Last post on Dec 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Cobalt
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Cobalt, Coupe, Sedan
#1579 of 2240 2006 Coupe LS, Manual Transmission ($12,990 MSRP)
Apr 03, 2006 (10:56 am)
Primary reasons for choosing: Rock bottom price, strong engine, great gas mileage, second year of new model.
Rock bottom price: This was stickered at 14,990 until mid January, when Chevy instituted its new pricing strategy and repriced the coupe at $12,990, a terrific price. The new pricing strategy added a lot of value to the Cobalt, since Chevy had been stingy on rebates on this model before then. I also benefited from a $1,000 GM Card rebate; a dealer discount; and a “floating rebate” (Chevy, like many makers, gives its dealers “coupons” they can selectively apply to rebate a car or truck on the spot - since these instant rebates are not uniform, and limited in number, they don’t usually show up in pricing reports and manufacturer ads). The dealer made money since Consumer Reports indicated there is additional incentive money across the Cobalt line, plus the usual hold-back. Chevy probably didn’t make, or even lost, money; but until they can trim down their production capacity, it’s still less of a hit to their bottom line to produce vehicles than stop the production lines. At least I did my part in Silicon Valley (also known as Toyondaville) to support an American car maker.
Strong engine: One of the other cars on my radar was the new Honda Civic coupe. The reasons I didn’t get the Honda were: (1) the Honda doesn’t have nearly the strong engine that the Cobalt has (it matches horsepower, but is way down on torque, 125 lb-ft vs 155 in the Cobalt); (2) the Honda costs a lot, lot more; (3) there have been an unusual amount of first year defects and issues on the Civic (they are completely new models). There were defects on the Cobalt first year too, but hey, this is the second year now.
Great Gas Mileage: The Cobalt, both with manual transmission and automatic, has been returning excellent real world mileage according to car magazine reviews and individual users. From what I can tell from Honda user reports, the mileage of the two cars is remarkably similar – “remarkably” given the extra weight and larger engine on the Cobalt.
Second year of new model: The Cobalt got good marks for design and quality, but poor marks for number of initial defects in its first year. This is now the second year of production, and I expect the defect rate to be much better. I did notice that some steering issues and fuel pump noise that I noted on test drives of 2005 models were fixed.
There were many secondary reasons for going with the Cobalt. Let me mention the engine again. It is PZEV in California this year, meaning the critical emissions components (including the ECM or engine control module) are warranted for an astounding 150,000 miles or 15 years. The fuel system uses better hoses. The car promises to be a paragon of low maintenance. You can be assured I will go to the dealer on the very infrequent OLM occasions (oil life monitor) for oil changes and general inspections to keep the warranty intact. The big maintenance stuff is way out there – plugs at 100,000 miles, air filters at 45,000 miles etc. (Since I don’t have that much faith in US oils, I will be changing oil every 3,000 miles with TropArctic 5-30 – synthetic blend from Conoco for $1.52 a quart at Walmart.)
Another secondary reason is the many upgrades in technology on the Cobalt – a driver information system that offers many of the functions of early, and expensive, trip computers; automatic headlamps (and DRL – daytime running lights, a big safety plus); a RDS (radio data system) cd player that will show the radio station call letters and song being played on most FM stations; and the Oil Life Monitor (which removes anxiety about whether I am an easy, normal, or hard driver in terms of oil life).
The car also has a strut, instead of a prop rod, for the front hood; cowling, a la VW, over the engine; battery in the trunk so it won’t get cooked or frozen under the hood; and struts instead of hinges for the trunk, so your luggage won’t get scraped when you close the trunk.
Finally, it is quieter than my old Focii ZX3 and seems equal to our other two cars in terms of quiet.
#1581 of 2240 I wasn't the only one....
Apr 06, 2006 (10:33 am)
The Chevrolet Cobalt has experienced a nearly 80 percent increase in sales during the first three months of 2006 compared to the amount of Lordstown-built vehicles sold in 2005. - newspaper report
Obviously none of the buyers are enthusiasts, since this board is quiet (and the Civic and Fit boards are very active).
#1582 of 2240 Re: I wasn't the only one.... [micweb]
Apr 07, 2006 (4:41 am)
Yes, I saw the Civic board a couple of weeks ago. Nothing but problems and complaints. That Fit looks to be a death trap waiting to happen, and it starts at $14,000 from what I have read.
#1583 of 2240 Re: I wasn't the only one.... [poncho167]
Apr 07, 2006 (1:53 pm)
I didn't want to post negatively on the Fit at the Fit board, but I share your concerns about the safety of these emerging "B" class automobiles (MINI, Fit, Aveo, etc.) I would have no problems with them in Europe or Asia, where overall the vehicles are smaller, but over here there are too many large vehicles. Weight matters! The Insurance Institute says the "sweet spot" in vehicle safety is a 4 door passenger sedan weighing about 3,400 pounds. They do well in crashes (solid structure and good mass) and, unlike SUV's, don't have a terrible record in single car (mostly roll-over) accidents. The Cobalt is a little smaller than optimal, but a lot bigger than the Fit!
What irks me is that Car and Driver has a very "biased" rating system and trashed the Caliber, praised the Fit in a recent test (they didn't even include the Focus and Cobalt in their test). Why? Because, in a nutshell, the Fit handles like a "go kart." Hey, I test drove a MINI, and almost bought one, the handling is super fine and tends to seduce you. BUT, stepping back for a moment, is it big enough to be safe? I went with a Golf instead, that time around. I think the super fine handling of the Fit is because it is so small; but is it a good car for the American scene? Would I rather see single moms in 12 grand Cobalts (or 17 grand Calibers), or in 15 grand Fits that "look neat" and get rave auto press reviews because they appeal to the test drivers' "sport compact" bias? (Do I have to even answer that self-imposed question?)
#1587 of 2240 Thinking about a Cobalt LT
Apr 09, 2006 (5:55 pm)
I may be in the market for a new car soon. I currently drive a Buick Regal GSE (it has the supercharged V6). I am interested in the Cobalt. I have not test driven it yet, but am interested in how the car reacts at highway speeds. I do a lot of driving on the interstates here in NJ, so I need a good comfortable car that drives well on the highways. Obviously the Cobalt will not match the power of my current car, but gas mileage is a consideration. Also, I sometimes drive with people in my back seat. Everything that is said about the Cobalt slams the backseat. to me it is not bad, but I am only 5ft 5in tall. Any feedback would be helpful. My mother has a 2004 Corolla, and I have driven that a few times. It is a little less powerful than the Cobalt, but seemed to be fine. Seats were very comfortable even while driving all day. Thanks.
#1588 of 2240 Re: I wasn't the only one.... [poncho167]
Apr 09, 2006 (9:51 pm)
Price is between $13k and $14k, which is more than I thought they said the hybrid was to be -- oh well. I would not count the Fit out for safety, though an SUV will easily roll over, or through about any smaller car, Cobalt included. Fit comes with standard side air bags. Gas mileage is not as good as the Civic HX, which was the best deal back when. Guess it competed with the hybrids for sales. Seems like for the same price, you can easily get your Cobalt compared to the Fit. I am sure people will find things to like about both cars. Cobalt, or maybe the tC, is about as small as I care to go. America has lots of larger cars, and ya get kinda lost amongst them. I know, I once owned a Miata.
Actually, I would imagine you can get a Cobalt with air, for less than, or around $13K. Civic are good cars, but they are starting to get a little pricey these days. The gas crunch has spiked the prices, no doubt. Cobalts may be more the bargain. Personally, I always worry about the first couple of years on newly introduced model reliability.
For price to size, Cobalt seems, ummmm, more Fit. -Loren