Car people have wondered why the new Chevrolet Sonic sedan is more than a foot longer than the Sonic hatchback. Here's the deal:
Ken Parkinson, a General Motors design executive, says the plan all along was to make the subcompact sedan a bit longer than the hatchback to create trunk space. But GM never planned for it to stretch 14.1 inches longer than the 159-inch hatchback.
During the design process, "We felt very good about the balance of the hatch," says Parkinson. "But as we put the sedan together at the same time [it] just felt, from a proportional standpoint, stubby. It didn't feel right.
"So we decided to add a little bit more on the rear length, pull the car together again and step back, and all of a sudden it felt really good. We knew proportionally that was the right thing to do."
Parkinson said getting approval for the change was no problem. "We went through all the issues with engineering and manufacturing," he said. "The car still met the targets that it needed to meet. The business case was good, so it felt like the right thing to do."