Last year, the European NCAP put a 1.2 liter gasoline-powered Chevy Aveo (aka Chevy Sonic) through its battery of safety tests. The subcompact Gamma II-based hatch scored an impressive five stars, including 95 percent for adult occupants, 87 percent for child occupants, 54 percent for pedestrians, and 93 percent for safety assist systems. Even though the car is small, it sure does take a beating quite well:
As a reminder, Euro NCAP conducts its tests in the following manner:
- Frontal impact test takes place at 64 Km/h with 40 percent of the width of the car striking a deformable barrier
- Side impact test takes place at 50 Km/h with the driver’s door impacting a mobile deformable barrier
- Pole test takes place at 29 Km/h with the car propelled sideways into a rigid pole
NCAP had the following comments about each individually-scored area:
Adult Occupant: 95 Percent
“The passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal impact. Dummy readings indicated good protection for the knees and femurs of both the driver and front passenger dummies and Chevrolet showed that a similar level of protection would be offered to occupants of different sizes and to those sat in different seating positions. The Aveo scored maximum points in the side barrier test, all body regions being well protected. Even in the more severe pole test, the chest was adequately protected. The seat and head restraint provided good protection against whiplash injuries in the event of a rear-end collision.”
Child Occupant: 87 Percent
“Maximum points were scored in the dynamic tests for the protection of the 3 year infant. The passenger airbag can be disabled to allow a rearward facing child restraint to be used in that seating position. Clear information is provided to the driver regarding the status of the airbag and the system was rewarded by Euro NCAP. Permanently attached labels also provide clear warnings that the passenger airbag should be disabled before a rearward facing child seat can be used in that position.”
Pedestrian: 54 Percent
The bumper provided mostly good protection to pedestrians’ legs. However, the front edge of the bonnet was predominantly poor. The bonnet provided good protection in most areas likely to be struck by the head of child but was mostly poor in those areas where an adult’s head would strike.
Safety Assist: 93 Percent
“Electronic stability control is standard equipment across the Aveo range, and met Euro NCAP’s test requirements. The driver, front passenger and rear seats are all covered by a standard-fit seatelt reminder. A warning is given if the vehicle speed exceeds a limit se by the driver, a system that was also rewarded by Euro NCAP.”
Euro NCAP’s five-star rating mirrors NHTSA’s five-star score of the Sonic in the U.S. — which means the car is one safe vehicle. And it just so happens that the crossover cousins of the Aveo/Sonic — the Opel Mokka (Chevy Trax and Buick Encore) — also received five stars from Euro NCAP recently.
Download Euro NCAP’s full crash test results (in PDF) here.