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2009 Chevrolet Cobalt

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2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Review

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Soaring fuel costs have changed the mix of compact-car customers. First-time buyers and budget-conscious consumers are no longer the only potential owners 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 also want more than bare-bones transportation. Enter the 2009 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 and in a number of trims including the super fuel-efficient XFE and spicy SS models, the Cobalt definitely merits 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 2009 Chevrolet 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 New for 2009

For 2009 the Cobalt has a number of improvements. They include a revised 2.2-liter Ecotec engine delivering more power and better fuel economy, 15-inch low-rolling-resistance tires, a USB port added to the radio, standard OnStar and available Bluetooth phone connectivity, new 15- and 16-inch wheel options and a tire inflation kit as standard equipment. The Sport trim and 2.4-liter engine have been dropped.

Driving the Cobalt
Driving Impressions

Clearly a cut above previous-generation GM smaller cars, the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt delivers reasonably spirited performance and a surprisingly good ride for a generally enjoyable driving experience – apart from...

... the exhaust noise. Suspension is more effective than in some other GM automobiles, with a firm, direct feel. Only the nastier bumps and potholes 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, and the Cobalt is stable on the highway.

XM Satellite Radio
Standard XM Satellite Radio is rare in this price range. 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.

2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Details
2009 Chevrolet Cobalt photo Interior

The 2009 Chevrolet 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 somewhat confined space and an average-size person may have trouble getting in and out of the rear of the coupe. The 60/40-split rear seatback includes a pass-through to the trunk, which holds 13.9 cubic feet of luggage.

Exterior

Chevrolet claims the 2009 Cobalt's rigid body structure contributes to benefits in quality, ride and handling. Based on GM's global Delta architecture, its dimensions are comparable to the former Cavalier's, except that the Cobalt is more than two inches taller. Each trim level has specific 15-, 16- or 17-inch wheels and appearance touches. 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 taillamps. Chevrolet claims a turning radius, curb-to-curb, of just 37.4 feet, handy for dealing with tight spots.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base LS Cobalt comes equipped with air conditioning, a CD audio system with USB and auxiliary input jack, a tilt steering column, head-curtain side airbags, GM's OnStar communications system, XM Satellite Radio, driver information center, traction control (models with automatic transmission and ABS only) 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 2LT adds anti-lock braking (ABS), StabiliTrak stability control, keyless entry system, cruise control and power windows and mirrors.

Optional Equipment

The Cobalt offers a number of nice optional features, including AM/FM stereo with six-disc MP3-compatible CD player, remote start, a four-speed automatic transmission, heated leather seats, power glass sunroof, Bluetooth hands-free communication, cruise control, rear spoiler and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Under the Hood

The newly-improved 2.2-liter engine still lacks the refinement and quiet operation that has become the trademark of the Honda and Toyota powerplants, but it is not so raw as to be unlivable. On the positive side, the 2.2-liter engine is a strong performer, offering good acceleration and passing power while returning better-than-average fuel economy.

2.2-liter in-line 4
155 horsepower @ 6100 rpm
150 lb.-ft. of torque @4900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/37 (XFE, manual), 24/33 (automatic)

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2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 1339 Ratings for the 2005 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    7.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Good value - rides nice

By on Friday, July 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Cheap, realiable, inexpensive parts"

Cons: "all the plastic stuff breaks easy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Of the many smaller cars I have owned, this is the nicest ride. It's 8 years old and it is still quiet, smooth, and feels like a much larger car. Much quieter than my Hyundai Accent and Ford Focus. It's a GM product, so you have your share of stupid stuff that shouldn't break or wear out but it does. But the engine and transmission will easily go 200K miles if you just change the fluids as scheduled. Parts are much cheaper for this car than for the imports."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

nice looking,well maintained,one owner

By on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "easy steering..nice ride.."

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"never smoked in,clean,dependable,regular oil changes and maintence.one owner..i need to add pictures tomarrow..06/23/2016."

this car is a mizer, very dependable, low maint,

By on Friday, May 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Well made American small car. Great gas mileage."

Cons: "The premium wheels scratch easily. Seat belt sucks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Reliable and very comfortable. I'm a big guy and I enjoy the room it has for me. The CVC joint is the only thing I had replaced, and that only cost $90.00. I won't ever sell this car. I'll drive it til the wheels fall off. Chevy finally made a descent small car. I can say this because I owned a 1972 Chev. Vega ( Yeah, remember this car back then?). I love Chevys, and I have a 2010 Camaro Yeahhhhh!!400 +horses enough to have alot of fun."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Chevy is a disappointment.

By on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "none"

Cons: "too many to list, perhaps just "it's a domestic""

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Never again. Get me back in a foreign sedan, such as a Nissan or Subaru. The design and quality of dang near EVERYTHING was a joke (and this was outside of the ignition switch recall/replacement). Turn signal replacements, truck hydraulic replacement, automatic tranny lever replacement. Water droplets stain the seat upholstery. The radio/stereo system is failing. Lastly, what advantage is it to have my car battery in the trunk under everything? totally illogical and incovenient. Moreover, there is NO safety advantage to having the car lock up (wheels) if the battery is dead."

6 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Awesome SS

By on Saturday, March 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,900

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Bang for the buck fast and frugal"

Cons: "Plastic interior is on the cheap side"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought one of the very rare 2009 Cobalt SS Sedans (only 474 sold in the U.S.) because of it's performance for the dollar or bang for the buck. I have had all of the factory recalls done and GM seems to have done a good job fixing any issues. The only let downs would be the plastic interior is on the cheap side and the trunk opening is too small for large boxes. Crash tests are good, it features 10 air bags, big Brembo disc brakes, and stability control. The Pioneer Stereo sounds great with a USB and Aux input. The interior is comfortable with Recarro sport buckets up front, and 2 adults can easily fit for hours in the back seat.I also have the GM stage 1 performance upgrade that gives the car an increase horsepower and torque(287 hp, 300 tq vs 260 hp, 260 tq on the dyno). The car will go 0 to 60 in 4 seconds, run the 1/4 mile in 13 seconds, and tops out at 160 mph. With 25 MPG City, 30 HWY, and less than $20,00 new no other 4 door sedan can match the Cobalt SS's Bang for the buck and 1 car magazine ranked it higher than the 09 Corvette for the title of fast and frugal! It is now 2016, the car has less than 18,000 miles on it, and it brings just as big of a smile to my face as the first time that I drove it. Used car values are flat for the poor old Cobalt but with this low a mileage and so few being made I think that one day the 09 Cobalt SS sedan will be a collectors item, time will tell."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Waste of money

By on Monday, February 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Good on gas"

Cons: "Small, cheaply made"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Basically, it's a cavalier. Inside is cheaply made. Just very basic looking. Small car in general. Great on gas. Trunk is extremely tiny-cannot fit baby gear inside. Would be good vehicle for a high school/college student or a winter beater but that's the extent of it. Overall, just "junky"."

10 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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