Changes to Chevrolet Sonic Boosts Ratings to Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick

Changes to Chevrolet Sonic Boosts Ratings to Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick
Image: General Motors
May 7, 2015

Midyear changes to the 2015 Chevrolet Sonic have yielded better crash test results earning it an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award.

Chevrolet made modifications to the structure and airbags, which increased the car's rating for the small overlap front crash test from marginal to good. The rating only applies to sedan and hatchback versions of the car made after February 2015.

The challenging test was added a few years ago to simulate what happens when the front corner of a car hits a stationary object like a light post at 40 mph.

The earlier test showed that leg injuries would be possible, but tests done after the modifications showed that significant injuries would be unlikely. Prior to changes made to the timing of the airbag, tests showed the dummy's head ending up between the airbag and side structure.

Videos for both tests can be found on the IIHS website.

The Sonic also has good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must have good ratings in those four tests and a good or acceptable small overlap rating.

The Sonic is available with an optional forward collision warning system that earns a basic rating from IIHS for front crash prevention.