Safety » 10
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SAFETY | 10 out of 10
'Good,' frontal impact; 'good,' side impact; 'good,' rear impact; Top Safety Pick
Safety was clearly not a top priority for the Aveo models that the Sonic replaced last year, but what a difference a year made. The Sonic is a safety standout, and we have no hesitation in calling it out as the safest subcompact pick on the market.
GM designed and engineered the Sonic on an all-new global platform, intended from the start to provide class-leading occupant protection in multiple markets. Nearly 60 percent of the body structure is made of high-strength steel, and a new engine cradle system helps disperse crash forces in a way that especially helps in frontal impacts.
From inside, the structure of the Sonic feels vaultlike next to some other small-car designs, and its safety ratings have been top-notch so far, with IIHS Top Safety pick status this past year plus five-star federal ratings and ten standard airbags. And in the IIHS roof strength test, which is related to the likelihood of injury in a rollover, the Sonic managed to withstand more than five times its weight—yielding a top 'good' rating.
Anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist are included across the model line—though it has rear drums rather than discs on all versions. All models get blind-spot mirrors this year, too.
You can't do any better for occupant protection in this class.