2006 Cobalt New Car Test Drive
With its expressive styling and general all-around competence, the Chevrolet Cobalt competes effectively against the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Focus, an impressive achievement, considering how long the competition has dominated this game.
The Cobalt is the quietest, most refined small car GM has ever built. It's based on a strong, stiff platform, a key element for crisp handling and as smooth ride. The SS models use this to maximum advantage resulting in a dynamic driving experience. If you're looking for inexpensive, high-value transportation with a new-car warranty, the Cobalt is worth a look.
Premium features are available like heated leather seats, XM Satellite Radio, MP3, and OnStar.
Driving the supercharged SS model is an absolute hoot. Quick, responsive handling and brisk acceleration performance along with a sporty sounding exhaust note make the supercharged coupe entertaining to drive, a sport compact that can more than hold its own in the class.
New for 2006 are SS sedan and coupe models with normally aspirated engines. These new SS models fit between the LT and SS Supercharged models. Their price, power and performance and body work are all toned down from the SS Supercharged coupe, but they're sporty cars and possibly the best choice in the lineup, boasting 171-horsepower engines and sports suspensions.
The 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt is available in an array of distinctive trim levels in two body styles: two-door coupe and four-door sedan. Three different engines are available with suspensions tuned to match.
The LS, LT, and LTZ models are powered by a 145-horsepower 2.2-liter engine and use the FE1 suspension.
The LS ($13,900) sedan and coupe come standard with air conditioning, automatic headlights, electric rear defogger, tilt steering column, CD player, and a driver information center. They have wind-up windows, manually operated mirrors, and cloth upholstery with height-adjustable front seats and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat. LS models have a body-color grille and door handles and come with front disc/rear drum brakes and 15-inch wheels and tires. LS comes standard with a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic ($850).
The LT ($16,200) sedan and coupe get power windows and door locks, anti-lock brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels. LT comes standard with a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. The LTZ sedan ($18,400) is a premium model that comes standard with the automatic, upgraded audio and premium trim.
SS ($18,200) coupe and sedan get a 171-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, the FE3 sports suspension, 17-inch wheels and high performance tires. It also gets upgraded cloth, special body-color trim and other upgrades. SS models are available with the five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.
SS Supercharged coupe ($21,400) features a 205-horsepower 2.0-liter engine, the high-performance FE5 suspension, and 18-inch wheels with high-performance tires.
Options include power sunroof ($725); OnStar ($695); XM Satellite Radio ($325), a rear spoiler ($275), a radio upgrade to MP3 ($150). The Sport package ($595) includes a brushed metal trim package for the dashboard, white-faced gauges, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, rear spoiler and 16-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli tires.
Safety features include dual-stage front air bags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, rear center shoulder belts, and the LATCH child seat retention system. All but the LS models come standard with anti-lock brakes (ABS). Head curtain side air bags ($395) designed to provide head protection are optional. OnStar's operators can provide assistance after an accident and will direct emergency crews to your exact location should your airbag go off.
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