2012 Chevrolet Sonic
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Following on the heels of its Camaro stablemate, the smallest Chevrolet model has performed well on the National Highway Safety Administration's crash tests, earning a coveted five-star overall safety rating. Two months ago, the Camaro received the first perfect score awarded under NHTSA's revised testing regimen, while both the Sonic five-door and sedan scored five stars in each category except rollover, in which it earned four stars.

Performing well in a crash could also help those whose Sonics were recently recalled for missing brake pads. In all seriousness, we're always happy to see new models earn high scores in crash testing, because it means that they are safer. But it's even better news when small cars score well, as it helps to dispel the false notion that size is the only thing that matters in a collision.

Read the full press release after the jump.
Show full PR text
2012 Chevrolet Sonic Models Get Top Safety Ratings
Subcompact 4-door and 5-door models achieve 5-star overall safety scores


DETROIT – The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic received a 5-star overall vehicle score for safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The vehicle was tested under NHTSA's revised New Car Assessment Program implemented starting with the 2011 model year. The Sonic brings to 10 the number of General Motors 2012 models with 5-star overall vehicle scores for safety.

The overall rating is based on frontal and side crash tests in addition to rollover resistance testing. The three test conditions are combined mathematically into an "Overall Vehicle Score."

The Sonic achieved an overall vehicle score of 5 stars – the highest rating possible – even though Sonic received four stars for rollover. NHTSA applies the results for the Sonic sedan to the 5-door hatchback model because of the same safety equipment and performance

"We developed Sonic to exceed customer expectations of subcompacts in terms of segment-leading safety features," said Gay Kent, GM executive director of vehicle safety. "From the largest vehicles in our lineup to the smallest, we are putting overall crashworthiness and state-of-the-art safety technologies at the top of the list of must-haves."

The Sonic is designed to help drivers avoid crashes, while protecting occupants in a crash. Sonic offers an exceptionally strong body structure through the incorporation of a single welded side ring unit and more than 60 percent of the vehicle safety cage consisting of high-strength steel. Other standard safety features include:
  • Driver and front passenger dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted side pelvic/thorax air bags, knee air bags and head curtain side air bags with rollover protection that cover front and outboard rear seating rows. The Sonic also has side impact air bags in the outboard rear seating positions for a total of ten standard air bags.
  • Rollover sensors, which can activate the head-curtain side air bags if sensors determine an imminent rollover. In a rollover, the air bags stay inflated longer to provide increased occupant protection.
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control helps the driver maintain control by comparing the path being steered by the driver with the actual response and, when necessary, applying the brakes or adjusting the throttle or a combination of both.
  • Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes with ABS, full-function traction control and panic brake assist that activates when an emergency braking maneuver is detected. The system automatically develops additional brake pressure to more quickly engage ABS
  • Front safety belt pretensioners to reduce forward occupant movement and load-limiting retractors to help manage forces during a collision
  • OnStar, which features the Automatic Crash Response System that uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event that a crash is detected.
Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA introduced tougher tests and more rigorous requirements for its 5-star ratings that provide more information about safety feature performance and crash-avoidance technologies. Changes included a new side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver's side.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      rem
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh no, not this cheap pos Aveo wannabe in the news again! What a 5 star crash rated, 40 mpg getting, fastest B-segment available in the US, domestically asembled POS! C'mon GM, why can't you make something good?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rem
        [blocked]
        GreaseMonkeySRT
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rem
        $20 says you've never sat in a Sonic or actually driven one...
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rem
        "fastest B-segment available in the US" The Mini Cooper S and Juke are both significantly faster. They have 5 star NHTSA crash ratings, but with over 50hp more than the Sonic. And while the Mini is significantly more expensive, the Juke is only a couple grand more than the turbo Sonic hatchback.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          While Highway mileage is useful for marketing and easier to manipulate in testing, it is less important for the real world. Combined mileage has been determined to be the most realistic figure for the typical driver. The 29 mpg combined for the Juke CVT compares to 33 mpg combined for the manual turbo Sonic Eco and 28 mpg combined for the Sonic with an automatic (only offered with the 1.8 and likely the top seller in the US). So the 190hp FWD Juke actually makes better overall mileage than the Sonic you are likely to see in rental lots. And $2000 is basically a trim level upgrade for many B segment cars (which have gorwn in price). The Sonic is closer in price to a comparably equipted Juke than it is to a comparably equipted Versa. With around 35,886 Jukes sold last year, it sold more than the 28,601 Aveo's or 15,788 Sonics. Add on the 14,459 Cubes sold last year, and Nissan's combined "niche" B-segment cars outsold GM's "mainstream" B-segment cars in the US, although the Versa (99,730) outsold all of them combined. http://nissannews.com/newsrelease.do?&id=3155&allImage=1&teaser=nissan-north-america-sales-increase-7.7-record-december&mid=1 http://media.gm.com/content/Pages/news/us/en/2012/Jan/gmsales/_jcr_content/rightpar/sectioncontainer/par/download/file.res/Deliveries%20December%202011.pdf
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          Sonic Sedan base trim $14,495. http://www.chevrolet.com/sonic-family/#byo=eyJtb2RlbCI6InNlZGFuIiwibW1jIjoiMUpVNjkiLCJ0cmltIjoiMUxTIiwiY29sb3IiOiJHQ04iLCJvcHRpb25zIjoiW1wiTTI2XCIsXCJMVVdcIixcIlJSS1wiLFwiQURRXCJdIn0_ Versa $10,990 http://www.nissanusa.com/versa-sedan/?intcmp=Versa_Sedan.vlp.Homepage.Home.P1 Sonic Hatch minimum spec with the turbo motor $17,195 http://www.chevrolet.com/sonic-family/#byo=eyJtb2RlbCI6ImhhdGNoYmFjayIsIm1tYyI6IjFKVjQ4IiwidHJpbSI6IjFMVCIsImNvbG9yIjoiR0NOIiwib3B0aW9ucyI6IltcIlJSS1wiLFwiQUJZXCIsXCJNWjRcIixcIkxVVlwiXSJ9 Juke base $19,770 http://www.nissanusa.com/buildyournissan/zipcode/index I may have misstated the "Eco" description, but a Sonic is a little over $2600 less than the Juke. Comparably equipted, the difference is less than that. The difference between the Sonic and Versa is actually $3500, which is still a larger disparity than the Sonic hatch/Juke. It is a B-segment. Rather than offering a middling B-segment vehicle that tries to be an economy car and a sporty hatch, Nissan offered a value-based model (Versa) to cover the economy buyers better with a lower price and offered a sportier vehicle (Juke) with better performance than the competition. Basically, they sell 100,000 economy cars and 50,000. And Motor Trend/Truck Trend got 6.8 seconds 0-60 with a FWD CVT Juke. The AWD version is a little slower. They got 8.1 seconds with the turbo Sonic. http://www.trucktrend.com/oftheyear/suv/163_1012_2011_sport_utility_of_the_year_contenders/nissan_juke.html Nissan estimates tend to be very conservative with its performance claims and horsepower numbers-- their cars tend to outperform rated specs in testing.
          rem
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          True, but Juke gets much worse mileage. Those are really niche cars and not really competitors with the Sonic, Yaris, Fiesta, Versa, Rio, Accent, Fit, etc...?
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          rem, You are simply wrong. Do a quick google search for "Juke B-segment" and you will find virtually every major publication, European official classifications, and Nissan itself all classify the Juke as a B-segnment car. It is a B-segment car. It competes with higher trim levels of other B-segment cars, such as the Sonic Eco, Fiesta SES, etc, and is only slightly more expensive than a comparabe vehicle, NOT $4-5000. The base turbo Sonic hatch MSRP is around $2,000 less expensive than the base Juke turbo hatch, but that Sonic is also more poorly equipted. There is very little difference in price between comparably equipted vehicles, although the Juke has a substantial performance lead, testing at 6.8 seconds to 60. The base Sonic sedan is actually $4000 dollars more expensive than the base Versa sedan, compared to a little over $2000 dollar difference between a base Sonic turbo Hatch and a better equipted, more powerful base Juke turbo hatch. You may not be cross-shopping them, but that is about your personal bias, rather than market segments. Since it sold more vehicles than the Sonic or Aveo last year and isn't sold to fleets, obviously some people know what a Juke is, despite little in the way of advertising or incentives to support.
          rem
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          I checked pricing - I can get into a manual Sonic with the 1.4t and connectivity package for under 17 including destination, if I pay msrp. I get a 29/40 fuel economy rating (and I do drive plenty of highway miles, like most Americans who don't live inside the center of a city) for that. A FWD Juke with a MANUAL transmission costs me just under 22k msrp - so 5k more. For that, I get a 27/32 fuel economy rating. Really, though, the point is the Juke just isn't a B segment car. It's starting price is almost the same as a Sonata. It's a niche vehicle who's only real competitor is the Mini. You could compare the Cruze to the 128i all day, but it's a bit pointless - no?
          rem
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          Ine937s, You are plain wrong. I can see with my eyes what the Juke is, I can read it's weight and height on the spec sheet - it's in a different segment from the subcompact economy cars - it's considered a subcompact crossover. If the Juke is b-segment, so is the ecosport. Check out every list of subcompact sales in the US on ttac - none of them ever include the Juke, although they do include the Mini. Check out the list of compact crossover sales in the US - oh, there the Juke is! (because that's what the Juke is!) Also - check your effing numbers! One - there's no such thing as a Sonic Eco - are you talking about the Cruze here? Two - Base Versa Sedan starts at 11750 with destination, base Sonic sedan is 13735 - that's less than 2000 difference. If you don't get any options, a 1LT Sonic Turbo can be had for 15700, which is again 4000 less than the Juke. Second - your 0-60 time is WAYY off - official number is 7.3s - faster than the Sonic 8.1, but your 6.7 is more Mini Cooper S territory. Finally - Nissan would be stupid to make the Juke if it really were a subcompact - they already have the Versa and the Cube - a third subcompact would just be cannibalizing those sales. Of course, since it's not actually a subcompact, it's not stupid as it's attracting people who would otherwise be buying Minis. Again, the only way I could see you suffering from this degree of delusion is if you're confusing the Sonic and the Cruze - your pricing seems consistent with the Cruze and your use of the 'Eco' moniker seems to suggest you are very confused.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          To get a manual Juke, you need to get the higher trim level, with options not available on the Sonic. Few people actually buy manuals in the US, despite a vocal minority, and Nissan's CVT's are more efficient than their manuals. Compare the turbo Sonic 6-speed Eco Hatch (as they don't offer an automatic) to the Juke S FWD CVT that starts at $19,775 and comes pretty well equipted. As GM tends to charge more for an automatic and GM automatics tend to get worse mileage than their manuals, the turbo Sonic with an automatic would likely within spitting distance on price and economy, especially when adding standard Juke features like 17" wheels, etc. that are only available on LTZ trim level of the Sonic... not to mention things like 4-wheel disk brakes and 190hp that you can't even get on the Sonic.
          rem
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          Now, the Cube does make sense to throw into the comparison because it's priced into this econobox segment. The Soul is also another car I could include. But, neither of those cars is faster than the Sonic. And what's the point in bringing up the slushbox Sonic anyway? Yeah, those will be what you rent and those are what will sell to most of the mouthbreathers who can't drive a stickshift, but that doesn't affect how quickly the manual Sonic turbo goes in a straight line. It will be fun to see what comes next year, though, with the Abarth Fiat, Fiesta ST (coming to US?) and Sonic RS - the Sonic will certainly be the slowest of the bunch, but may also be the cheapest and most fuel efficient. The Sonic RS is probably a more valid car to compare to the Juke as I'm sure it'll be priced closer, but at this point any performance guesses are mostly hypothetical. By the way, did you know the Juke weighs between 2900 and 3200 lbs? That doesn't sound very B segment to me. That's 200-500 lbs more than the Sonic, which is already the porker of the segment.
          rem
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          Oh, and try doing a search for "Juke c-segment" you come up with even more hits than "Juke b-segment" - no one has any clue what that frickin thing even is.
      Frank
      • 3 Years Ago
      Shouldn't that read "NHTSA crushes Chevy Sonic in crash tests, earns 5 stars" ???
        narcszm
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Frank
        You're over 35, aren't you. Crushing it / killing it means dominating or winning. n00b.
          Frank
          • 3 Years Ago
          @narcszm
          Yes, I am over 35 years old and yes, I understand what crush means in this context. I was only making a play on the headline but apparently you weren't old enough to get the joke.
          Gorgenapper
          • 3 Years Ago
          @narcszm
          Whoosh, you nub. Whoosh.
          lasertekk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @narcszm
          English fail. Multiple definitions and usage of word. And I didn't know they allowed you to have browser-equipped electronics during recess. Have a nice nap after your milk and cookies.
      the aol experien
      • 3 Years Ago
      Take my money without my permission in your bailout will cost you, and I’ll t taking never buy another of your vehicles again. Had you, Chrysler, and the banks been forced into reorganization you all would have survived and without taking money that wasn’t yours. My thoughts!
        hudkina
        • 3 Years Ago
        @the aol experien
        Actually *your* money went to funding oil wars in Asia and keeping South Americans from having abortions. It was *my* money that went to the bailouts, and I couldn't be happier with the results.
      ♬ I came to win ♬
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well good thing it earned 5 stars cause you might need all those stars when you realize you have no brakes at 40 mph
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess they got one that actually had all the brake pads. ;)
      Bob Davis
      • 3 Years Ago
      When you source from GM, you wouln't expect a little bias would you ? RWD
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait, recalled for missing brake pads? Derp...
      Charlie
      • 3 Years Ago
      5 stars with no brake pads......wow! They must be grading it on a steep curve! Glad we bailed out 'Government Motors'' ! See how much their quality has improved?
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Charlie
        They didn't make any with no brake pads. Did you read the actual details of the recall?
      Julius
      • 3 Years Ago
      "... helps to dispel the false notion that size is the only thing that matters in a collision." Except that this test is against a barrier, and the ratings are only comparable to the same weight class (by definition). The fact that it scores well is good, but that doesn't automatically make it better than a larger car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Julius
        [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          crazyfooinc
          • 3 Years Ago
          @yomama6500 If you actually look in the video it is clear that the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air has no engine inside of it. The engine compartment is completely empty! Not to mention destroying a classic to prove a point is downright ignorant. The Chevy Sonic may've gotten good scores, but against a car larger in size it will lose. I will not drive a small vehicle until everyone else is; I may drive safely but I can't guarantee others!
          Birdman330
          • 3 Years Ago
          That Bel Air is rusty in the body and frame weakening it severely. That crash test was very biased.
      rocketmoose
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hopefully people will begin to understand that big cars don't automatically equal safe, when small cars like this get such sterling ratings.
        hollapm
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rocketmoose
        I hate to add to this but a crash test only shows crashing an object into a stationary object or of similar size/mass. The real world has semi trucks, large pickups and SUV's as well as micro cars, B-segment (like the Sonic) and a wide variety in-between. What happens when a 5 star small car crashes into a 4 star big rig shows major damage to the small car and minor to the rig (mass makes up for a major part of a real-world crash). Not saying that the small car is not better off, as we all know it is, but even the safest small car is going to have issues when it comes to something 2-3 times its weight ;-( in a head on or side impact.
          BG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hollapm
          I agree with rem. Simpering suburbanites would buy a huge monster of a SUV with the "I want my children to be safe" excuse, not understanding that their poor driving skills and ponderous vehicles with high center of gravity, poor brakes, and poor visibility were major danger issues. It also shows what happens when gasoline is so cheap, people can dismiss it as a factor when choosing a vehicle.
          rem
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hollapm
          What happens when an Excursion hits a big rig? That's the excuse a lot of people use down here in Texas so they can drive outrageous, feel good vehicles, but if you have a big-rig coming through the side of your truck, you're not going to fare significantly better.
          rem
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hollapm
          There have been some interesting statistics publicized recently showing the rapidly decreasing number of fatalities with car on SUV collisions for SUVs produced in the last 3 model years (I believe this was 2008 - 2011). This is due to the almost complete elimination of traditional SUVs with crossover vehicles. This isn't just a mass game - the boxed frame that formerly resided at passenger car chest level has been replaced with a unibody and ride height has generally been lowered. Cars like the Sonic are becoming much more safe as your 30% full size trucks / SUVs drops down to 5% - 10%. Even in your example, it's more like worrying about 40% of vehicles on the road rather than 70% - large cars aren't nearly as high risk to a small car as a body on frame SUV is. In addition, I like to consider myself a proactive driver and believe there's much more to driving safety than simply having the most mass wrapped around you. Your Tahoe isn't going to be able to avoid an accident the way a Sonic, or even moreso - a Miata, can - assuming you're paying attention behind the wheel. I still believe this whole safety from size argument is something that lazy drivers use to justify purchasing an insanely massive vehicle rather than simply paying attention to the road and learning how to drive their smaller, dynamically superior vehicle.
          hollapm
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hollapm
          Its not allowing me to reply to rem's comment so thought I'd add this here. When you look at probabilities in the big rig example lets say you have 100 cars total and 10% are Big Rigs, 30% full size trucks/SUV's, 30% small cars and 30% mid size/large cars. If your in an Excursion in your example then you only have to worry about 10% of the vehicles on the road where if you are in a small car you have to worry about 70% on the road. Im all for efficient vehicles but its hard to go from a 3ton vehicle to a 1.5 ton vehicle quickly. As you may have read large vehicles are shedding a lot of weight (an F150 is loosing 700 lbs for example) when these larger vehicles loose weight then their weight difference gets closer to the smaller vehicles and that is when you will see better statistics when it comes to vehicle crashes ;-) The Sonic is a start of a good vehicle with great safety, but to say "big cars don't automatically equal safe, when small cars like this get such sterling ratings" is stretching the fundamentals.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is great for such a small car. I'm interested to see if the Spark can do as well. Those rear passengers' heads seem oh so very close to the rear window.
      adika3z
      • 3 Years Ago
      NO NO thank,,, i dont like this sonic car
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