The Chevy Sonic is not the same as the old Aveo, which was a Daewoo. The Sonic is the only sub-compact car built in the U.S. Its suspension was designed by Corvette engineers, and the incredible 4-cylinder engine is the same engine used in the larger Cruze. Being totally built by GM, the Sonic's build quality is very good. The Sonic is rated the second best sub-compact after the much more expensive FIT. I've driven the Sonic. It is a very good car with great handling and a roomy interior for such a small car. Its acceleration is comparable to the V-8 luxury cars of the 70's, and its top speed is higher.
The 70's was a terrible era for performance. I worked for Ford in the 70's, and our fastest car then, other than the big-engined Mustangs, was the Maverick with the 302. The big LTDs, Mercurys and Lincolns were slow even with the 460 because of lowered horsepower due to tighter pollution controls. During the era of the Mustang II, the Maverick V-8s were Ford's fastest vehicles. We owned a modified 302 Maverick that we occasionally drag raced on weekends. We beat almost everything except the 340 Mopars.
Our 1955 Pontiac with the stock 287 c.i. V-8 and 4-speed automatic is actually a half-second slower 0-60 than my current Ford Fusion I-4. With regard to safety, the Pontiac would prove deadly in any accident over 25 mph, because it doesn't even have seat belts. To even consider using something so dangerous in fast-moving daily traffic these days is indicative of suicidal tendencies. Many members of my family work in the medical profession, and have seen people die in accidents at speeds as low as 15 mph, due to a broken neck from hitting the windshield.
I'd never subject myself or my family to such danger. Classic cars should either be retrofitted with modern safety equipment or used only in parades or car shows as our Pontiac is. Most members of the classic car clubs locally who drive any at all on the streets have their older cars retrofitted with seat belts and air bags.
Somehow people managed to survive for many years without seat belts and air bags. Today we are almost to paranoid about safety. When my parents were growing up, it was not uncommon at all for the kiddies to crawl around in the back, not even staying in their seats, and yet generations managed to survive. Was this way better? No, but I am not so sure our way is so great either. A lot of enjoyable activities are no longer viable because there is a small risk of injury.
Actually, a lot FEWER people managed to survive before seat belts and air bags. Many people today survive impacts that are ten times as severe as the ones that killed people in the days before seat belts and air bags. I've seen people who weren't wearing their seat belts killed in very minor crashes in which their cars were still drivable. I also witnessed a teenager roll an SUV five times at 80mph and walk away without a scratch because of his seat and shoulder belts.
Many people argue that safety laws are an intrusion on personal freedoms. I beg to differ. Here in the U.S. if a non-insured person becomes permanently disabled because of an accident, us taxpayers have to foot the bill to support them the rest of their lives. I know of two quadriplegics who have been taken care of by the government for over two decades at a cost of thousands per month. One of those was due to being thrown out of a vehicle because he wasn't belted in. One click of a belt would have saved millions in taxpayer money and a wasted life unable to move anything below the neck.
I have also had three friends who were killed in very minor motorcycle crashes in unenlightened states that don't require helmets. Each was traveling at less than 35mph. One was actually stopped and fell against the curb crushing his skull. Each one left a wife and children behind to fend for themselves. Each one would still be alive if they had had the good sense to wear a helmet. I always wore one, even though the state I lived in had no helmet law. It saved my life once.
Don't worry, nobody seriously drives cars from the 1950s for anything more than shows and parades. They're not only not as safe as newer vehicles, but also not as rust resistant or mechanically refined, and therefore make poor choices as daily drivers.
That the cars of the 1950s are not appropriate today, doesn't change the fact that full-sized rear-drive full-framed V-8 cars of the 1980s and 1990s (and even some from the late 1970s) were better - more comfortable and safer - than the cars of this sad new millennium.
No they weren't, and it's really easy to simply look up the safety ratings of cars from today versus back then in the 70's. Today's cars by and large are far more safer, and by a long shot. It's not really fair to compare older cars versus newer ones, since the technology back then simply didn't exist that we have today. But stick to the facts.
"But stick to the facts."
The fact is not everyone likes "pod" styling. Modern cars are safer, but very few are pleasing to look at.
I agree. I always get compliments when driving my 1982 Lincoln Town Car. I get not even a glance when I drive my mom's 2005 Toyota Corolla.
I love having a car that cost 4400.00 new and is worth 80k in 2013. Meanwhile my new cars drop in value like a rock. Even my original auto memorabilia has done extremely well. No need to fret over rust with even climate controlled storage centers today. But it's unlikely some have an appreciation for this discussion.
An '82 Continental? C'mon. There's nothing exactly stunning about most cars from the 80's. There's a big difference between say - the futuristic, curvaceous designs of the 50's-60's versus what turned into boxes on wheels of the 80's, which aren't all that different from today's jellybeans on wheels.
At least the box had a little distinction. The jelly bean just simply blends completely in, and hopefully will soon be forgotten as it well should be.
Oh come on, seriously - a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis would just plow right through a modern car like a knife through butter, and you know it. Heck, I've seen it many times: full sized full frame heavy-mass American car from the 70s just totally destroys the unibody car of the 90s or 2000s, and then actually drives away. We've all seen it.
It's no argument that body on frame vehicles are far more solidly built than unibody cars. Two years ago I saw an accident in which a large body on frame car had literally driven THROUGH a Japanese import. The body on frame car was hardly damaged and the driver unhurt. The Japanese import was barely recognizable as a car, and everyone in it was killed instantly. No question larger body on frame cars are better built to survive impacts.