Chevy Sonic, Safety and Steel

2012 Chevrolet Sonic is a small car.

2012 Chevrolet Sonic is a small car. It is just 173.1 in. long, 68.3 in. wide, and 59.7 in. high. Which might make some people uneasy. As in: “Is it safe?”

Well, late last month the hatchback received the top five-star safety rating in the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP). For adjust occupant protection it achieved 95% of the maximum score and 87% for kids.

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This Sonic is traveling at 40 mph into a wall at the GM Milford Proving Ground. Actually, it is a “Front Offset Deformable Barrier Crash Test.”  The side airbags are suppressed.   (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)

Europe? Well the car, which launches in the U.S. soon, has been available—as the Aveo—in Europe since last spring.

One key factor contributing to its strength: Steel.

Approximately 60% of the body structure is high-strength steel. This includes ultra-high strength steel in the forward portion of the rockers and the center cross bar. High-strength steel is also used for the hydroformed engine cradle.

The car features 10 standard airbags.

Small, yes. But strong and safe, too.