2012 Chevrolet Sonic: Field of View, Chevy vs. Ford
June 28, 2012
I'm just back from driving some Fords around and it reminds me again that the Chevy Sonic is pretty notable for its expansive field of view.
It's easy to understand why the front bulkhead might loom above you, like it seems to do in the Ford Fiesta. Much of the structure for a car depends on the rigidity provided by the bulkhead, so it's understandable if it occasionally seems as if the thing has been designed to be more like a railway bridge than a simple dashboard.
Plus there's the added complication of packaging electronics, ventilation hardware and also the airbags within the bulkhead structure. Car engineers tell us that there's no real estate in the automobile more difficult to package than the front bulkhead.
As a result, it seems all the more remarkable that it's possible to peer over the hood of the Sonic without having to jack the seat as high up as it will go.
It's easy to think that the field of view over the hood doesn't really matter that much, but after a back to back experience in Ford and Chevrolet, I can report that you can place the Sonic with more confidence in the corners. Also, you simply see more of the road and traffic in front of you, which helps you relax, feel safe, and do a better job of driving.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com