The Chevy Cobalt comes in enough models and trim packages to satisfy most buyers. They have the basic model that is geared towards the car rental market, and they go all the way up to a high performance SS Turbo model which is a really stout performer.
Why would I want to test drive this Cobalt?
People might ask why would they go look at the Chevy Cobalt? Well I would say it is for the low cost, but also I would check out the economy in relation to its low purchase price plus the good fuel economy, and when you throw in the performance offered in the turbo model you have to be impressed with this car’s many attributes.
New car shopping took us on a journey
We have been looking at getting an inexpensive fuel efficient vehicle to round out our small stable of cars and trucks. Having at least one reliable car would be a big plus around here, and having one with a working air conditioning system would be quite a luxury for us.
Our search led us to a few of the many good used car lots across the Geauga County area and of course we ended up visiting one of the largest auto campus locations in all of northeast Ohio. This one auto seller offers 23 different brands altogether. Their location in Mentor Ohio has a full lot of Chevy Cobalts and the window stickers show MSRP, Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. Special offers can be discussed in person by meeting with a salesperson.
What did we find?
There are many models to choose from that have our basic needs covered but the Chevy Cobalt has all the features that you can expect from a basic Chevrolet model, and it can be a very inexpensive car if you get all the rebates and deals that are being offered right now. We saw a few offers on Chevy Cobalts that are just under ten thousand dollars before tax title and preparation. They offer a number of nice paint and interior color options, plus the styling is not too “economy box” looking for us to consider owning one of these cars.
How does it drive?
The Chevy Cobalt has a smooth quiet ride, a decent radio, and gets reasonably good mileage. The SS turbo coupe gets thirty miles per gallon on the highway and the “XFE” models get 37 mpg on the highway! On the test drive we hit the highway on Route 2, and got up to speed in a very reasonable time, it did not seem to strain or feel sluggish even though we tested the four cylinder version. I would prefer to drive the turbo model, but it is a bit higher priced and therefore out of our budget range.
What does each model offer?
The Cobalt Coupe has five trim levels, base, LS, 1LT, 2LT, and SS Turbo. The sedan model has four trim levels, Base, LS, 1LT, and 2LT. This means that for some strange reason they do not offer the sedan in an SS Turbo model which is a shame since the sedan could use the extra ponies under the hood and the fuel economy is not too bad at 30 for the SS Turbo model and 37 for the XFE model.
The 2010 model year Cobalt changed very little from the 2009 model year. They still offer the base package which is your standard stripped down version, then they go up to the next level called the LS, which used to stand for “Luxury Sedan” but now simply means it has a higher level of options compared to the base model.
With the LS package you get air conditioning. The 1LT and 2LT versions are where you really get more bang for your buck, for example you get adjustable mirrors, power windows and door locks, a theft deterrent system, CD stereo with MP3 and XM availability. Air bags all around on all models, and front disc brakes, and rear drums with ABS standard. I would prefer they do away with drum brakes on all models but this is not my car company so I do not really get to vote other than by my purchase decisions. Of course the SS model has disc brakes on all four wheels and an improved suspension and handling package. The Cobalt styling is very simple, but the SS offers a much more sporty exterior styling, including spoiler plus front and rear end fascia with fog lights.
What about real fuel economy?
All this plus if you get the manual transmission option you can also include their XFE package which is “Extra Fuel Economy” and these models come with low resistance tires, plus they claim that there are “other drive-train modifications” which help this Cobalt achieve better than expected fuel economy. Base and lesser priced models come with a 2.2 liter 155 horsepower for cylinder engine, while the SS receives a 2.0 Liter turbocharged power plant that yields 260 horsepower. I find it quite interesting that the smaller turbocharged engine gets so much more horsepower than the standard 2.2 Liter motor.
The in-line four cylinder engine in the LS model is more than powerful enough for all city driving and most highways as well. However, I felt that it lacked power going up steep inclines when you have the air conditioning on full blast, but driven with moderation you would get there safely on just a small amount of fuel. There is a middle grade version of the cobalt called the LT and this trim includes sport cloth seats with power door locks and remote key-less entry. Also offers power windows and center console with armrests.
So which one would MrTechnical want to drive?
Lastly they offer a high output Cobalt in the SS version which still stands for “Super Sport” even though the other model designations have no meaning in terms of being an abbreviation for something like “Luxury Touring” The SS model is the Cobalt’s show stopper outfit. This car is great looking and with the potent turbocharged engine it can really get down the road in a hurry! Combine the fuel efficiency of a smaller engine with the turbocharger and you have a really fast and nimble little car which still gets great mileage.
I feel that anyone looking for a new car in this size and class should stop by a Chevy dealership and test drive one of these models. If you are lucky and get to drive the turbo model I am sure that you will not be disappointed with its performance or styling!