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2007 Chevrolet Cobalt

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2007 Chevrolet Cobalt Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


Soaring fuel costs have changed the face of the compact car customer. First-time buyers and budget-conscious consumers are no longer the only market for small cars—SUV drivers looking for an economical second car are also flooding showrooms. But these people have a bit more cash on hand and, although they want something that's good on gas, they don't want bare-bones transportation. Enter the Chevrolet Cobalt, an attractive small car with a bit more size, style and equipment than its entry-level competitors, but with a reasonable price tag and good gas mileage. Available as either a coupe or sedan, the Cobalt is definitely worth a test drive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a small car with an upscale interior, a smooth ride and an all-American nameplate, the Cobalt is a worthy alternative to the Ford Focus. The Cobalt is also easy on gas, a key point of interest for many new car shoppers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a small car with a big back seat, the Cobalt can't compare to the Dodge Caliber or Scion xB. The Cobalt's engine is a bit coarse and its exhaust note is even louder.

What's Significant About This Car?

Both the 2.2- and 2.4-liter engines get a bump in horsepower, while an optional remote engine starter is available on models equipped with automatic transmissions.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Clearly a cut above recent GM smaller cars, the Cobalt delivers reasonably spirited performance and a surprisingly good ride for a generally enjoyable experience—apart from exhaust noise. Suspension is more effective than in some other GM automobiles, with little feeling of looseness or lumpiness. Only the nastier bumps and holes are likely to be bothersome. With the easy-shifting automatic transmission, this sedan accelerates enthusiastically enough for its class. Nimble handling is accompanied by well-assisted, confident steering, which enhances agility in around-town driving. Though the Cobalt is stable on the highway, you must pay attention to remain centered in your lane.

Favorite Features

XM Satellite Radio
Satellite service is available even for lower-end automobiles these days. Once you've tried it on a long trip, you're likely to become a satisfied customer.

Glovebox Size
In many recent vehicles, a large glovebox door opens onto a constricted storage space, but the Cobalt's glovebox is ample in size.

Vehicle Details Interior   photo

Cobalt sedans have a high seating position for a more commanding view of the road, and all-around visibility is impressive. The interiors, crafted to offer five-passenger seating, are attractive, if rather basic. The only gauge on the instrument panel is for fuel level, but digital readouts deliver other data. Front passengers enjoy good head, leg and elbow space, but rear-seat passengers must accept a confining experience. An average-size person may have trouble getting in and out of the rear of the coupe. The 60/40 split-bench seatback includes a pass-through to the trunk, which holds 13.9 cubic feet of luggage.

Exterior   photo

Chevrolet claims the Cobalt has a rigid body structure, which has ride, handling and quality benefits. Based on GM's global Delta architecture, its dimensions are comparable to the Cavalier's, except that the Cobalt is more than two inches taller. Each trim level has specific 15- or 16-inch wheels and appearance touches, though an overall kinship to the Cavalier is discernable. Coupes mimic the sedan's profile from the A-pillar forward, but a tapered reverse C-pillar leads back to Chevrolet's signature quartet of round tail lamps. Chevrolet claims a turning radius, curb-to-curb, of just 37.4 feet.

Notable Standard Equipment

Base-model Cobalts come equipped with air conditioning, a CD audio system with auxiliary input jack, a tilt steering column, driver information center and electric rear-window defroster. Speed-sensitive electric power steering is tuned to match the tires and suspension. Brakes are front discs and rear drums. Stepping up to the LT and LTZ editions adds anti-lock braking (ABS), keyless entry system and cruise control, along with power windows and mirrors. The SS coupe and sedan get a larger 2.4-liter engine and more standard features. The new Cobalt Supercharged SS Coupe features a five-speed manual gearbox and the FE5 performance/handling suspension.

Notable Optional Equipment

The Cobalt offers a number of nice features, such as side-curtain airbags, XM Satellite Radio, GM's OnStar communications system, AM/FM stereo with six-disc MP3-compatible CD player, remote start, a four-speed automatic transmission, heated leather seats, power sunroof, cruise control, rear spoiler and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Under the Hood

Both the base 2.2- and 2.4-liter engines lack the refinement and quiet operation that has become the trademark of the Honda and Toyota powerplants. Both engines are strong performers, offering good acceleration and passing power while returning better-than-average fuel economy. The supercharged 2.0-liter in the SS Supercharged Coupe is a little spitfire of an engine, with loads of low-end torque that will make your heart race and your palms sweat.

2.2-liter in-line 4
148 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
152 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 (manual), 24/32 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
163 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 (manual), 24/32 (automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4 Supercharged
205 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
200 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual)

Pricing Notes

The Cobalt LS coupe and sedan have a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $13,590. The Cobalt LT jumps to $14,710 and the LTZ sedan starts at $18,710. The SS models starts at $18,505, while the SS Supercharged Coupe is $21,310. To get your best price, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price. It shows the typical transaction price being paid in your area. As for resale, the Cobalt holds an average five-year projected residual value, falling far from competitors such as the Honda Civic, Scion tC and Mazda Mazda3. The Hyundai Elantra and Kia Spectra, however, also have lower-than-average projected residuals, just slightly higher than those of the Cobalt.

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