Chevrolet Sonic Named 2015 Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Chevrolet has improved the midyear 2015 Chevy Sonic and achieved the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest rating in the small overlap front crash test. This was enough for the Sonic to then receive the IIHS’ highest overall rating of ‘Top Safety Pick for 2015’.

The Chevy Sonic, available at Christenson Chevrolet in Highland Indiana, was already a highly rated car for safety with class exclusive 10 airbags plus a plethora of other safety systems such as StabiliTrak (Electronic Stability Control), and OnStar’s telematics system.

“With good ratings across the board in all five IIHS crashworthiness evaluations, the improved Sonic delivers a high level of protection among small cars in the most common kinds of crashes,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

‘Good’ is the IIHS’ highest test rating.

The Sonic’s improvements were in the front-end structure, door sill and door pillar for the midyear 2015 model.

“Customer safety is of utmost importance to Chevrolet, across all segments” said Jeff Boyer, vice president, General Motors Global Vehicle Safety. “The Sonic receiving this designation is a testament to that focus.”

Sonic also strives to avoid crashes with two optional, aptly named, safety features. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.

Forward Collision Alert signals the driver to help avoid crashing into an upcoming vehicle traveling much slower or has come to a stop. It also tells the driver they are following a vehicle too closely.

Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver that they may unintentionally be drifting out of their lane when their turn signal is not on.

Below is a video that explains how they work. It’s pretty impressive. to think that these systems were only found on high end cars just a few years ago.

Jim Schroeder
Internet Sales Director
Christenson Chevrolet
9700 Indianapolis Blvd
Highland, IN 46322
Hours & Directions
Contact Us
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Christenson Chevrolet Highland Indiana New Car Showroom and Certified Service Departments.


10 tips to avoid getting ripped off on your next used car purchase.

10 tips to avoid getting ripped off on your next used

car purchase.

Buying a used car can be scary. But if you know what to look for, you can have a great experience and save money at the same time. There are many reasons to purchase used over new. Let’s look at three of the biggest reasons.

  • Bang for your buck. You can get more bells and whistles for the money than if you were to purchase a new vehicle. You save because someone else has already taken the biggest depreciation that occurs when a new vehicle becomes used.
  • Your insurance costs may be lower on a used vehicle. Paying less for insurance gives you more money for the car itself. Again it goes back to the “More bang for your buck”.
  • The used cars of today are far better than in the past. They are higher quality and have better warranties and that translates into a better car with a longer life.

Now that all sounds great, but when purchasing a used car, you have to do a little investigating to get a car that will serve you for years to come. So here are some things you should you consider when searching for a used car?

  • How was the vehicle cared for?
  • Was it wrecked or in a fire or in a flood?
  • Are there any mechanical issues?
  • If you purchase from a dealer, what has been inspected or repaired before the vehicle is offered for sale?

Here are 10 quick tips to follow as you hunt for the perfect vehicle. Please remember, these are machines and things can happen at any time, even if they were new. Whether it’s a so called “Econo Box” or a $100,000 sports car, problems can happen from time to time. The trick is to take the proper steps to put the odds in your favor for a vehicle that is going to be there when you need it.

  1. DRIVE THE CAR!!! This, by far, is the most important tip. It sounds cliché. But you would not buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first. You need to know that the engine runs smooth, the transmission shifts properly, and the vehicle drives properly? The best way to find out is when you test drive the vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you have driven the same type of car before. You haven’t driven this one. Also, find a good route to drive. Look for one with highway speeds plus stop and go traffic. If you get lucky, you may even find a bumpy road to listen for thumps, squeaks, and rattles.
  2. Ask for the vehicle’s history. A reputable dealer will have no problem giving you a history report for free. They will most likely be from Carfax or Autocheck and a lot of the time are available on the dealer’s website along with the vehicle details. You can, and should, run your own check if you are buying from private party. Both & reports are available on mobile devices to help with this. You will need the vehicle identification number or VIN to run a report. Please be aware, if an accident did not involve the police or insurance company, neither company will have that information. Both reports are great, but Carfax does give maintenance history if the previous owner maintained their car at a dealer or big chain service center. Also, look carefully for overspray from a previous auto body shop repair.
  3. Ask upfront if a warranty comes with the car. If you are buying from an individual, there may be a warranty that is transferable with the vehicle. A quick way to check is with the history report companies mentioned earlier. They have information on original factory warranties that may still be in effect. If the seller has an extended warranty, check with that company to see what warranty is left and if it can be transferred. Most extended warranty companies will charge a small fee for this. If you are buying from a dealer, there are many choices. Let’s take a look at the most common.
    • Factory Certified Used Vehicles. These are vehicles that have met standards set forth by the original manufacturer. Certified vehicles are backed by the automaker with a warranty that is good at any of their dealerships across the country. Most certified vehicles include 24 hour roadside assistance and some even include a routine maintenance plan. As an added option, you can choose to purchase an extended warranty that works alongside the certified warranty to give you even better coverage and peace of mind.
    • Remaining Factory Warranty. Some used vehicles may still be under the original factory warranty. Warranties and coverage vary. So be sure to ask and even double check yourself what the original warranty is and if it can be transfered. Also find out the original in service date. This will help you figure out when the warranty will end. You can find these dates in the history reports mentioned before.
    • Powertrain Warranty. If a vehicle does not fit either of the previous criteria, reputable dealers will still give a warranty. The most common of these is a 3 month or 3,000 mile powertrain warranty. This covers the large items on the vehicle such as the engine and the transmission. But it does not cover features like the radio, air conditioning, power steering, and so on. Again, you can always choose to purchase an extended warranty for peace of mind with these vehicles.
    • As Is Vehicles. There may also be some cars that look decent and run ok but they are older or have high miles. In these cases, dealers may sell them as budget cars. These typically are sold as is with no warranty. They are not necessarily bad cars. But remember, you get what you pay for.
  4. Inspect the features on the car. Make sure the heat, air conditioning, power windows, and so on all work. If the car has power windows and locks, make sure they work from all switches. If it has keyless remote, make sure all buttons work. Don’t forget the wipers and outside lights. You do not want an accident on the way home with your new car because the brake lights didn’t work.
  5. Check the tires. Are they bald? Chances are if the dealer did not replace bald tires, there may be other issues they did not address as well. That work may cause the price of the car to be too high to sell. Also check how the tires look. Is the tread pattern worn evenly? If not, there could be alignment problems caused by something more severe.
  6. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with the vehicle and the person or place you are purchasing from. If you are unsure about something, ask. The seller or salesman should have no problem answering all of your questions. If they do, simply walk away.
  7. Ask about an exchange or return policy. This is not that common. But it is becoming a growing trend among dealers as they try and earn your business. If they have a policy, find out what the rules are, if any, so you know exactly what to expect.
  8. Check the Safety Ratings. These ratings are important. So be sure to check them on the government’s website, to help with the decision.
  9. Know your credit history. If you are financing, find out your credit history and investigate current rates before you leave your home. Your history and score are the largest factors in determining your finance rate. You can get your credit history for free once a year from sites like or But if you want to see an estimate of your score, you will have to purchase that. These scores are only consumer estimates. The dealer and banks receive an Auto Credit Score when determining your rates and these often differ from the consumer scores. But the consumer score will give you an idea of where you stand. When a dealer or bank looks at your credit, they will provide you with a “Credit Discloser” that has the Auto Credit Score they used with other factors in approving or denying your application.
  10. Put some money down! Again, if you are financing this helps the banks to give better rates because their risk on the loan is less. So the more you can pay upfront, the better.

Following these tips will help you find a great car with all your needs and hopefully all, or at least most, of your wants. Happy hunting.

Jim Schroeder
Internet Sales Director
Christenson Chevrolet
9700 Indianapolis Blvd
Highland, IN 46322
Hours & Directions
Contact Us

2014 Chevrolet Impala Quick Review Overview

The 2014 Impala, available at Christenson Chevrolet, is a huge leap in safety, styling, and technology over it’s predecessor.

Standard safety features include;

  • 10 Airbags to help protect every part of the Impala’s occupants. Most of you know about the usual six airbags. So lets explore the other four. Two protect the knees of the driver and front passenger. The other two protect the mid-section of the outboard passengers in the back seat. Combined with Impala’s safety cage, it;s like cruising down the road in bubble wrap. 🙂
  • Along with Anti-lock Brakes and Traction Control, the Impala also has StabiliTrak. This system automatically applies precise amounts of brake pressure at individual wheels and reduces the engine torque to help the driver keep the vehicle on track. For example, it’s a cold snowy day and the road has a hard right curve. Without StabiliTrak, you turn your wheel but the continue to go straight. This is called “Under-steer”. With StabiliTrak, the Impala knows you have the wheel turned and recognizes the start of under-steer. It then reduces the engine power and uses individual brakes to help keep your car on it’s intended path.

These are just two of the many safety features that are standard on the new Impala. There are also new safety options available as well. You can talk with one of our Chevy Sales Specialists for information about such options as

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning

The curves and lines of the new body are aggressive and upscale. With some inspiration from the Camaro. The new Impala is both sporty and elegant. With some of the highest praise in years coming from critics. Such as;

  • “envy-me exterior styling” Car & Driver
  • “arresting exterior design” Motor Trend
  • “it is sure to further blur the lines between luxury cars and mass-market vehicles” Wall Street Journal

I have mentioned some of the safety technology. But let’s look at a piece of tech that just about everyone interacts with in the car. The new available MyLink system is one of the biggest and easiest to use. It has three, that’s right 3, USB ports, an auxiliary jack, and an SD card slot. That’s a ton of options to get media to the 8″ control screen. Oh and one of those USB ports is behind the display that raises and lowers with the push of a button and is lockable. There is Bluetooth for wireless streaming of your music and voice recognition to listen to your commands. You can even customize the screen to set up your most used icons and apps.

All in all, the 2014 Impala is exactly what Chevy is striving for. Giving the consumer more than they expect. Check out our 2014 Impala inventory at or stop in our all new showroom for a closer look. We are at 9700 Indianapolis Blvd in Highland Indiana. Thank you.

Jim Schroeder
Internet Sales Director
Quick Links

Christenson Chevrolet’s First Auto Blog

Welcome to Christenson Chevy’s Auto Blog. We hope to answer your questions about servicing or buying a vehicle and hopfuly have a little fun while we do it.

For most people, a car will be the 2nd largest purchase in their lives. Choosing the right vehicle and properly maintaining it are crucial to your happiness with your car as well as your dealer. Topics will range from;

  • Buying versus leasing?
  • What type of oil should I use?
  • If I have an accident, are there warranty issues I need to know about?
  • Should I buy a new or used car?
  • Is it better to take the rebate or special financing?
  • How often should I change my oil?
  • How do I change my wiper blades?
  • What is a Chevy, Buick, or GMC Certified used vehicle?

And so much more. This is a work in progress and we have not figured out how often this blog will be published. Please check back often or “Like” our Facebook page for posts when a new blog is up.

We will also review some of the latest features from Chevrolet that folks like you have questions about. Such as the MyLink Radio, Setting Up Bluetooth, and more. We may even post some in depth videos explaining how to use this great technology.

As always, we welcome your suggestions and questions. So please send them to me, Jim Schroeder, by filling out the form below the quick links at the end of this post.. We will only use your first name and city you live in for question credit if we use it. 

Thank you,
Jim Schroeder 
Internet Sales Director
Quick Links