2017 Sonic New Car Test Drive
The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic gets more safety equipment and features, but mostly styling that's more expressive, with a new hood, headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, and rear fascia. Also new wheel designs and four new colors: Orange Burst Metallic, Brimstone, Cajun Red Tintcoat, and Arctic Blue Metallic.
New features for the 2017 Sonic include a power driver's seat, heated steering wheel, heated cloth seats, and infotainment system with seven-inch screen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, with 4G LTE connectivity and wife hotspot.
The Chevrolet Sonic is a refined and sporty subcompact that was introduced as a 2013 model to replace the plain and boring Aveo. The Sonic comes as five-door hatchback or four-door sedan.
The Sonic hatchback is the more cohesive design, with its angled window line, hidden rear door handles, and truncated tail making it look like a coupe. Its short rear and longer front overhang give it sporty proportions.
The Sonic sedan has the same wheelbase as the hatch, but with conventional rear doors, a longer roof, and big trunk. The problem is that sometimes it looks like three styles pasted together. Chevy sells a lot more Sonic hatchbacks than it does sedans.
The base engine is a raspy 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder. It lowers the base price, but otherwise forget it.
The available 1.4-liter turbo is still quite affordable, and much better; it's smooth, refined, responsive, and gets better fuel mileage. Both engines make 138 horsepower, and each is available with a 6-speed automatic. If you want a gearbox, you get a 5-speed manual with the 1.8 and 6-speed with the 1.4 turbo.
The Sonic gets five stars from the NHTSA in crash tests, and the IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick, with a top Good rating on both the moderate overlap and tougher small overlap frontal crash test. That's the test that's foiled a lot of cars, including bigger ones. The Sonic comes standard with 10 airbags, blind-spot mirrors and rearview camera. New for 2017 are available Rear Park Assist and Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.
The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic sedan comes in Sonic LS, Sonic LT, and Sonic Premier models. The Sonic hatchback comes in LT, Premier and the sporty Sonic RS.