Chevrolet has given its car lineup some mid-cycle plastic surgery.
On the tail of a report that stated General Motors would axe the Sonic subcompact and Impala large sedan, the automaker rolled out updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Spark hatchback, Cruze sedan and hatchback, and Malibu midsize sedan. The release came with a strong message from Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet: "We are committed to offering consumers a full lineup of products with fresh designs, new technologies and efficient powertrain options."
While the release didn't specifically address the rumor surrounding the Chevrolet Sonic and Impala, Sweeney did state in the release, "The investments we have made in Spark, Cruze and Malibu will help position the brand for success in competitive segments that still make up a significant part of the total industry." The statement echoes what Alan Batey, GM's executive vice president and president of North America, told reporters earlier this week. "A 2-million-vehicle midsize car market in the U.S. is not a segment that you don't want to be part of," Batey said. The Spark, Cruze, and Malibu all receive refreshes going into 2019.
For Spark, the update brings with it a new front fascia and available active safety technology, including Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking as part of the Driver Confidence Package. Cruze receives a new front-end design for 2019. LED accent lighting has been added on the Premier trim, while the car's infotainment sees upgrades for the 7-inch touchscreen, adds remote start and automatic climate control to LT and Premier models, tweaks its RS Package, and wears new wheel designs. Meanwhile, Malibu is now the fifth model in the Chevrolet lineup to get an RS Package.
The appearance package brings with it 18-inch machined wheels, a blacked-out grille and bowtie emblems, a rear spoiler, and a dual-outlet exhaust. Inside, the RS brings with it a leather-wrapped steering wheel, black cloth seats, and an 8-inch touchscreen. Outside of the appearance package addition, Malibu gains a new continuously variable transmission for 1.5-liter turbo models and all models get a new front fascia with revamped grilles, and headlamps. A new rear bumper has also been added to accommodate the dual-outlet exhaust and new taillamps update Chevrolet's signature dual-element design. All of the updated models go on sale later this year.