I bought this car with about 54,000 miles on it. It went 20,000 miles before its first oil change (was in college and couldn't afford it) and it is still going strong. I used it as a delivery vehicle, so lots of starts and stops. My brother owns the car now, it has over 201,000 miles on it and still runs great.
Owned this car for 5 years. Replaced the alternator twice, replaced the water pump a month after the first alternator. Had to replace the negative battery cable and the only replacement available was from the dealership for $80. When it came time for the 100,000 mile tune up, I had to have the head repaired because it had warped.
Although it didn't cost much to buy as a used car, it has cost relatively a lot since I bought it. Head gasket $1000, rear shocks $300, alternator $300, not including tires and brakes (normal wear items). Although it looked great when I bought it for my daughter, I wish I'd spent more on a Civic or Corolla and would have ended up with a better car. It has annoying issues like a leaky trunk seal, poor paint on bumpers, slipping door seals, etc. I had not purchased an "American car" in several years - this product reaffirms why.
It handles pretty well, and feels "heavy" or "solid", so seems safer it it were to be in a crash.
Engineering - apply some to almost every feature of this car. The Cobalt that replaces it is better than this, but that's the wrong benchmark to work from. Need to truly target the best in class - Honda and Toyota.
I inherited this car from a friend who had it for less than a year. I intended to sell it right away, but changed my mind after driving it a bit. For the size and class of car, it's definitely one of the most fun ones I've had. And it loos good! Easy to maintain, and reasonable priced, I truly believe I got a sweet deal.
Wow -- I got my money's worth and then some -- paid a shade over $11k (about the same # of miles on it at the time), and proceeded to run this thing into the ground. Just died 2 days ago (head gasket) with a whopping 179,000 miles. I have no complaints about this car. This car took out a deer at 65mph and did not blink (broken headlight, slightly dented hood). was also rear- ended (at speed) on the interstate by an old fella in a Buick. dented my license plate (slightly), while his grille/hood were a complete mess. I dealt with the slight rattles/noises the car developed (plastic covering tach/odometer display had an odd unrepariable squeak) because it never had any mechanical problems.
Was completely reliable. Good mileage, solid build.
Make sure they all turn out like this, if you can. I think this car made a deal with the devil or something. 180K on a domestic car... everyplace I've taken it for routine maintenance has told me this is the only Chevy they've seen take this kind of mileage/wear & tear.