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Chevrolet: Cobalt/Cruze News **Diesel Engine Information (page 7)**

 
Old 04-02-2004, 07:27 AM
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Looks like a mini G35 Coupe
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Old 08-02-2004, 08:37 AM
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Chevy Offers Cobalt Accessories for Free


Monday, August 2, 2004


Cobalt accessories free

Chevrolet offers add-ons as a way to build enthusiasm, avoid costly cash incentives

By Ed Garsten / The Detroit News




WIXOM — Chevrolet, hoping to create some positive momentum and avoid costly cash incentives on a crucial new model, is offering complimentary accessories on the 2005 Cobalt small car.

Customers who preorder a Cobalt sedan or coupe through October 18 will receive a spoiler, sunroof, or a sunroof and satellite radio, depending on which model they buy.

“We’re looking to build some excitement and enthusiasm for the Cobalt,” said Molly Peck, marketing manager for the car.

A similar program was successful with the introduction of the Opel Astra in Europe, she said.

The Cobalt is one of General Motors Corp.’s most important launches this year. It will replace the outgoing Chevrolet Cavalier, but carry a higher price tag.

Base prices on the Cobalt will start at $14,190 and reach $21,995 for high-end models.

Current base prices on the Cavalier range from $10,135 to $17,610.

Because the small car market is among the most competitive, analysts say Chevrolet will be challenged to avoid rebates on the Cobalt.

“There’s no guarantee the pre-sell will prevent having to incentivize the car,” said Jim Hall, vice president at consultanting firm AutoPacific Corp. in Southfield. “It could build interest in the car. Dealers love pre-sells.”

While the Cavalier was a sales workhorse for many years, the brand suffered in recent years by trying to bracket the entry-level and sub-premium small car segments.

GM hopes to draw more affluent small car shoppers with the Cobalt, while leaving the Korean-made Aveo as Chevy’s prime entry-level offering.

Chevrolet will run Cobalt advertising during this month’s Summer Olympics, followed by a more extensive ad campaign after Election Day, Peck said.

You can reach Ed Garsten at (313) 223-3217 or [email protected].

http://www.detnews.com/2004/autosins...a02-229272.htm

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Old 08-04-2004, 12:02 PM
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Chevy Announces Cobalt Pricing

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Old 08-04-2004, 12:19 PM
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Anyone cross-shopping these with the TSX should be shot.

I saw one at the auto show though... definitely a big improvement over the 12-yr old Cavalier
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:22 PM
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Huge improvement over the Cavalier. But that's not saying much. :shakehd:
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jcg878
Anyone cross-shopping these with the TSX should be shot.....
Definitely.... But it wouldn't be out of the question to cross-shop a Cobalt SS with an RSX. It'll be interesting.
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Old 08-04-2004, 01:11 PM
  #87  
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wow, come's with mp3 player, suspension mods, and 18" alloys. nice.
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Old 08-04-2004, 02:45 PM
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GM isn't going to get out of it's rut by trying to be Japanese. Americans know a knock-off when they see it. Look at DC: the 300C/Magnum is selling like hot cakes, and it's the most blatantly American car on the road. We don't want our domestic cars to be Japanese, we don't want them to be retro; just give us a powerful engine and manly styling.

Stealing the platform from a German luxury car that costs twice as much doesn't hurt either.

The Cobalt is an attempt the capture the import tuner market, but GM is missing the key word there: IMPORT. Maybe GM should sponsor 'Faster and Furiouser: Attack of the Chevys with Wing Spoilers'.
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Old 08-04-2004, 07:42 PM
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Base price at 14 US grand??? That is way too damn much.

Oh and they haven't even launched it on the market yet that they are already using incentives! I don't get the way they do business. Really!
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Old 08-04-2004, 08:15 PM
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14K is like the cheapest you can get a car for these days down here.

Personaly, I think $1 is too expensive for any Chevy...

Except of course for the Vette
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:26 PM
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ummm have you heard of chev cavalire or pontiac sunfire. That crap is 11000 brand new and this is in canadian dollars.
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TSX Hokie
GM isn't going to get out of it's rut by trying to be Japanese. Americans know a knock-off when they see it. Look at DC: the 300C/Magnum is selling like hot cakes, and it's the most blatantly American car on the road. We don't want our domestic cars to be Japanese, we don't want them to be retro; just give us a powerful engine and manly styling.

Stealing the platform from a German luxury car that costs twice as much doesn't hurt either.

The Cobalt is an attempt the capture the import tuner market, but GM is missing the key word there: IMPORT. Maybe GM should sponsor 'Faster and Furiouser: Attack of the Chevys with Wing Spoilers'.
gm should stick to trucks and suv's
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sauceman
Base price at 14 US grand??? That is way too damn much.

Oh and they haven't even launched it on the market yet that they are already using incentives! I don't get the way they do business. Really!
Yea, 14 is too high for this...
Thank goodness GM has incentives for anything they sell.

Seriously, who would by this except hard-core Blue Ribbon guys or people that don't know better?

Hmmm, let's see what to buy... Cobolt, Scion (any or them), Civic, Corolla... heck, why not just compare it to the Hyundais and Kias while we're at it?

yea, I would take a Hyundai or Kia over the Cobolt... at least I have some warranty that might save my ass down the road.

Junkster, who thinks this car won't sell
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:38 PM
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i want that pontiac solestice or whatever, the 2 seater drop top.
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:38 PM
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It really depends on what you get for 14K. If it comes with manual windows, a radio with cassette and no CD, no A/C, no cruise control, no power door locks, then 14K is asking too much. Those listed items are automatic and standard on a lot of other cars asking for that price, or even less.
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:09 PM
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The Cobalt coupe looks a lot like the Civic coupe, or am I crazy?

And the Cobalt sedan looks a lot like the Civic sedan, with a little mix of the Altima, or am I crazy?
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Old 08-04-2004, 11:17 PM
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I wouldnt want anything with the name Pontiac on it. No mater how good it looks. Im sure it will look real nice sitting on the repair lift at the dealer.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:47 PM
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Chevrolet Cobalt LS - - Plainly good. - - BY AARON ROBINSON - - PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEVIN WING - - SOurce: www.caranddriver.com

April 2005

THE VERDICT
Chevrolet Cobalt LS

Highs: Head-of-the-class refinement, mammoth trunk, sweat stains on the details.

Lows: Rent-me styling, cozy back seat bisected by a big tunnel, a dash buzz in our tester.

The Verdict: Evidence that SS GM may turn in time to miss the iceberg.


Those who pray to a higher power for the revival of General Motors should note that in many religions the savior prefers to arrive in plain dress. The new Chevrolet Cobalt has ho-hum written all over it, but nothing on sale in a GM dealership today bodes better for the outlook of the world's largest automaker. The Cobalt sparks no revolution, doesn't scare small children, and won't set hallowed historical figures spinning in their graves. All it does is quietly—very quietly and serenely—prove that when GM decides to build an accomplished small car, it can.

It had better be good, this Cobalt.



For starters, we've waited decades for its arrival. The Cobalt's predecessor, the Chevy Cavalier, was born on the same day as dirt. The first ones clattered out of dealerships in 1981. Over the Cavalier's lifetime, Toyota put its Corolla through five redesigns, while this small, strong-selling Chevrolet got mostly minor makeovers and powertrain tweaks.

Cobalt pricing puts its nose right in the feedbag of league thoroughbreds such as the Corolla. The field-stripped Cobalt sedan starts at $14,190, and $16,485 buys a mid-level LS with aluminum wheels, ABS, and power windows and locks (the LS featured here is $18,245 with an automatic trans, the Preferred Equipment Group, and a thumping Pioneer stereo). These prices shadow those of the Corolla and Honda Civic. The Cobalt plays in the same sandbox as Scions, the Ford Focus, and formidable brand-Bs from Korea such as the Hyundai Elantra, which finished a laudable second in our last roundup of bargain cars ["Double-Dip Dreamboats," C/D , November 2002].

Sure, the difference between what GM demands and what GM gets after feverish discounting pays a mortgage. At the time of this writing, Los Angeles-area dealers were already ballyhooing a $1500 rebate on the Cobalt. That brings up another long-term mission of the car: Convince buyers to maybe, eventually, someday pay an actual sticker price for a Chevrolet because, like a Toyota, it's just that good.

Is the Cobalt that good? For GM, it's miraculous, even more so considering this is the same pan-global architecture—called Delta in lingua-GM—underpinning the Saturn Ion. In January 2003 we vented three or four spleens on the cheaped-out, noisy, decidedly unfun Ion. Former technical director Frank Markus's words, "most disappointing all-new American car in a decade," echoed in the halls of GM for some time, we are told.

It takes just five minutes of driving to learn that the Cobalt works harder for your love. Your eyes fall on a dashboard where the plastic panels merge as a seamless, flush-finished unit. No jagged part lines or glaring gaps to signify where the nickels were squeezed out. Your fingers feel, well, almost nothing of the vibrations generated by the engine or road blight. They are absorbed by a stiffened structure and better-isolated suspension. Even approaching the 6500-rpm shift point, your ears hear just a distant thrum from the engine room, its noise damped by specially molded acoustical pads, doubled-up door seals, and sheets of multilayer Quiet Steel—all of which were added to the Cobalt after lessons learned on the Ion.

The Cobalt has rental-unit styling, but buyers shopping the budget aisle of the dealership generally want more practicality than pizazz. Open the trunk to see practicality personified. There are 14 cubic feet in there, a smidge more than in the Civic. Where the Ion eats space with intrusive gooseneck hinges, the Cobalt has multilink trunk supports that pack flat and swing the lid farther forward to avoid cranial collisions.

Pull the twin handles in the trunk to release each side of the 60/40-split rear seatbacks. The outboard headrests (the center seat does without) cleverly mount to the parcel shelf, so the seatbacks tuck down without having to first pry off headrests. The bottom cushion is fixed in place so the extended load floor isn't flat, but the opening is plenty roomy for monthly runs to the buy-in-bulk warehouse.


Despite the scalloped knee pockets in the front seatbacks, the back bench feels snug and vertical when used for adults, and you can forget about the center position. The Cobalt channels its engine exhaust down a prominent center hump that vaporizes all foot space. Assign the naughty children to that spot.

Certain to run up a big number on the Rockwell hardness scale, the Cobalt's front seats seem unduly firm and unyielding—at first, anyway—but then you realize why it's the one common attribute the Cobalt shares with a Porsche. A few hours in the chair, and your back and thighs are fresh, supported in all the important directions by orthopedic good thinking wrapped in premium cloth. Drivers get lumbar adjust with a hand wheel and height adjust with a ratcheting lever on the side. No telescoping steering or power seats come in the Cobalt, not even in the leather-equipped LT deluxe model. Try the Cobalt on first to make sure it fits.

When was the last time you felt coddled by a Chevrolet interior? Even the Corvette has lapses into rinky-dink. Peer through the side glass, and the Cobalt's dash could be mistaken for cheap-car standard issue, but not when you sit close. Tight fits and low-gloss sheens make the two-tone dash plastic look harmonious and expensive. It actually surprises you when it proves to be hard to the touch, not spongy as in a Lexus.

There's no skimping with the trim, not even in places where eyes rarely go, such as the seatbelt pillars and far-back corners. We've seen luxury sedans get by with schlocky mouse-fur headliners. The Cobalt's roof is upholstered with a finely woven cloth. The front passenger gets an overhead grab handle; the rear ceiling has extra-deep hanger hooks. (Curtain airbags are available for $395.)

The driver works a chrome door handle and a neatly integrated panel of short-movement window buttons set in a painted bezel that resides in an attractive cloth-trim accent. Sporty types take note: There's no manumatic function for the four-speed automatic transmission. Even the straightforward climate-control knobs have chrome trim beads. Sure, it's all done to a budget, just a better one than we're used to in a Chevy.

Goofs include the shallow cup holders, which can't hold a water bottle in place against the g-force of a freeway on-ramp, and the lack of map lights. Oddly, the rear passengers get overhead personal lights, but not the payment-maker at the wheel. Perhaps our light module was installed backward.

The Cobalt's engine does without power-pumping gadgets such as variable valve timing, but it's the largest in its peer group. The 2.2-liter DOHC 16-valve inline four with twin balance shafts to dampen vibration puts out 145 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. That's enough caffeine to scoot this 2900-pound Cobalt to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 16.6 seconds at 84 mph. Those times would have beaten nine of the 10 cars in our Dreamboat comparo, which was open to stick shifts only (the Dodge Neon posted identical times).

Returning 27 mpg over 600 miles, this engine isn't about max velocity. It's an appliance designed to reduce stress. Don't think about oil changes. The engine will tell you when it's time. The filter, a paper cartridge behind a screw-in cap, sits right on top so do-it-yourselfers won't get their knees dirty. The hood even lifts itself on its own pneumatic strut.

Fixes to reduce noise and vibration include a redesigned oil pump, a pricier (but quieter and more reliable, says GM) Denso alternator, and a more rigid 360-degree bell-housing mount. In motion the engine hums faintly to itself, its voice easily smothered with the optional and sensational Pioneer tweeters and bass unit, which lurks in the trunk. The only discordant sound was an occasional buzz from deep in the dash heard at certain rpm.

GM has reprogrammed the electric-assist steering, resulting in a more natural heft and better feedback. Directional control through corners is stable and sure-footed. The optional H-rated 205/55 Pirelli P6 tires gave a 0.77-g skidpad performance and ABS-stopped from 70 mph in 188 feet, above average for the class.

Still, extra body roll and softer helm responses—there's a reason twist-beam axles aren't on F1 cars—mean less entertainment for the Cobalt driver than for drivers in some other value cars, notably the Focus and Mazda 3. Yet the Cobalt drives confidently, and owners who don't regularly dust apexes on three wheels may never notice its dynamic limitations.

In the past, GM's promises of reform have been followed by the unleashing of some real dogs. The Ion and the Pontiac Aztek come to mind. If the endearing Cobalt is any indication of where the company is headed, somebody at GM has finally found a compass that works.

COUNTERPOINT
STEVE SPENCE
Behold the "premium" economy car. We'll see whether this is an idea whose time has come. In the meantime, this Cavalier replacement has some nice upscale pieces: excellent steering (the amount of assist varies as the speed increases), the tracking of a mid-priced sedan, well-designed seats (and available in leather! and heated!), power without the thrashing background music, even the rearview mirror feels as if it came from a Bimmer. Four-speed tranny works fine, but where's the manumatic function? Yes, it's nice. There are a lot of cars that can undercut the LS's $16,485 price, but if you're a diehard American who just won't buy a little furrin car, check it out.

TONY QUIROGA
The Cobalt is a good example of the problem with benchmarking. Built on the same architecture as the hapless Ion, GM's engineers were allocated the funds to fix the Ion's faults and match the best cars of the segment. Success! The Cobalt delivers a driving experience much like that of the discontinued fourth-generation Jetta. The Cobalt is quiet at speed and refined in its ride motions, and it has a comfortable and inviting interior, precise build quality, and a sturdy, quake-free structure. But the arrival of a new Jetta means the world has moved on and the Cobalt will not compete with its key target. No one celebrates the second person to run a four-minute mile.

TONY SWAN
A common trait of small cars with automatic transmissions is an exhaust note that's just this side of emphysemic. That is certainly true of our Cobalt tester, making it difficult to have warm feelings about Chevy's new compact. Still, we view the Ecotec four as a robust powerplant and know that a manual tranny would ease the wheezing and lend respectable urgency to forward progress. Beyond that, the Cobalt provides Honda-esque driver sightlines, attractive interior design, and laudable structural solidity. It's not exactly a home run. But it does figure to be a player in the small-car ballgame, something that couldn't be said of the old Cavalier.

CHEVROLET COBALT LS
Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Price as tested: $18,245

Price and option breakdown: base Chevrolet Cobalt LS (including $565 freight), $16,485; automatic transmission, $850; Preferred Equipment Group (includes spoiler, front and rear sport fascias, performance tires, 16-inch alloy wheels, sport gauges, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and steering-wheel audio controls), $595; CD player with MP3 capability, $150; Pioneer 7-speaker sound system, $150; ashtray and lighter, $15

Major standard accessories: power windows and locks, remote locking, A/C, cruise control, tilting steering wheel, rear defroster

Sound system: Chevrolet/Pioneer AM-FM radio/CD player, 7 speakers

ENGINE
Type: inline-4, aluminum block and head
Bore x stroke: 3.39 x 3.72 in, 86.0 x 94.6mm
Displacement: 134 cu in, 2198cc
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Fuel-delivery system: port injection
Valve gear: chain-driven double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters
Power (SAE net): 145 bhp @ 5600 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 155 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Redline: 6700 rpm

DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Final-drive ratio: 3.63:1
Gear - Ratio - Mph/1000 rpm - Max test speed
I - 2.96 - 6.7 - 43 mph (6500 rpm)
II - 1.62 - 12.2 - 79 mph (6500 rpm)
III - 1.00 - 19.7 - 124 mph (6300 rpm)
IV - 0.86 - 23.0 - 124 mph (5400 rpm)

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 103.3 in
Track, front/rear: 58.7/58.1 in
Length/width/height: 180.5/67.9/57.1 in
Ground clearance: 5.4 in
Drag area, Cd (0.33) x frontal area (23.1 sq ft): 7.6 sq ft
Curb weight: 2900 lb
Weight distribution, F/R: 60.0/40.0%
Curb weight per horsepower: 20.0 lb
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gal

CHASSIS/BODY
Type: unit construction with a rubber-isolated body crossmember
Body material: welded steel stampings

INTERIOR
SAE volume, front seat: 49 cu ft
rear seat: 38 cu ft
luggage: 14 cu ft
front-seat adjustments: fore-and-aft, seatback angle; driver only: height, lumbar support
Restraint systems, front: manual 3-point belts, driver and passenger front airbags
rear: manual 3-point belts

SUSPENSION
Front: ind, strut located by a control arm, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear: ind, trailing arms integral with a transverse member, coil springs, anti-roll bar

STEERING
Type: rack-and-pinion with variable electric power assist
Steering ratio: 16.6:1
Turns lock-to-lock: 3.6
Turning circle curb-to-curb: 37.4 ft

BRAKES
Type: hydraulic with vacuum power assist and anti-lock control
Front: 10.1 x 0.9-in vented disc
Rear: 9.1 x 1.7-in drum

WHEELS AND TIRES
Wheel size: 6.0 x 16 in
Wheel type: cast aluminum
Tires: Pirelli P6 Four Seasons, P205/55R-16 89H M+S
Test inflation pressures, F/R: 30/30 psi
Spare: high-pressure compact

C/D TEST RESULTS
ACCELERATION: Seconds
Zero to 30 mph: 3.0
40 mph: 4.3
50 mph: 6.2
60 mph: 8.4
70 mph: 11.1
80 mph: 14.7
90 mph: 19.8
100 mph: 25.8
110 mph: 34.7
Street start, 5-60 mph: 8.4
Top-gear acceleration, 30-50 mph: 4.0
50-70 mph: 5.3
Standing 1/4-mile: 16.6 sec @ 84 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 124 mph

BRAKING
70-0 mph @ impending lockup: 188 ft

HANDLING
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.77 g
Understeer: minimal moderate excessive

FUEL ECONOMY
EPA city driving: 24 mpg
EPA highway driving: 32 mpg
C/D-observed: 27 mpg

INTERIOR SOUND LEVEL
Idle: 39 dBA
Full-throttle acceleration: 69 dBA
70-mph cruising: 67 dBA
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:50 PM
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:52 PM
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No telescoping steering or power seats come in the Cobalt, not even in the leather-equipped LT deluxe model.
Weird.

Oddly, the rear passengers get overhead personal lights, but not the payment-maker at the wheel. Perhaps our light module was installed backward.
Even weirder...
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Old 03-24-2005, 02:00 PM
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If the endearing Cobalt is any indication of where the company is headed, somebody at GM has finally found a compass that works.

Hmmm... Time for some positive GM-related news, dont you think?
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Old 03-31-2005, 11:57 AM
  #102  
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My neihgbor has a cobalt ss with some work and already ran a 13.6 at the track. Not only is it quick but it handles awesome too. On the highway, its a little terror.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bigman
My neihgbor has a cobalt ss with some work and already ran a 13.6 at the track. Not only is it quick but it handles awesome too. On the highway, its a little terror.

MT mag tested the SS for 6.1 for the 60 run and 14.4 for the 1/4 mile.

It did a comparo with the SRT4 which ran identical times on the 1/4 mile and was only a tenth quicker in the 60 run (that was one slow SRT4 compared to other tests, I wonder what happened).

The funny thing is that the SS not only has 25HP less on paper but also is somewhat heavier. So it's probably heavily underrated on the claimed HP.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:23 PM
  #104  
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I'm happy that i can pick one of these up used in a few years for dirt cheap with low miles as a second car. They can be fun and fast, completely surprising the big boys.
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Old 03-31-2005, 04:30 PM
  #105  
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your right gav, its refreshing to see something good with gm in the same sentence
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Old 03-31-2005, 04:34 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Python2121
your right gav, its refreshing to see something good with gm in the same sentence that doesn't refer to $9,000,000.03 in dealer incentives on a $17,000 car
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:16 PM
  #107  
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$18k for a Cobalt?

As if! You can get a Sonata V6 for that!
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:57 PM
  #108  
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Lows: Rent-me styling
That's not gonna sell alot of cars.
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Old 04-01-2005, 08:55 AM
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^ Damn, and I like the styling... it's not daring and risk taking, but nether is the Civic, Corolla, Sentra, or Jetta.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:06 AM
  #110  
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yeah but those all have a following. the poor cobalt has to follow the footsteps of the cavalier
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Old 04-01-2005, 08:20 PM
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Didn't think the SS was going to be that fast, makes the car a very attractive package considering the quality of the car is beyond the neons and the name doesn't really have anything negative against it right now.

No telescoping steering or power seats come in the Cobalt, not even in the leather-equipped LT deluxe model.
What compacts do have these features, maybe vw but they are in their own little world. Don't think its really required, but it probably would have been good for gm to go with a telescoping wheel since it seems to be the "hot" new feature on cars today and it might pop up on the new civic/corolla.
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:57 PM
  #112  
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Cobalt line misses mark

BY MARK PHELAN

FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

March 31, 2005


The 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt is an opportunity lost. It's also a troubling example of how General Motors can make vast progress in engineering and design only to be undone by quality problems the automaker should have solved decades ago.



The all-new Cobalt compact coupe and sedan have excellent handling and performance, good enough to run with class-leaders like the Honda Civic, but the two Cobalts I tested had significant fit and finish defects.


There are so many things to like about the Cobalt LS coupe and LT sedan that this actually makes me sad.


The Cobalt marks the first time in my memory GM put its most talented people behind building a first-rate compact car. From engineers to designers to top executives, lots of people did very good work on the Cobalt.


That wouldn't qualify as news if the car came from Honda, Mazda, Toyota or Volkswagen. They've always understood that small-car customers deserve and expect first-rate vehicles.



The Chevy Cobalt's exterior styling isn't exceptional, but the coupe is attractive and sporty. The Cobalt sedan is restrained and more conservative. They are shown on Belle Isle.

Historically, this has not been the case at GM, which produced a long line of small cars that started out behind the competition and lost ground from there.


The Cobalt replaces the Chevrolet Cavalier. Base prices run from $13,625 for the base coupe and sedan to $18,195 for an LT sedan. I tested an LS coupe that costs $18,335 and an LT sedan that stickers at $20,760. All prices exclude destination charges.


The Cobalt is the first American GM product in decades to take advantage of GM's expertise in building some excellent compact cars in Europe. The Cobalt uses a lot of the same basic engineering as GM's Opel Astra, a world-class small car. It also features many pricey components like laminated steel, added to give it the quiet interior Americans expect from bigger cars.

The Cobalt's performance, ride and handling all reap the benefits of that shared expertise.
The passenger compartment is very quiet, with minimal road and wind noise even at high speeds. The suspension absorbs bumps comfortably and the steering is crisp and precise.


That good steering is particularly refreshing. The Cobalt features an electronic power steering system. EPS, as it's called, offers a lot of potential benefits, including reduced weight, fewer repairs and the ability to make the steering feel however you want -- sporty, sedate or anywhere in between -- simply by changing the system's programming.


This is a good thing, as long as the programmers make the right choices. They missed the mark on the Pontiac G6, but they nailed it with the Cobalt, producing a responsive and linear steering feel that inspires confidence and encourages sporty driving.


The Cobalt's 2.2-liter four-cylinder 16-valve DOHC engine deserves a lot of credit for the car's high fun-per-buck quotient. The engine produces 145 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque, more than the standard engine in the Ford Focus, Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. The engine has a very pleasant exhaust note and plenty of power at all speeds.


A sporty Getrag five-speed transmission is standard equipment, and a crisp-shifting four-speed automatic is optional.


In addition to very precise shifts, the automatic transmission gave me exceptional fuel economy. I got 26.9 m.p.g. in a week of mixed highway and surface street driving in the coupe.


An optional 205-horsepower supercharged 2.0-liter version of the same engine will be available in the Cobalt SS coupe. A very brief drive in the SS showed it to be an extremely enjoyable package. The SS package is available only with a sporty short-throw five-speed manual transmission. SS prices start at $21,430.


The interior is attractive and comfortable, although the coupe has limited rear legroom.


The coupe and sedan I tested both used good-looking materials and had large legible gauges.


However, the headliners of both cars were loosely attached to the roof. The coupe's headliner was actually detached at the front, leaving a space I could fit my hand into between the headliner and the car's roof.


The instrument panel looks good, but there was another loose trim piece in the center stack below the climate controls. Chevrolet says that's because a feature coming soon -- maybe an iPod adapter -- will go in the space behind the panel. That's nice when it happens, but it doesn't excuse poor fit and finish for today's buyers. In addition, a black rectangle stamped into the middle of the loose plastic piece looks like one of those tacky pieces automakers use to remind you that your car could have had more features if you weren't such a cheapskate.


The Cobalt's exterior styling isn't going to set the world on fire, but I found the coupe to be attractive and sporty. The sedan has a restrained and conservative substance to it.


However, the coupe's exterior also had fit problems, most notably the fact that the gaps on either side of its trunk lid were of visibly different sizes. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz made a point of saying that tight and consistent panel gaps were a priority developing the Cobalt, but that memo must not have gotten to whoever inspected the car I drove.


The Cobalt has the makings of a really good little car, but it won't be one until GM gets better at making it.


BEHIND THE WHEEL
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt LS coupe and LT sedan
Front-wheel-drive five-passenger compact coupe and sedan.

Rating: TWO STARS out of four

Reasons to buy: Power, handling, fuel economy, price.

Shortcomings: Fit and finish.

SPECS

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt LS coupe and LT sedan


Vehicle type: Front-wheel-drive five-seat compact coupe and sedan


Base price: LS coupe: $15,920; LT sedan $18,195 (excluding destination charges)


As tested: LS coupe: $18,335; LT sedan $20,760


Standard equipment: LS coupe: antilock brakes; speed-sensitive power steering; 15-inch aluminum wheels; power sideview mirrors, locks and windows; intermittent windshield wipers; air conditioning with filtration system; AM/FM/CD stereo; multi-adjustable front seats; 60/40 split rear seat; tilt steering wheel; cruise control; center console with cupholders and power outlets; floor mats; trunk cargo net; remote trunk release.


LT sedan: antilock brakes; traction control; speed-sensitive power steering; 16-inch aluminum wheels; power sideview mirrors, locks and windows; fog lamps; intermittent wipers; air conditioning with filtration system; multi-adjustable front seats; leather upholstery; seven-speaker Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter; tilt steering wheel; cruise control; floor mats; trunk cargo net; remote trunk release.


Options: LS coupe: Four-speed overdrive transmission; OnStar communication system; curtain air bags; XM satellite radio; Pioneer seven-speaker amplified sound system.


LT sedan: power sunroof with map lights; OnStar communication system; curtain air bags; XM satellite radio; MP3-compatible CD player; rear spoiler.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Specifications as tested


Engine: 2.2-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder


Power: 145 horsepower at 5,600 r.p.m., 155 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 r.p.m.


Transmission: Four-speed automatic


Fuel economy: 24 m.p.g. city/32 m.p.g. highway


Wheelbase: 103.3 inches


Length: 180.5 inches


Width: 67.9 inches


Height: 57.1 inches


Curb weight: LS coupe: 2,824 pounds; LT sedan: 2,989 pounds


Where assembled: Lordstown, Ohio



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comparative base prices
(not including shipping charges)
(with automatic transmission)


Coupes


Ford Focus ZX3 SES $16,730


Honda Civic LX with front side air bags $16,460


Hyundai Tiburon GS $16,899


Scion tC $16,800


Sedans


Honda Civic EX with front side air bags $18,560


Mazda 3s with leather trim $18,105


Toyota Corolla with leather upholstery $16,690


VW Jetta GL $18,555







Contact MARK PHELAN at 313-222-6731 or [email protected].

Copyright © 2005 Detroit Free Press Inc.
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:58 PM
  #113  
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Seems "plainly bad" to me.
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:25 AM
  #114  
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The Cobalt marks the first time in my memory GM put its most talented people behind building a first-rate compact car. From engineers to designers to top executives, lots of people did very good work on the Cobalt.
So for decades GM was putting 2nd rate engineers to design their compact cars?!?!!? That's admitting alot! So GM markets the Cobalt at the expense of GM's past reputation? What the hell??
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:41 AM
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That's a very telling aritcle. I like the Cobalt alot. It's a shame that things such as fit and finish get in the way of the excellent chassis, good handling, and class leading drivetrain.
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:40 PM
  #116  
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Hopefully it's just initial production line glitches. I have a feeling by the end of the year it will be much better - sure sounds like they put some energy into the engineering. Time to get the whip out on the assembly line.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:32 PM
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At least the new Cobalt is one of the safest cars in it's class: http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/0501.htm

Much better then the old Cavalier: http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/95014.htm
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:57 AM
  #118  
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GM Officials 'Surprised' at Cobalt's Low Crash Test Rating

GM Officials 'Surprised' at Cobalt's Low Crash Test Rating - Source: www.business-journal.com

GM Officials 'Surprised' at Cobalt's Low Crash Test Rating
May 24, 2005 10:30 a.m.


DETROIT -- General Motors officials say they're "surprised" by the two-star side impact test rating issued today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The highest possible rating is five stars.

"We are trying to understand the variations between NHTSA's and our laboratories that led to this result," said Bob Lange, executive director of vehicle structure and safety integration. "We believe the overall structure of the Cobalt to be exceptionally good."

The result contrasts an "Acceptable" rating the Cobalt received in side-impact testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earlier this year, Lange noted, adding that the Cobalt was one of only two compact cars of 16 tested to receive the institute's second-highest rating. The IIHS conducted tests with and without optional side curtain airbags.

The Cobalt received the IIHS "Best Pick" designation following frontal offset barrier testing and received four stars for the driver and five stars for the passenger in the NCAP frontal crash tests, Lange added. The Cobalt also received four of five stars in the dynamic rollover test that NHTSA conducts.

The Suzuki Verona received the lowest rating in the NHTSA's driver-side frontal crash tests among passenger cars for the 2005 model year. Other GM vehicles -- the four-door versions of the Buick LaCrosse and the Saturn Ion -- got three out of five stars. The Mitsubishi Galant, Toyota Avalon and Volvo V70, all equipped with side air bags, received top scores for all seating positions.

NHTSA conducts the front-impact test at 35 mph. The Verona was the only vehicle tested to receive three stars in the frontal test, which estimates a 21% to 35% chance of serious injury.
Looks like GM's Cobalt isn't that brilliant after all.

What I find worst is, they wonder why. Don't they have enough indication with their competition? Do they actually study their competition's cars?
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Old 05-28-2005, 10:13 AM
  #119  
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GM doesn't need to study their competition. They're doing great.
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Old 05-28-2005, 11:16 AM
  #120  
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Anyone else impressed by the Cobalt SS ? I saw one when passing the chevy dealer and sadly i liked the way it looked. Supercharger too... not too shabby!

But i guess those kids buying them wont live with a poor crash test rating.
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