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Chevy gives its 2017 Sonic a new face, and more tech

With all of the news surrounding the redesigned Spark and Cruze, not to mention the 2017 Bolt EV, Chevy’s other small car seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. So for the 2017 model year, it’s getting some love.

The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic debuts next week at the 2016 New York Auto Show with updates that fall short of a full redesign, but should still keep the Sonic relevant in the market. Changes include updated tech and revised styling.

Starting with the styling, the 2017 Sonic adopts the same grille design as the Chevy Cruze, Trax, and the Bolt EV. That’s good for marketing, but it also makes the Sonic look a little less sporty than before. There are new headlights and taillights as well, and new 15-, 16-, and 17-inch alloy wheel designs. The Sonic is still available as a four-door sedan, or a five-door hatchback.

On the tech front, the Sonic gets a new version of Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system with a 7.0-inch display screen, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As with the previous Sonic, GM’s OnStar 4G LTE system is also available. It includes a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to seven devices, and requires a separate data plan.

There’s some new safety tech as well, including available lane departure warning and forward collision warning systems. A rear park assist system is also available, while a rearview camera is standard on all models. That these features are now available on subcompact economy cars like the Sonic is a testament to how quickly they’re proliferating.

Engine options are unchanged. Base models get a naturally-aspirated 1.8-liter four-cylinder, and there’s also a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder available. Buyers get to choose between six-speed manual or automatic transmissions for either engine. More detailed specifications, along with pricing information, will be released when the 2017 Sonic goes on sale this fall.

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