2012 Chevrolet Sonic

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.
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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.