DETROIT – With increasing numbers of Chevrolet’s small cars on the road as the weather turns for the worse, owners can drive confidently in conditions from tropical storms in Florida to the icy streets of Minnesota.
Stereotypes abound: smaller vehicles can’t handle bad weather safely and smoothly. Chevrolet is disproving these beliefs by testing Cruze, Sonic and Spark in conditions beyond snow and ice, enabling class-competitive safety, and equipping the line-up with more advanced technologies than ever before.
“We’ve seen an 11 percent sales increase of Chevrolet small cars since last year,” said Jim Federico, executive chief engineer, General Motors Small Cars. “These small cars are designed for consumers, climates and terrains around the country. Coupled with a number of advanced technologies, people can rest assured that our smallest cars will perform well when any inclement weather rolls in.”
Both Cruze and Sonic have earned 5-star overall safety ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Sonic is the only car in its segment to achieve this – and Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Chevrolet small cars can help keep drivers safe and on the road due in part to safety technologies found in larger vehicles and SUVs, such as standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation, traction control and anti-lock brakes.
The Cruze, Sonic and Spark raise the bar for small car safety. With six months of standard OnStar on these vehicles, specially trained emergency advisors can send the vehicle’s precise GPS location to emergency responders.
The Chevy small car trio also undergoes a variety of durability tests.
In addition to live road testing, Chevrolet also simulates the unpredictable in a variety of tests at GM’s Milford Proving Ground. Winter-mimicking tests like the Salt Mist Facility, Salt Splash Road, and Corrosion Booth repeatedly expose vehicles’ exteriors and underbodies to salt, water and dirt. .
“Our small cars are safer and more capable year round than ever and still offer versatility for winter fun with leading cargo capacity to fit anything from your snowshoes to shopping bags,” said Federico.
Chevrolet’s mini, small and compact car sales followed a successful 2012 by surpassing 25,000 units in January and were up 18 percent as a group.
To learn more about Chevrolet’s small car offerings, visit the Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic/Spark Facebook pages, and follow on Twitter at @ChevyLife.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.