Though the Chevrolet Sonic had an early hiccup with a recall just after its release, the car is generating serious buzz. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the compact a five-star crash safety rating.
GM king of top safety awards
In October of 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced new crash test safety ranking criteria. According to Cars.com’s Kicking Tires blog, the top rating was changed to five stars instead of four and implemented new tests such as a side “pole” impact test and incorporated new crash test dummies. Models from 2011 onward will be tested under the new guidelines.
21 cars earn five stars
In October 2011, the new round of testing for 2012 models began. As of December, according to the Washington Times, 21 cars had earned a five-star crash test safety rating, nine of which were cars by General Motors. The Cadillac CTS sedan and wagon both received five stars, as did the Cadillac SRX, the Buick Enclave and LaCrosse without side airbags, the GMC Acadia, as did Chevrolet’s Cruze, Traverse, Volt and the Camaro. The CTS coupe, according to SaferCar.gov, was not tested.
Sonic added to five star list
The recently released Chevrolet Sonic, Chevy’s new compact car, has also garnered a five-star safety rating, according to AutoBlog. The only category of testing the car didn’t garner a five-star rating in was for rollover, which the Sonic got a four-star rating in. Many cars lose a single star in a rollover, and perfect scores are rare. The only cars to get perfect scores were the Chevrolet Camaro, Honda Accord sedan and the Kia Optima sedan, according to SaferCar.gov. Both the Sonic five-door hatch and four-door sedan models got a five-star rating overall. The NHTSA hailed the StabiliTrak system, anti-lock brake system, airbag system and the OnStar safety system for their safety features in the Sonic crash rating.
Hiccup at launch
The Sonic has just gone on sale, but it is already subject to a recall, according to the Chicago Tribune, over an issue with brake pads. The recall is for 4,296 cars that may be missing at least one brake pad.
As far as its competitors are concerned, the most immediate competition for the Sonic, the Ford Fiesta, was only able to garner a four-star crash rating, according to Inside Line. Other compact models, such as the Nissan Versa, Kia Rio and Honda Fit have yet to receive complete ratings.
The current round of NHTSA testing, which is for 2012 model year cars, is not finished yet as the agency slated 74 cars for crash testing this year.