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2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

Overview
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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Review

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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 2008 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 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 2008 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 Significant About This Car?

Trim names change to LS, LT and Sport, while XM Satellite Radio, head-curtain airbags and a tire-pressure monitoring system are made standard across the line. SS and SS Supercharged models are temporarily off the order menu.

Driving the Cobalt

Driving Impressions Clearly a cut above previous-generation GM smaller cars, the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt delivers reasonably spirited performance and a surprisingly good ride for a generally enjoyable 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 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, and the Cobalt is stable on the highway.
Favorite Features

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.

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Details
Interior

The 2008 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 confining experience. 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 2008 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 old 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, 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 Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base LS Cobalt comes equipped with air conditioning, a CD audio system with auxiliary input jack, a tilt steering column, head-curtain side airbags, XM Satellite Radio, 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 2LT adds anti-lock braking (ABS), StabiliTrak stability control, keyless entry system, cruise control and power windows and mirrors. The Sport coupe and sedan get a larger 2.4-liter engine, 17-inch wheels, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), FE3 suspension and more standard features.

Optional Equipment

The Cobalt offers a number of nice optional features, including GM's OnStar communications system (standard on 2LT and Sport), AM/FM stereo with six-disc MP3-compatible CD player, remote start, a four-speed automatic transmission, heated leather seats, power glass 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. On the positive side, these engines are strong performers, offering good acceleration and passing power while returning better-than-average fuel economy.

2.2-liter in-line 4
148 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
152 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 (manual), 21/29 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
171 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
167 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (manual), 21/29 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 1262 Ratings for the 2005 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

POOR VEHICLE

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "GREAT PRICE, GREAT GAS MILEAGE"

Cons: "RECALLS"

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

"THIS PRODUCT HAS HAD ALOT OF RECALLS AND MY COBALT UNFORTUNATELY HAD POWER STEERING FAILURE AND NEEDED TO BE REPLACED SEVERAL TIMES. THERE ARE PROBLEMS WITH THE IGNITION SWITCH AND LOCK CYLINDERS.THE ENGINE WORKS WELL AND THE DESIGN IS COMPACT AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE. IT ALSO GETS GREAT GAS MILEAGE. HOWEVER, IT WAS A HEADACHE TO CONSTANTLY HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE DEALERSHIP CONSTANTLY WITH MULTIPLE RECALLS AND DEFECTS IN THE PRODUCT I PURCHASED."

DEFECTIVE VEHICLE

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "GREAT PRICE, GREAT MILEAGE"

Cons: "RECALLS"

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

"THIS HAS HAD ALOT OF RECALLS AND MY COBALT UNFORTUNATELY HAD POWER STEERING FAILURE AND NEEDED TO BE REPLACED SEVERAL TIMES. PROBLEMS WITH THE IGNITION SWITCH. THE ENGINE WORKS WELL AND THE DESIGN IS COMPACT AND HAS GOOD GAS MILEAGE. HOWEVER, IT WAS A HEADACHE TO CONSTANTLY HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE MULTIPLE RECALLS AND DEFECTS IN THE PRODUCT I PURCHASED."

DEFECTIVE VEHICLE

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "GREAT PRICE, GREAT MILEAGE"

Cons: "RECALLS"

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

"THIS HAS HAD ALOT OF RECALLS AND MY COBALT UNFORTUNATELY HAD POWER STEERING FAILURE AND NEEDED TO BE REPLACED SEVERAL TIMES. PROBLEMS WITH THE IGNITION SWITCH. THE ENGINE WORKS WELL AND THE DESIGN IS COMPACT AND HAS GOOD GAS MILEAGE. HOWEVER, IT WAS A HEADACHE TO CONSTANTLY HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE MULTIPLE RECALLS AND DEFECTS IN THE PRODUCT I PURCHASED."

DEFECTIVE VEHICLE

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "GREAT PRICE, GREAT MILEAGE"

Cons: "RECALLS"

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

"THIS HAS HAD ALOT OF RECALLS AND MY COBALT UNFORTUNATELY HAD POWER STEERING FAILURE AND NEEDED TO BE REPLACED SEVERAL TIMES. PROBLEMS WITH THE IGNITION SWITCH. THE ENGINE WORKS WELL AND THE DESIGN IS COMPACT AND HAS GOOD GAS MILEAGE. HOWEVER, IT WAS A HEADACHE TO CONSTANTLY HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE MULTIPLE RECALLS AND DEFECTS IN THE PRODUCT I PURCHASED."

Poor Quality, Spotty Service but Best Drive Ever

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Only for people wanting non pretentious sports car"

Cons: "Looks cheap, won't get no respect from BMW's"

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

"Like the old English sports cars, absolutely the most fun (Cobalt SS sedan)to drive, but electrical problems keep happening. Pure driver's car, great front seats (back is torture), steering feedback, brakes, acceleration phenomenal. Stereo is good for FM and DVD, iTunes it's fantastic! Invisible to police, no one believes this sedan can accelerate so fast."

One of the best cars for the money!

By on Friday, April 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I bought this car new in 2009 and I have traveled extensively throughout the US. I grew up in the car business and have driven professionally and I can say that this car has been well worth the money. As far as comfort... I had an Impala with all the bells and whistles, leather -heated seats. etc. and this cobalt was far more comfortable to drive over long periods 12 to 24hrs cross country. I have had it now over 5yrs and would love to purchase another bur unfortunately, GM chose not to carry this model in their lineup so I will have to go to Honda now for a 2 door, manual FWD. Sorry, GM, you goofed not to improve on this car and keep it."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?