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed shiftable automatic, the turbo I4 puts out the same 138 hp as the non-turbocharged engine, but torque jumps to 148 lb-ft. LTZ trims from 2016 get mileage of 29/40/33 with the manual and 27/37/31 with the automatic. Current RS Sonic variations, which feature sportier gearing, get 27/34/30 with the manual and 25/33/28 with the automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard across the lineup.

Standard exterior features on the 2017 Sonic include redesigned 15-inch steel wheels or reworked 15- or 17-inch alloy wheels on higher trims. Heated power-adjustable mirrors and a rear spoiler are also slated for the higher trims. Inside, you'll find trim-specific standard equipment like cloth or leatherette upholstery, full power accessories, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a rear-view camera, and air conditioning.

The RS Sonic Hatchback, as well as those sedan trims offering the optional RS package, will add 4-wheel disc brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, leather upholstery, and a sport steering wheel, not to mention distinctive exterior trim pieces and badges.

Technology in the 2017 Sonic includes OnStar directions and connections capabilities; higher trims add the upgraded MyLink infotainment feature with Bluetooth hands-free technology, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, and a 7-inch touchscreen. The base LS offers a CD/MP3 player with 4 speakers and an auxiliary audio input, and higher trims add 2 extra speakers, satellite radio, and a USB port.

Optional features include the RS package on the LT and Premier, as well as a power sunroof and the safety-oriented Driver Confidence package. The Premier sedan also offers a Dusk package boasting 18-inch alloy wheels and most of the contents of the RS package.

Again for 2017, the Sonic lineup is expected to offer standard 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, front and rear head curtain airbags, and daytime running lights. Further returning standard safety equipment include daytime running lights, OnStar emergency telematics, a post-collision safety system, and a remote antitheft alarm; the Premier also sports standard front fog/driving lights. Safety options aboard higher trims include lane-departure warnings and forward collision alert.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the current Sonic its highest score of 5 stars for overall crashworthiness, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Chevy its highest score of Good on all tests except the recently instituted small-overlap frontal-offset test where, like most of its rivals, the Sonic received a second-worst score of Marginal.

Challengers to the Sonic include the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, and Honda Fit. Look for the newly reworked 2017 Sonic to go on sale in the fall of 2016.

Updated
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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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