2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Cobalt Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.2 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 145 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt

  • The 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt is a big improvement over its Cavalier predecessor, but it's still well behind the class leaders in handling dynamics, interior design, seat comfort and materials quality.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong acceleration with any drivetrain, smooth and quiet ride, solid brakes, good crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Cheap interior plastics, cramped backseat, dire lack of interior storage, dull handling, mediocre fit and finish.

  • What's New for 2006

    A year after its debut, the Chevy Cobalt features an expanded lineup for 2006. Most significant is the addition of a new 171-horsepower SS trim level, which is available on the Cobalt coupe and sedan. Because this would cause confusion with last year's 205-hp supercharged SS coupe, that trim level is now called SS Supercharged. The remaining trim levels are also renamed: the Base trim is now the LS, the former LS is now the LT, and the previous LT sedan is now the LTZ.

Full 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Review

What's New for 2006

A year after its debut, the Chevy Cobalt features an expanded lineup for 2006. Most significant is the addition of a new 171-horsepower SS trim level, which is available on the Cobalt coupe and sedan. Because this would cause confusion with last year's 205-hp supercharged SS coupe, that trim level is now called SS Supercharged. The remaining trim levels are also renamed: the Base trim is now the LS, the former LS is now the LT, and the previous LT sedan is now the LTZ.


Chevy is pinning its hopes on the new Cobalt to win back small-car buyers accustomed to the first-class accommodations and driving dynamics of cars like the Civic and Mazda 3. Unfortunately, we don't think the Cobalt is quite ready to make a run at the leadership in the economy car segment.

Based on the platform used for the Saturn Ion, the Chevrolet Cobalt features a conservative and uncluttered appearance inside and out. Though we're still not sold on the coupe's quad round taillamps, the overall look should offend no one. Inside, materials quality, styling and comfort are much improved over the Cavalier, but compared to most competitors, the plastics are cheap, the seats are flat and unsupportive, and there's almost no interior storage.

The Chevy Cobalt is available as a coupe or sedan, with a sporty SS Supercharged coupe filling the top spot with a 205-horsepower supercharged engine. Other Cobalts come with a solid-performing 145-hp, 2.2-liter four-cylinder, while a midgrade SS coupe and sedan feature a peppy 171-hp version. The vehicle's stiff structure does wonders for noise and vibration control, and makes for a solid-feeling ride regardless of terrain. Even the doors close with a solid "thunk." And crash protection is very good in front- and side impacts.

Unfortunately, the car's handling characteristics are nothing special. Body roll is excessive around turns, and the electric power steering is slow with little feedback. The SS models feel tighter in the turns but still don't measure up to cars like the Acura RSX and Mazda 3. If all you want is an inexpensive car that's quick on its feet and quiet on the highway, the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt might satisfy you. But if you're looking for a budget sedan or coupe with a complete package of amenities and sharp handling, you'll want to check out the competition first.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Chevrolet Cobalt is available as a two-door coupe or four-door sedan. Coupes come in LS, LT, SS and SS Supercharged trim, while sedans come in LS, LT, LTZ and SS versions. LS models feature a standard CD player, air conditioning, a driver-seat height adjuster, a split-folding rear seat and 15-inch wheels. The LT adds cruise control; power windows, locks and mirrors; keyless entry; upgraded seats; alloy wheels; upgraded interior lighting; and antilock brakes. The LTZ sedan comes with leather seats, a seven-speaker Pioneer sound system, chrome trim and 16-inch alloys. The new-for-'06 SS adds a more powerful engine, sport-tuned suspension, unique fascias, 17-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. The SS Supercharged coupe features a supercharged motor, an even firmer suspension, leather seats with color-keyed inserts, a boost gauge and 18-inch alloys.

Powertrains and Performance

A 2.2-liter four-cylinder powers LS, LT and LTZ models. With 145 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque, the engine makes the Chevrolet Cobalt one of the faster econoboxes out there. The SS features an even more potent 2.4-liter version with 171 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. The SS Supercharged coupe features a supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 205 hp, 200 lb-ft of torque and a 7-second 0-60 time. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual with a four-speed automatic available as an option. The automatic is standard on the LTZ, and not available on the SS Supercharged.


Antilock brakes are optional on LS models, and standard on all other Cobalt models. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional across the board. Each seating position has a three-point seatbelt, and all but LS models can be equipped with OnStar telematics. The 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the few economy cars to earn an "Acceptable" rating from the IIHS for side-impact protection. The IIHS also named it a "Best Pick" for its frontal-offset crash performance, while the NHTSA gave it four stars for the driver and five for the passenger in frontal-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Chevy Cobalt features attractive gauges and a full-featured stereo head unit give the Cobalt a modern feel. Still, the design is plain, unless you upgrade to the LTZ and its leather seats and wood grain trim, or one of the SS models, which have faux aluminum trim. Seat comfort is unimpressive, particularly in back where the bench is flat and low.

Driving Impressions

Choose any of the engines on the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt and you'll have ample power for just about any situation. Commuters will enjoy the Cobalt's smooth, quiet ride, but the car's handling is less impressive. The suspension allows too much body roll, and the electric steering is slow with minimal feedback. The SS models offer tighter handling through the turns but still fall short of the class leaders in terms of refinement.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bad experience

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LT 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I purchase my Cobalt in 2006 brand new, I had problems every since, my power steering went out, and my ignition key would not release unless I stuck my finger in the whole the dealer made available for me to release my key from the ignition.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

2006 cobalt lt, a very

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LT 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

This car is my first, so it's an excellent first car! I bought it off my grandma, so it had only 55,000 miles despite being seven years old. I really love this car, and I have little to complain about. The car overall is built really nicely, I love the looks of it, way better looking than the comparable Ford Focus, which is complete junk. The interior is very nicely designed, has nice finishes, although I don't very much like the cloth seats, although I don't like cloth in any car. The only other thing I have to complain about is a few rattles in the dash, and occasionally the sunroof. This car will be with me for many more miles, and i'll keep it as a commuter.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

What happened?

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

Well it's like this..purchased car in 2006 brand new. Had fair credit at the time so being a unknowledgable I went for the high int rate. Had some set backs, but any about the car. Excellent when I first purchased. Didn't start having major problems until 110,000 miles. Took it to the dealership and sears only to be serviced. I had a transmission flush at 75,000 miles, a fuel thing for the recall, a steering issue for the recall, belt replaced, 3 rotors changed. And a long list of other things done as time went own. Now have 174,500 miles and the engine didn't pass the compression check and now they say I need a new engine at the dealership and it cost 3,100 dollars. I still owe. :(

Very fun car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl S/C 5M)

honestly i just got my 06 cobalt ss in march and so far no problems. its my first newer car and i fell in love with it the first day i picked it up. a very good car for people to learn stick on. i had no trouble at all. many people may not believe it but this car does have some power behind it, it is a fast little car. it is definitely a head turner. i had looked at many other cars before i came across this one and im very glad that i did end up with it. no regrets at all. very good car

My first car

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my cobalt new and i now have 145,783 miles on it and it has never once let me down and stranded on the road. Not even so much as a dead battery, and yeah the battery i have in it is the one from the factory! The only work ive had done to it is ive had the electric power steering replaced from the recall as it just randomly stopped working while i was driving. But besides regular oil changes and maintence such as alignments and such ive never had one thing wrong and would reccomend it to anyone! And Ive worked at various car lots so Ive driven just about every car and id still reccomend this car over any other comperable car foreign or domestic. This has made me a chevy guy for life!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

I'm calling out the reviewer

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LTZ 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A)

So, on that bomb shell, lets begin. The car has been awesome, I have had it for a year and put on 20,000km. The car has gobbles up twisty mountain roads with ease and inspires confidence. I think the car edmunds acquired had the cheapest tires around or are trying to get you to buy a civic. Sure I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for the plastics on the interior and the back seat but we are talking about an economy car, not a $100 million dollar machine. As per the dire lack of interior storage, this has adequate storage for the commute unless you have to store a body with you on your commute, but then again you would be using the massive trunk for that.

Talk About The 2006 Cobalt

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Discussions See all Started By

I own a 2006 cobalt that is still having issues with stalling and power steering loss and now my dashboard lights up with car jerking forward like it wants to shift. I had the recall done on ignition...

I have had NUMEROUS problems with my Chevy Cobalt ever since I bought it. My most recent problem is the Engine Power Reduced signal on the dash. It has happened two or three times, and when it does th...

Hello,Chevy owners of the Cobalts,Malibu,Impala etc please help. When the battery of your Chevy completely dies for some reason does the key get stuck in the ignition? The Chevy dealership told me tha...

Read more about the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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