Bought my Cobalt May 31, 2005. Currently has over 4,000 miles on it (July 24, 2005). Air conditioning went out at 2,000 miles, known problem with the wiring harness and over-charging at the factory. It took the dealer 1 day to fix it. Running great ever since. I'm getting the same gas milege as I did with the '92 Corolla I traded in which had over 437,000 miles on it. I'm very pleased with the Cobalt, constantly being amazed at the quietness of the ride and the handling. The list of standard features far beats what came with the Corolla so many years ago. How times have changed!
The Ecotec is not Toyota designed. The engine was designed in a cooperative effort between GM and its corporate partners Saab and Opel. The design effort was headed up, and the engine itself is entirely assembled in the USA. It is a highly advanced design, and has undergone more durability testing than any previous GM engine.
In my opinion, the Ecotec is the best four cylinder engine on the market. I also disagree that it is underpowered. I have a 140 HP Ecotec in my 2003 Cavalier, which now has 40,000 miles, and has given me exemplary, 100% trouble free performance. I have not driven a Cobalt, so I do not have any first hand knowledge of its performance characteristics. But, the Colbalt is an entirely different platform than the Cavalier, and built to deliver much better driving characteristics (not that I have any complaints about my Cavalier).
I would suspect the Colbalt is an excellent car, equal to or better than a Civic or Corolla, but as usual, will never be given any good press that it might deserve, because of naive biased perspectives as illustrated in the comment above mine. Perhaps I am old fashioned, but there are still a few of us left that prefer to give our great country the benefit of the doubt.
I bought a 2005 Cobalt in March of 2005. I've had good results except with the stalling problem as well. It's stalled previosuly while backing up, making a left turn and today it stalled while traveling on the Interstate at 65 MPH with the cruise on. Right now it has 4800 miles. Took it immediately to the local Chevy Dealer and they said there were no codes to be found in the computer, nothing in GM's database about this issue and nothing loose that they could find (loose battery cable or something like that). I'm going to take it to the dealership I bought it from with the comments from this web page and see if I get anywhere. Other than that, the car's great. Thanks for posting this information.
I currently own a 2001 Cavalier Z24 and it's not bad at all. I am (was) considering trading it in towards a Cobalt, but I'm not so sure now. I figured I'd wait a few years until GM works out all the kinks in the Cobalt. Seriously, I love the Cavalier and I'm sure I'd love the Cobalt too. All my friends who drive Honda and Toyota give me hell for driving my Chevy, but, all I know is that nothing major has gone wrong with my car, except for normal wear and tear. Clearly people are buying GM cars, so maybe people should stop being so harsh on GM!