View Full Version : 2222mi Cobalt Review

06-16-2007, 04:31 AM
So the Cobalt just passed 2,222 miles and I figured I should write an initial review.

After I was laid off from my last job I found I was no longer able to afford both the Malibu and the Jetta. One of them had to go. Naturally, I picked the Malibu. Unfortunately, it's difficult to sell a $13,000 car on your own because people then have to find their own financing. Six people said they would buy it, they just needed to arrange financing with their bank, none of them ever came back. Maybe they were being murdered right after leaving my driveway.

Anyhow, money was getting tight, so I had to take desperate measures. I traded in both cars on one cheap car. I found one with rebates so I could "hide" some negative equity.

It was between a Focus and a Cobalt. The Focus seemed more practical and had a few extra features, but was missing a couple key ingredients, a tach, a modern interior, and a tilt wheel (which made the driving position a real stretch for me). That, plus the Chevy dealer's superior service, clinched it for the Cobalt.

The Cobalt is a dramatic leap forward over the Cavalier. A car with potential that is let down by the details. And people wonder why Japanese manufacturers can charge more for a car with very similar stats. The plastics are an improvement, but still not up to Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota standards. They are a little on the hard and cheap side, the steering wheel could be softer, and the shift knob is awful (first mod on my list).

Two specific complaints; for some reason I can't fathom, GM still insists on putting the door locks on top of the door sill, meaning that, in the coupe, you have to reach over your shoulder and then about six inches behind your back to get to the locks, my wife sits forward and can't reach them at all. There is no good reason I can think of why GM doesn't package them with the door handles like everyone else. Secondly, the dash has a rather stylish two-tone job going on, and the line dividing the two colors is continued through the doors, but they didn't continue the color theme, the doors are a sterile gray. An obvious sign of cost-cutting. I'll post pics later.

The seats aren't the best ever (a far cry from the Jetta which was incredibly refined, just a bit soft and heavy), but the ride is fairly comfortable. Handling is somewhat soft, but the base model's relative light weight helps. The electric steering is light, but dead.

There are some good points, though. Gas mileage is excellent, the best I've had since the '91 Sentra SE with a 1.6. I'm getting 32-36mpg depending on how much city driving I'm doing, and it'll probably get better once the engine and drivetrain loosen up some. The 2.4L SS suspension improves the handling/comfort ratio dramatically, without the harshness the SS Supercharged version has (that's another future mod). But the car's best feature is easily the engine. The 2.2L Ecotec is one of GM's greatest engines of all time. It's a base engine that is as powerful as many compact's optional engines. However it isn't as refined as many other 4 cylinder engines and I can feel a lot of vibration through the clutch and gas pedal.

Overall, it'll do, and with the good warranty, I shouldn't have to worry about the car breaking down while I'm still making payments. Plus, I like the color. If you want a cheap car that will respond well to modification, the Cobalt is hard to beat.

I'll post pictures soon, once I run them through Photoshop.

Cliff Notes: A dramatic improvement over the Cavalier, but no real competitor for the Japanese or Europeans until you take rebates. A car with promise that is let down by GM's obvious penny-pinching.

2007 Chevrolet Cobalt LS Coupe

The shawdowed side

Kind of a big ass...

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/color.jpg http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/batt.jpg
Sunlight make the paint (and my reflection) glow
Most compact car tuners have to get this done after they buy the car

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/inst.jpg http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/inst2.jpg
Cheap steering wheel, but good looking, easy to read guages

The interior (note cheap black plastic shift knob, it's got to go)

Here's what the door panel looks like compared to the dash

Here's what they should look like

Note door lock placement behind driver's seat. Odd considering that the manual strongly suggests you lock the doors while driving to prevent them opening in an accident, or being opened from outside by a potential carjacker

Finally, the motor, the best part of the car. 2.2L Ecotec making 148hp and 152ft-lbs. Note the hood strut instead of a prop rod

06-16-2007, 04:37 AM

06-16-2007, 05:11 AM
gf's brother just picked up a pontiac G5 ... I feel you on this one... there nice cars for the value definately.. Im with you 100%

06-16-2007, 05:50 PM
Nice write-up. My sister has an '07 base model cobalt. Every time I ride in it I feel like I'm in a tupperware container. The plastics feel so cheap. I can't stand how the steering wheel feels. The seats weren't very comfy either in my opinion.

But on the other hand, my good friend has a Cobalt SS Supercharged with the G85 option (Recaro seats, Limited slip differential...) If the cars would have been debadged, I wouldn't know they were both cobalts. The difference is amazing. I thought the interior on the SS was a huge improvement. The seats are amazing. And of course, the power difference :) . Oh, and the steering wheel is wrapped with leather as it should be.

Mr Celica
06-16-2007, 09:17 PM
wheres the engine? all i see is cheap plastic inside the hood.. haha typical new cars.

nice writeup!!

06-16-2007, 10:11 PM
Aww you sold the jetta?

06-16-2007, 11:02 PM
Aww you sold the jetta?

Didn't want to, but my new job doesn't pay as much and I had to move out of my old apartment (which was VERY cheap because I knew the owners) so I couldn't afford two car payments and the only way I could make it work was to trade in both...

06-17-2007, 05:54 AM
because someone has to build rental cars.

Mr Celica
06-17-2007, 04:57 PM
because someone has to build rental cars.


06-17-2007, 05:30 PM
At least GM isn't completely pansified like present day Toyota is...

06-17-2007, 08:37 PM
I'd rather have a slow car than an un-reliable and cheap one.

06-18-2007, 04:51 AM
At least GM isn't completely pansified like present day Toyota is...

Well, they sell what makes money. People are still buying SUV's.