2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe

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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 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 171 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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.

Introduction

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.

Safety

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.




It's an okay car.

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

This car was my first car. It was a really beautiful gift! However, I got the car in early May and I live in Texas and my A/C never really worked (And my signal had issues). Roughly two weeks after getting the car the Power Steering went out on me. Then I get the car back and it's been okay. The air still does not work and I haven't had the car for two months yet. I'm already trading it in because the dealers sold me a car that had problems that they weren't willing to fix in the first place because it would cause the price to jack up and then it would be nearly impossible to sell. Overall, I loved driving that car and it got me to and from, but it was pretty small, being that it is a coupe.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car

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

Bought my car early spring of 2011 with 101K miles on it. So far I have replaced the front brakes and rotors and the business I bought it off of put a bran new clutch in it. I have put 20K on it myself this past year. Reliability is great and mileage is great with a nice get-up-and-go. Currently in colder weather at 32.5MPG and got 35.5MPG during this past summer. The only issues with the car so far being the sunroof track broke and that the stereo display is dying (got a kenwood double-din to pop in it). The buttons for the display also are kinda cheap and you have to press it just right to make it change.




Great car

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

I bought my Cobalt used in May 2011, it had 58k miles on it. Ive put around 13k miles on it since then. It is a great little car, very quick and it handles very well. The only issues I have had with the car were with the windscreen (the previous owner damaged it and i didn't catch it until it was to late) and a slow leak in one of my tires. But neither of those issues fall on Chevy's shoulders. I highly recommend this car to anyone who has their eyes set on a used small car, it has the potential to offer much more excitement than any import car can offer for the same price.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2006 cobalt lt coupe

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

Good small car. Excellent value. Sticker price was $17,000. I bought this car because the price of the imports was $3000-$5000 more for a comparable Honda Civic. Don't always believe what the magazines and web sites tell you about any cars!!! I test drove a Civic and it was a dog in performance and handling as compared to the Cobalt. The exterior styling on the Cobalt was so much better, I could not believe people were paying that much for a Civic. After 60,000 miles, the only problems have been: 1. Key sticking-warranty. 2. Power steering pump recall - warranty. 3. Front wheel bearing noise-out of warranty. This car is fun to drive - not like our Honda Crv which is a chore to drive.




You get what you pay

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

I have had my Cobalt for 5 years now, and I have put about 70,000 miles on it. Around 45,000, the brakes began failing. Around 60,000, the transmission began failing. Just recently, it has begun violently shaking whenever I brake or accelerate. The car has served me well, and I haven't had to replace anything yet. Once the transmission fails, though, the car is totalled. I have manual locks and windows, so I have not had any problems with the doors locking me in or out. This is a good car for first-time drivers, but if you want a long-lasting car, I would avoid the Cobalt.



Talk About The 2006 Cobalt

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Discussions See all Started By

sr56us
sr56us
12-17-2014
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...


06cobaltls
06cobaltls
04-07-2014
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...


chiheni
chiheni
07-04-2014
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...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 31
  • highway
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