Not all of Chevrolet’s cars are on the chopping block, as the company announces a refresh for three of its road-hugging models.
The Malibu, Cruze, and Spark are all getting a mild update for 2019 that sees their front ends change ever so slightly and their trim levels rejigged.
“The restyled face of Chevy cars for 2019 is characterized by a family-like appearance, with each model honoring its Chevrolet heritage while showing off expressive designs,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design, in a statement.
Chevy’s smallest car, the Spark, gets a new grille to make look a little more like its big sisters, the Cruze and the Malibu. More chrome, available projector headlights moved lower on the body, and dual-element taillights all contribute to making the 2019 Spark look a little more premium.
It also gets Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking to help reduce the severity of fender benders. New exterior colors should also help you get noticed.
The Cruze also gets a new face with a little more chrome and LED accent lighting (on Premier trim) to help set it apart.
“Cruze’s refreshed styling gives Cruze a more upscale look while maintaining its Chevrolet design DNA,” said Cafaro.
For 2019, the Cruze also gains Chevrolet Infotainment 3 that’s run on a standard 7-inch color touchscreen, remote start, new wheel designs, black window molding, and a new Umber interior color.
Finally, the Malibu gets the same front-end update as its little siblings and gains an RS trim, as well.
“We see an exciting opportunity with the 2019 Malibu to give customers new, distinctive choices, exemplified by Malibu RS,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers, in a statement. “It offers athletic design and amazing features at an attractive price point starting between Malibu LS and LT trims.”
Starting at around $25,000, the Malibu RS comes with 18-inch machined wheels, a black sports grille, a black bowtie, a rear spoiler, and dual exhausts. Inside you get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, black cloth seats, and a standard 8-inch infotainment screen.
That 8-inch screen is now standard across the line, as is a Rear Vision Camera (right down to the L trim). New wheels are also available in 16, 17, and 18-inch sizes, and the Chevrolet is offering new interior and exterior colors for the car.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that production of the Sonic would end before 2019, with the Impala next on the chopping block. The report cited shrinking demand and low margins as the main causes of Chevrolet’s decision.
As these cars were notably excepted from Chevrolet’s updates, that report checks out. Not all is lost for small cars, though, as Brian Sweeney, US VP of Chevrolet, made a point of restating the brand’s commitment them in the press release about the facelifts.
“We are committed to offering consumers a full lineup of products with fresh designs, new technologies and efficient powertrain options,” said Sweeney. “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.”
A version of this story originally appeared on GM Inside News.