2010 Chevrolet Cobalt LT 2.2 from North America

Summary:

Stands out from the crowd

Faults:

Nothing yet.

General Comments:

I got the LT Team Canada Edition 2 Door fully loaded.

Gas mileage isn't great, but told it needs to break in first.

The look of this car stands out, especially with the aluminum rims, sunroof, chrome package, and sweeping curves and lines of a coupe.

Interior quality fit and finish is acceptable, but not perfect for a $24,000 entry level car; it helps that the interior is black.

Already in my short ownership, I have some concerns:

First, the plastic front bumper under the passenger headlight is warped outward in the center, I have no idea what could have caused it (debating on whether it's worth a trip to the dealer unless it gets worse).

Second, there is a noticeable vibration coming from the gas pedal, especially at low speeds and in the 1400-1500 rpm range, which is annoying, but I'm starting to get used to it, don't think it's anything major.

Third, just as of today, while turning right at an intersection, a loud popping noise occurred, but I didn't feel anything though the car or steering wheel, and intermittently under braking, acceleration and turning, a clunking or thumping noise can be heard/felt through the suspension. This is my first new car, so maybe I'm just being paranoid. I love my car, just worried about long term reliability, I'm glad it's got a warranty...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th November, 2010

3rd Dec 2010, 15:25

I have the same car, a 2010 Cobalt LT. My bumper is doing the same thing. I thought it was because I regularly use a bra. I have had my car for a year, and the gas mileage does go up after a break in period. I have the automatic and have achieved 38.4 on a 75 mile highway trip averaging 65 mph. My car has nearly 11,000 miles, and I have had NO problems whatsoever with it. It is my second Cobalt, and I have loved both of them.

2010 Chevrolet Cobalt LS 2.2 Ecotec from North America

Summary:

Not a bad little car; provides basic, sensible transportation

Faults:

Ignition key cylinder locked up, failed at 5,300 miles. Fixed under warranty -- dealer was very courteous and got it fixed with no problems.

There is a rattle/buzzing sound in the passenger door at highway speeds.

One of the interior screw covers was missing, straight from the dealership.

General Comments:

My parents bought me the car to replace my much loved beater (due to it having a bad wheel bearing, of all things... cost $45 to fix.), a 1991 Honda Accord with over 255,000 miles, so it had big shoes to fill (In my mind, anyway.).

My first impression centers around the interior. The plastic is definitely akin to Fisher-Price, but this is hardly a unique characteristic in 2010 model year vehicles. The 2010 Kia Forte I looked at was nicer, but cost a bit more.

The seat was terribly uncomfortable at first, but once broken in isn't bad.

Manual everything is what you make of it.

The interior is light gray and terribly difficult to keep clean (I deliver pizza, which doesn't help.); a good upholstery cleaner will take care of the cloth, but the roughly grained plastic is very difficult to get clean. At least the carpet is black, and the dealership threw in a nice set of floormats free. The bottom door sill is impossible to get shoe scuffs out of.

By contrast, the trip computer is a nice gadget, the air conditioning is more than adequate (I live in the deep south, and it handled the very hot summer of this last year.), and the stereo is impressive, especially for a base model.

This car is the coupe, and while space is adequate, it isn't especially roomy, and the sloped roof makes the back feel smaller than it is (in addition to making for a terrible rear view). The sedan feels much bigger from a passenger's perspective.

The car does drive and ride well. The ride is nice, like a much larger car, while the handling is still good, if a bit soft at high speeds. Initially, coming from a car without power steering (The Accord was missing the power steering pump; I didn't care, and actually liked it that way.), I hated the electric power steering, but one does eventually become accustomed to it. While lacking in road feel, it is at least quick and precise, good for snappy maneuvering.

The engine is powerful for its class, but doesn't necessarily feel that way, especially at low revs or with the A/C on, due to the tall gears from the XFE package (which is standard). From mid-range and above the engine pulls hard, though. With some shorter gears, the car could be quite quick. The shifter is quite nice, though the clutch (with a plastic pedal arm, I might add) is a bit vague, somewhat easy to stall out, or feeling like I'm giving it too much clutch. It is very easy to drive smoothly, though. The brakes could be better, and ABS would be nice, but they're adequate. I assume that they would perform better with better tires.

Speaking of tires, the low-resistance Goodyear Integrity tires that come with the car are awful, with mediocre dry grip, prone to squealing at the slightest provocation, and terrifying lack of grip in the rain (especially in braking and acceleration). Additionally, the fronts are wearing quite rapidly. I plan on replacing them soon.

In summary, on its own merits, the 2010 Cobalt is a good car. For the price, it's a great deal. I hope that, reliability wise, it emulates the path of my mother's '04 Chevy Trailblazer, which was dead reliable, aside from fan clutches failing like clockwork every 36K miles. My grandfather being a GM retiree, our family has driven many GM vehicles over the years, many good, dependable cars and a few that weren't. Hopefully, this will be one of the good ones.

Personally though, part of me wishes I had my old car back. Despite the fact that, aside from interior comfort, space, and visibility, the old Honda was inferior in every measurable way, subjectively, I liked that car better. In addition to its relative expendability as a beater (Who cares if you scratch the bumper when that would be one of a million?), and low operating costs (it was paid for, dirt cheap to insure, and though occasionally troublesome, never broke anything too expensive.), I felt pride at driving a car kept running by my own two hands and set of tools. It feels awkward to me to be driving a new car, when I'm used to having one of the more beat up cars in a given parking lot. Of course, my friend, and most people, I assume, would think that I'm crazy to feel this way. For what it's worth, that same friend has a 2009 Accord, and, though it's nicer (it does cost twice as much or more), I'd take the '91 over it as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2010

3rd Nov 2010, 15:41

I forgot about the fuel economy. Highway mileage, once broken in, is as-advertised, with around 37MPG on the interstate, and better going 55. City mileage, however, struggles to break 22MPG, and can drop into high teens on a bad day.

3rd Nov 2010, 17:46

The biggest compliment you could make is to thank mom and dad. It must be a really good feeling to drive it and know that. I just bought my 78 year old mom another new car too; a Malibu and surprised her. She loves my white 1970 Chevelle 396 SS 4 speed air car. It was a blast to buy her a more sedate modern car with the same nameplate. Now she has a Malibu of her own. A bit different now V6 vs 40 years ago. My mom sacrificed a lot to put me through college and I love helping make her life more fun now. Good luck with your new GM! Mom and Dad must love you too.

16th Mar 2011, 10:10

What a beautiful thing that you bought your Mom a car. I would love to buy a nice car for my parents some day. Hope she has a lot of fun in it!