2012 Chevrolet Sonic receives a 5-star rating in the NHTSA crash tests

Article by Christian A., on January 5, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave a 5-star overall vehicle rating to the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic when it comes to safety. The agency tested the vehicle under the NHTSA’s modified Assessment Program accomplished starting with the 2011 model year.

The addition of the Sonic means that GM now has ten 2012 models with 5-star overall vehicle ratings in terms of safety. This overall rating consists of frontal and side crash tests aside from rollover resistance testing. The three test conditions were combined mathematically to have an “Overall Vehicle Score.”

Sonic got four stars for rollover but it was still able to pull off an overall vehicle score of 5 stars, its highest rating ever. The NHTSA applies the results for the Sonic sedan to the 5-door hatchback model since they have similar safety equipment and performance. Gay Kent, GM executive director of vehicle safety, said that Sonic was developed to surpass customer expectations of subcompacts when it comes to segment-leading safety features.

He added that the company is placing overall crashworthiness and state-of-the-art safety technologies at the “top of the list of must-haves.” In fact, overall crashworthiness and state-of-the-art safety technologies have been filed at the top of the list of must-haves.”

Sonic was created to lessen the risk of crashes but at the same time, it is protecting occupants in the event of a crash. Sonic’s body structure is exceptionally strong through the integration of a single welded side ring unit and more than 60% of the vehicle safety cage built from high-strength steel.

No matter where it is viewed from, the qualities of refinement, stability, and strength are clear in the Chevrolet Sonic, both for the sedan model and the five-door version. Having raked and progressive body lines make it appears to move even when it is in fact stationary. Meanwhile putting the wheels at the corners having a planted wide stance helps display its performance.

There are differences however in the five-door unit and the sedan version. The sedan for instance has a more notchback profile giving a look that is more mature and classy while the five-door comes in a two-box and tight form having diving feature lines that are aggressive. For the five-door, since the handles of the rear door have been carefully placed in the C-pillar area, it results in having an appearance like a three-door hatch.

Still on the five-door version, its rear section utilizes unconventional details such as the exposed rear tail lamps that are clearly motorcycle-inspired. While the exterior is indeed motorcycle-inspired, this is complemented by the design of the cabin.

The instrument cluster is more detailed and has the round and large tachometer. This is placed in an asymmetrical LCD readout and has a large digital display for the speedometer. Going back to the outside, the Sonic remains to have the global design cues that make it recognizable as a Chevrolet like the round tail lamps and the dual-element grille.

However these have been combined with some aggressive cues like the fender flares and the round headlamps, which like most of the interior, is motorcycle-inspired. On top of its head lamps is a character line which is shaped by the hood’s leading edge. This line then goes to the smooth side profile which itself is defined mainly by the low roofline, high beltline, and continuous side lines.

Since the side mirrors follow the shape of the vehicle, it has the appearance of disappearing to its profile. That the Sonic displays quality and attention to detail is highlighted by the chrome grille surrounds and the honeycomb grille inserts in matte black, which is available for all models. A wide range of wheel sizes is offered, like the alloy 17-inch version, helping strengthen its sporty appeal.

Press Release

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Models Get Top Safety

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.


If you liked the article, share on:



As seasons change, temperatures rise and fall. The changes affect our preferences when it comes to driving cars. Therefore, Aston Martin introduces the new DB11 Volante or convertible, and it...
by - October 16, 2017
Aston Martin may be known for building many of the stylish Bond cars we see on the big screen but nobody really knew how it can get super aggressive when...
by - October 16, 2017
Today, manual transmissions have become rare in mainstream cars and are more commonly found in performance cars within the $20,000 to $40,000 range. However, the selection of affordable, three-pedal performance...
by - October 16, 2017
We expected to see the BMW i8 Roadster at last month’s 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, but it never made an appearance. So the question on fans’ lips now is when...
by - October 16, 2017
Jaguar has just released the first official image of its newest offering, the new Jaguar XEL. Essentially the long-wheelbase version of the Jaguar XE compact sedan, the new Jaguar XEL...
by - October 14, 2017

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Subscribe to our newsletter!