2017 Chevrolet Sonic gets sportier new looks and tech, set to arrive this fall

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 20, 2016

Chevrolet has been known to make small cars that are very fun to drive. The brand has taken this one step higher by giving it a sportier appearance with the release of the 2017 Sonic. Sales of the 2017 Sonic are expected to start this fall. The sedan models will come in the LS, LT, and the Premier trims.

An RS package will be made available for the sedan model as well. While the hatchback will come in the RS trim, the LT and Premier trims will be offered as well.

Aside from the sporty impression, the 2017 Sonic will also include technologies like the MyLink system that is compatible with the Android Auto and the Apple CarPlay, features exclusive to this segment.

Exterior Design

The exterior has a new design as well especially with the new LED signature lighting. The new design does not only make it pleasing to the eyes but it even complements the new features aimed at convenience and comfort. These include the 7-inch color touchscreen of the MyLink system and the heated steering wheel. While Chevrolet already has the most complete safety package, it becomes even more comprehensive with the new Rear Park Assist.

Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers director of marketing Steve Majoros said that with its new features and style, the 2017 Sonic strengthens its status as a small car that contains the latest technology and that’s fun to drive and efficient.

All of this, he adds, is available at an affordable price. For the company, this is a significant segment as it gives the company the chance to make itself known to new customers and to demonstrate what Chevrolet truly is, Mr. Majoros continued.

The Sonic, similar to the Trax, hopes to introduce younger customers to Chevrolet. In fact, more than 20% of the customers are less than 35 years of age. In addition, 30% of them have been trading non-GM vehicles.

As such, the Sonic has become the company’s top vehicle especially for those buying vehicles for the first time. The exterior design of the Sonic may be new but it continues to have the cues of Chevrolet’s other well-known vehicles like the 2017 Trax, Bolt EV, and the Cruze. The 2017 Sonic though has a more detailed design especially with the front end having new lighting elements, a new front fascia, and a new hood.

Even its rear fascia is new. Coming in as standard are the projector-beam headlamps and the LED daytime running lamps. Justin Thompson, who is the exterior design manager, revealed that the striking changes done on the design of the Sonic resulted in it having a sportier attitude and stance.

A good example of this, he continued, is the standard wheels-at-the-corners stance. For the 2017 Sonic, the company will be offering the 15-inch, 16-inch, and 17-inch wheels. There will also be four exterior colors to be offered which include Cajun Red Tintcoat, Brimstone, and Orange Burst Metallic. The fourth one, Arctic Blue Metallic, will be available at a later date.

Interior Design

While the exterior has been redesigned, the interior continues to maintain its thrust of providing technology, convenience, and comfort. There is now a new and more detailed gauge cluster that integrates an analog speedometer. This not only gives the cabin a higher level of sophistication but it complements the new convenience and comfort features.

In addition, the 2017 Sonic will be the first-ever in its class to have a power driver’s seat. It will also have the heated cloth seats and the heated steering wheel. It will be offering the Keyless Open and Start. While three trims are being offered, the RS trim in particular will have the piano black décor and the floor mats with the RS logo.

The flat-bottom steering wheel carries the RS badge. It will also have the red cloth seating. The 2017 Sonic has the latest 7-inch-diagonal infotainment system that is able to support the most current connectivity technologies like being compatible with the Android Auto and the Apple CarPlay.

It also offers Wi-Fi and 4G LTE hotspot. Since the 2017 Sonic offers a 4G LTE connection, the Wi-Fi hotspot enables passengers to connect a maximum of seven devices to the wireless internet like tablets, smartphones, and laptops.

It should be noted that the compatibility of the Apple CarPlay is dependent on having a compatible smartphone and is subject to the data plan rate, privacy statement, and terms.

The same is true with regards to compatibility of the Android Auto. In any vehicle, safety is an important concern and the 2017 Sonic is no different. It has safety features that are meant to alert drivers to possible crash situations.

These include the Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert. There are of course the standard 10 air bags. Improving safety are the antilock braking system and the stabilitrak electronic stability. The latest addition to the safety features is the Rear Park Assist. Of course, the rearview camera is now a standard feature on all of Chevrolet’s models.


Powering the 2017 Sonic is the 1.8-liter Ecotec engine which continues to deliver almost the same fuel economy figures. Official estimates from the EPA however have yet to be released.

There will also be the 1.4-liter Ecotec engine that can deliver 138 horsepower (102 kW) and that’s paired with the six-speed automatic or the manual transmission.

Press Release


Chevrolet today introduced the 2017 Sonic – a more expressive, sporty take on the brand’s fun-to-drive small car. It offers big technologies such as a new MyLink system with segment-exclusive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a fresh exterior with new LED signature lighting.

The updated styling complements new comfort and convenience features such as an available heated steering wheel and a standard 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen for the new MyLink system. Rear Park Assist is also new, adding to one of the most comprehensive safety packages in the segment.

“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,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. “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.”

Like the new Trax, Sonic brings new, younger customers to the brand, with more than 20 percent of them younger than 35 – and nearly 30 percent trading in non-GM vehicles. It is also Chevrolet’s top vehicle for first-time new buyers.

The 2017 Sonic goes on sale this fall, offered in LS, LT and Premier trims on sedan models. The hatchback returns exclusively in RS guise, offered in LT and Premier trims. An RS package is also available on the sedan.

Refined design

Sonic’s athletic exterior has an entirely new, expressive look echoing the global Chevrolet cues seen on vehicles such as the Cruze, Bolt EV and 2017 Trax.

It is a richer, more detailed design, with the front end featuring a new hood, new front fascia and new lighting elements. Projector-beam headlamps are standard, along with available LED daytime running lamps. Likewise, the rear fascia is new.

“With its trademark wheels-at-the-corners stance, the dramatic changes to the Sonic’s design give it and even sportier stance and attitude,” said Justin Thompson, exterior design manager.

There are also new 15-, 16- and 17-inch wheel designs and four new exterior colors offered in 2017: Orange Burst Metallic, Brimstone, Cajun Red Tintcoat and Arctic Blue Metallic (late availability).

Interior and technology enhancements

Sonic’s thoughtful interior retains its focus on delivering comfort, convenience and technology. A new, detailed gauge cluster incorporating an analog speedometer adds a higher degree of refinement to the cabin, complementing addition new comfort and convenience features.

For 2017, Sonic becomes the first in its segment to offer a power driver’s seat. Additional new features include:

Keyless Open and Start
Available heated cloth seats with new heated steering wheel
RS trim includes RS-logo floor mats, piano black décor, RS-badged flat-bottom steering wheel – with new, red cloth seating available.
Also new is a 7-inch-diagonal infotainment system designed to support the latest connectivity technologies, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot. With the available 4G LTE connection, Sonic provides a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to connect up to seven compatible devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone.

Safety first

Sonic offers safety features designed to alert drivers to potential crash situations. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are available active safety features. Sonic also offers 10 standard air bags, Stabilitrak electronic stability control and an antilock braking system to help provide peace of mind. Rear Park Assist is new for 2017 and a rearview camera is now standard on all models.

Turbocharged performance

The Sonic’s standard Ecotec 1.8L engine is estimated to deliver similar fuel economy numbers for the 2017 model year, however official EPA estimates are not yet available. Sonic’s fun-driving spirit returns with an available Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine, backed by a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Rated at 138 horsepower (102 kW).

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