Put simply, if safety is one of your top priorities, yet you want a small car, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic should be right at the top of your list. General Motors has designed and engineered the new 2012 Sonic on an all-new global platform, intended from the start to provide class-leading occupant protection in multiple markets—which called for extensive crash-testing during its development. Key to the Sonic's excellent protection is a body structure that's made of nearly 60 percent high-strength steel, and a new engine cradle system that helps disperse frontal crash forces.
The Sonic also offers an impressive ten airbags in all, including knee bags for both driver and passenger, as well as child-seat-compatible side thorax airbags for rear passengers. Electronic stability control is included, as are anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist—though it has rear drums rather than discs on all versions.
Crash-test ratings are excellent. The Sonic has achieved top five-star ratings from the federal government, and it's earned top results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS); it's also been named a Top Safety Pick. And in the IIHS roof strength test, which is related to the likelihood of injury in a rollover, the 2012 Sonic managed to withstand more than five times its weight—yielding a top 'good' rating.