2005 Chevrolet Cobalt LS 2.4L? from North America

Summary:

Smooth, reliable and stylish

Faults:

I once went over a bump and the ABS and T/C lights decided to stay on. Nothing major. No damage was done to the car and couldn't seem to figure out how to turn it off (even with fuse box.)

Car had regular oil changes and checkups.

Front seats could be a lot more comfortable. Back seats weren't used much, but weren't terribly comfortable either. Headroom was limited.

Extremely disappointed with the poor visibility in both the back window and the thick support column right beside the driver's seat. For these reasons, it made for a horrible first car.

Winter driving (out here in Ontario) isn't great, as the car doesn't boast enough power to get out of icy situations. Got stuck numerous times with a lot of difficulty.

General Comments:

I had nothing but good luck with this very nice car. No disappointments.

Excellent choice for a commuter/city car, but not enough comfort for a long road trip.

It's smooth, comfortable and has near perfect brakes.

Good, yet simple interior features. Great sound system. Standard features, p/l, p/w, key-less entry and sunroof were great additions.

Had I had the car any longer, I'm sure I would have expected normal wear and tear. Parts don't last forever.

Overall, very impressed. As much as I loved this car, the low safety rating drives me away from getting another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2008

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Base Sedan 2.2L Gasoline from North America

Summary:

Good and decent, but unsatisfying for the enthusiast

Faults:

Key refused to release from ignition at 28,000 km. Fixed under warranty by faulty shift-lock in gear shift lever.

Mild clunking noise from front suspension at 30,000km. Fixed under warranty replacing the steering column shaft.

Wheel well lining slightly loose at 30,000km. Fixed under warranty by replacing lost retainer screw.

Slight "crunching" noise from right front suspension in -15C and below weather. Cause undetermined. (Thermal contraction of parts?)

General Comments:

The Cobalt has several strong suits.

The 2.2L Ecotec engine delivers a satisfying amount of low rpm torque and good acceleration and passing power for an entry level compact vehicle.

The 4 speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly.

The lack of interior noise, particularly at highway speeds, is exceptional in its class.

The standard equipment CD stereo provides clear sound quality.

The cruise control maintains a steady speed on the hilliest of roads.

The car has excellent winter traction even with the factory-equipped all season Continental tires. ABS and traction-control combo provide extra security in winter driving.

Fuel economy, while not class leading, is thrifty. I averaged 8.2L/100km in pure city driving (summer), 9.0 L/100 km pure city driving (winter) and 6.2 L/100 km pure highway driving.

The trunk is very generous and will swallow three full-size suit cases.

Forward sightlines are good.

Firm seats prevent fatigue on long-distance drives.

Fit and alignment of interior components is excellent.

However, the Cobalt has several weaknesses.

Perceived quality is low because of the hard plastic surfaces and fabrics used in the interior and particularly the steering wheel.

The suspension is harsh over high frequency road imperfections (e.g. cracks and railway crossing) conveying a sense of structural weakness.

The steering is uncommunicative and therefore feels imprecise. For those who enjoy driving, the Cobalt is likely not a satisfying drive.

The trunk opening is shallow making loading of taller boxes difficult. Also, lift-in height is somewhat high.

The interior could use some additional storage cubbies and pockets.

Rearward visibility is compromised by a slanted speaker shelf.

In conclusion, I don't think the Cobalt is a bad car. It offers excellent value, particularly if purchased pre-owned. It's a perfectly decent runabout for those looking for a comfortable point A to B commuter.

Ultimately, however, I sold the car because I did not have confidence in the long-term reliability of the front suspension components and I did not enjoy driving the car. I wonder if the front-end problems were particular to my car. I drove a later example of the Cobalt's identical sister car, the Pontiac G5, and its suspension felt solid. Perhaps my particular vehicle had first-year production problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th April, 2008

25th Aug 2008, 01:48

This is the best written Chevy Cobalt review. Thorough and concise. I completely agree with all of the low and high points of the car as well as the logic and reasoning behind it's perceived low quality. The quality is light-years ahead of any GM car 10 years ago. I do disagree however with the the enjoyment of driving the Cobalt. The numb electric power steering provides no road feedback, but to me as long as it feels firm and responsive, it feels proper. I'd rather not feel the grittiness of the pavement transmitted through the steering wheel. To me that feels cheap and unrefined. When I drive the Cobalt, I feel like I'm driving a much nicer car than what it's really intended to be, a Cavalier replacement. My only complaints about the car that GM could very easily change are to put a better looking, softer feeling upholstery. That rough, cheap looking upholstery has got to go. Leather might be nice on more fully-optioned Cobalts. Also, grey is the only interior color. It looks fine, but I much prefer a tan interior. They offer tan interior with the Chevy HHR, which is basically just a Cobalt, so not sure why cheapo-grey is the only interior color offered. The exterior styling could really use and update now. It looked outdated when it was first introduced and is terribly bland. Overall though, it's a more than capable economy car.

1st Feb 2009, 00:19

Recently bought used '06 Cobalt LS because I needed a good fuel sipping work car. I got a great deal on it. It was a certified vehicle and I immediately had to have some noise in the front left of the car repaired by the dealer. They replaced the control bushings, but only did the left side. It seems to me that both sides should have been replaced.

The car is much better, but there is still a significant jittering rattle that seems to come from the right front. No matter, I will just return to the dealer.

I at first considered the car to be a tinny piece of junk, but after a couple weeks have upped my opinion. Despite its quirks, it's a fun little car and does get good, not great, mileage.

While researching the ecotek engine, I discovered that it was partially developed by German engineers and none other than Lotus Engineering had a hand in tweaking it. No doubt this is why the engine has such great pick up and passing power for a four banger.

I think after the dealer issues are resolved, my Cobalt will be a fine little runabout that will give me a few years of good service.

31st Mar 2009, 18:45

What are you doing using your cruise control on hilly roads? Perfect recipe to wrecking your transmission.