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The IIHS just released its list of vehicles that earned its “Top Safety Pick +” and “Top Safety Pick” designations for the 2014 model year, marking a drastic reduction in the number of vehicles that qualify.
Results from a new test being conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) could prompt automakers to modify their cars by making them heavier, more expensive and less fuel efficient.
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is besting the competition for safety ratings, for now. The little sub-compact Sonic scored a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to beat out the Ford Fiesta, which only scored four out of five.
Safety isn’t the only thing we’re pleased to say makes the Sonic great, it’s a peppy starter car that comes available with a six-speed manual and a turbocharged four-cylinder that had us scooting past the speed limit with surprising ease. It also comes with 10 standard airbags.
The Sonic still has to go up against its other competition: this year’s Kia Rio and Honda Fit, which both have yet to be rated. The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan also still has to be rated, but the verdict isn’t looking good for its hatchback brother with three of five in the frontal crash category and four of five in rollovers.
Poor ratings aside, the Sonic hasn’t won the race yet. It got four out of five stars in the rollover category, so there is still a chance the unrated cars can equal or best it.
Of course, that rating is coming hot off the heels of a recall over missing brake pads in the Sonic. We’re willing to assume the rating is based on completely assembled cars.
The Sonic is also a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Read Autoguide’s Chevy Sonic review here.
The Camaro and Mustang GT come with more-or-less comparable horsepower and grunt off the line. What the test drive won’t show you is that the Camaro is the first car to earn a perfect rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
NHTSA uses front, side and rollover tests to determine a vehicle’s safety during a crash and have strengthened their standards since 2011. The Camaro earned a perfect score in all categories, where the Mustang only earned four of five stars in the front and side crash tests.
The front-end tests are conducted at 35 mph and the side crash at 38.5 mph, as well as a slower 20 mph side-impact test against a narrow pole. Finally the NHTSA uses a mathematical calculation to determine how likely a rollover is.
To be fair, most muscle car fanatics would call this story incomplete. The Dodge Challenger among many other cars have yet to be tested for 2012.