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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
'Good,' frontal impact; 'good,' side impact; 'good,' rear impact; Top Safety Pick; 'marginal,' small overlap frontal impact
The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is one of the safest subcompact picks on the market. From its 10 standard airbags to an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating, the all-new global platform under the Sonic provides some of the best occupant protection.
As well as the Top Safety Pick honor from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (let down somewhat by a 'marginal' rating in the small overlap frontal test), the 2014 Sonic is also rated at five stars (the highest possible score) across the board by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It also gets the top rating of "Good" for the IIHS roof-crush strength test as well. And you can feel the solidity and vault-like structure inside the car, unlike some competitors that simply feel less substantial, regardless of their ratings.
Despite its rear drum brakes, a cost-saving move, all Sonics are fitted with anti-lock brakes (as are all new cars) along with Brake Assist. Last year saw the addition of blind-spot mirrors on all trim levels, and for 2014, Chevy has added a new optional safety package that bundles Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert. It's available on all Sonics except the most basic LS model. A rear-vision camera is also available on models fitted with the MyLink infotainment system.
Though the 2014 Chevy Sonic's small-overlap crash score hurts it, Chevy added more safety features this year