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The Car Connection Chevrolet Cobalt Overview
Viknesh Vijayenthiran Editor April 5, 2010
Angular Front Exterior View – 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt 4-door Sedan LT w/1LT
The Chevrolet Cobalt is a compact car introduced by General Motors back in 2004 for the 2005 model year. It replaced the previous Cavalier and Prizm models in Chevrolet’s lineup and comes in both coupe and sedan bodystyles. The Cobalt shares its front-wheel drive Delta platform with several vehicles in the GM fleet, including the Chevrolet HHR and the former Pontiac G5 and Saturn Astra.
The five-seat Cobalt (although only four can sit comfortably) is reasonably priced at $14,990, which allows it to undercut the competition such as the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra. The vehicle features an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a semi-independent torsion bar in the rear. Its wheelbase stretches 103.3 inches in length, which is more than many of its competitors, and it tips the scales at 2,681 pounds for the coupe and 2,747 pounds for the sedan.
The Cobalt was initially offered with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine with 145 horsepower on tap and a supercharged 2.0-liter mill with 205 horsepower reserved for a sporty SS model. For 2006 a non-supercharged SS model equipped with a 171 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine was added to the lineup. The following year the two naturally aspirated engines in the Cobalt lineup were uprated to 148 and 173 horsepower, respectively.
The first major change came in the 2008 model year when the SS model was upgraded with a new 260 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It also came with Brembo brakes, stability control and a five-speed manual. The 2009 model year saw GM finally drop the aging 2.4-liter engine, which meant there was no longer a naturally aspirated SS model on offer.
The 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt is available in four trim levels: Base, LS, LT, and SS. The first three feature a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower. The naturally aspirated 2.2-liter engine is a little short on power but fuel economy is a bright spot as the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt is rated at 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The sporty SS model is now only available as a coupe but it still comes with a 260 horsepower turbocharged mill and returns a fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Next year the Cobalt will be replaced by the all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. This European styled compact sedan is based on a modified version of the same platform underpinning the Cobalt, dubbed the Delta II, and it will be built at the same Lordstown plant in Ohio as the Cobalt.
Angular Rear Exterior View – 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt 4-door Sedan LT w/1LT
The Chevy Cobalt was nothing special
Even in the sporty editions, there’s nothing unique under the Cobalt’s hood. It was first produced with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 145 hp. The SS version had a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 203 hp. The Cobalt SS also got a significant upgrade in 2008 – a 2.0-liter engine that could put out 260 hp.
The Cobalt has good handling and high safety scores, making it an excellent pick for a teen’s first car. However, it doesn’t capture the eye nor does it have many fancy features. The car wasn’t even available with standard air conditioning until its final year of production.
Why did the Chevy Cobalt die?
Declining sales were definitely a huge factor in the Chevy Cobalt’s demise. However, it was also just an underwhelming car to begin with. Its standard engine was very fuel-efficient, but that was one of the only things that made it stand out.
The Chevrolet Cobalt may not have exceptional performance, but it’s fairly reliable and often doesn’t cost more than $5,000. The high-powered SS is a little more expensive at around $7,000.