We sure hope Bob Lutz doesn't write a rant about our test in the Chevy Cobalt. We know we're not the Wall Street Journal or anything, but we like to think we have some weight in readers' minds when we review a car. Whether that's true or not is a completely separate matter. There was just one drawback we could find with the Cobalt that was sufficient enough to prevent people from actually plunking down cash to buy one.
That drawback is simply the amount of cash you?d have to plunk down to buy one. In all respects, the Cobalt is a fine little economy car. It doesn?t outdo any of the competition, but it sure doesn?t fall flat either. By holding its own in the categories that count ? handling, acceleration, steering, fun to drive factor ? the Cobalt wins us over. The cramped cabin got us off on the wrong foot and would lead me personally away from the car, but perhaps perception differs among buyers.
Space will also be a huge factor for those who have extra passengers as the rear legroom is very limiting as shown in the image here. I wouldn?t recommend a rear ride-along for more than a short drive.
Positives were definitely the overall fit and finish, superior stereo and performance. The 24/32 mpg figure is also nothing to sneeze at. The price of the LT without Onstar and XM still pushes close to $20,000 and that just doesn?t compete with everything else out there. I know everyone hates it when I say this, but the Mazda 3 still offers the best value and performance for the money and is considerably more stylish. The Corolla and Civic are more affordable. If the Cobalt could be had for the price of the Corolla, you?d still be facing the quality issues of GM versus Toyota. This is such a tough segment to be in that the Cobalt had to totally blow us away. Instead it shot itself in the foot from the first glance of the sticker.