Seemed like a great car at first for the price but all went downhill as soon as I paid for it. The driver side door handle broke the first day, soon after the inside one. A month later a hole in the flex pipe came up making the car extremely loud. Mechanic shop said the part was $1,000. Yeah. With that came a ton of other problems to come up. I wish I wouldn't looked around a little more instead of falling for the sporty body style and if you have kids in car seats its a nightmare.
I want to start this review by saying I absolutely love my Cobalt. Starting with the good, the car is quick for a 4 cylinder, rides smooth, has a great stock stereo system, easy and cheap to maintain, comfortable, and very reliable. It has never left me stranded. With all of that being said, I absolutely hate how cheaply everything was built. Everything that shouldn't move moves. The dome light lens rattles, the window cranks rattle with the radio on, the dash pieces move, and worst of all is the steering column. Everyone I've talked to has the same issue. It rattles between 55 and 75 mph and over bumps at low speeds; you replace the steering column, and it'll wear out again.
I bought this car new in January 2007. I liked it a lot, especially when gas was $5 a gallon in 2008 and within a week all the dealer lots were full of huge SUV's and no compacts were to be seen. Now it has 63000 miles on it and it's needed some work, especially the front-end (most of which is discussed in the "improvements" section). It was a very sensible car, and still is...but if you're not a DIY'ing shade-tree mechanic you'll be very disappointed with the early repair costs.
The gas mileage, especially on the highway.
When new it got 44mpg, but even at 63000+ it gets 42 or so when few electronics are on (I think the alternator shuts off to save on gas).
On local roads it get 35mpg so not bad.
It has a very quiet interior and a very good stereo, even in the LS.
It looks like an expensive and stylish car, but was extremely affordable.
After incentives and extended warranty I paid roughly $13,000.
At that price It also came with a spoiler, side airbags and anti-lock brakes.
Buying the stick is what increased mileage the most, plus it took $1000 off the list price.
Not sure if Chevy rebuilt the entire front-end for their newer Cruze, but nearly all my Cobalt's front parts have trouble.
The only good parts are the knuckle, wheel bearings, axle and control arm.
A lot of Cobalt owners complain about warped front rotors causing a "pulsing" downhill.
There's also a "clunk" that happens when the stabilizer bar hits the firewall (partly because of the warped rotors).
Everything from loose links to loose bar-bushings have been discussed as the culprit.
The struts and rear shocks leaked at 40k, but that's understandable and IMO is considered routine maintenance.
The steering is also extremely loose and caused the car to wobble at highway speeds.
I bought my Cobalt as a GM Certified Pre-Owned in early 2011. It was 3 years old and had 1 owner, 32,000 miles on it. It was a good deal... or so I thought. Not including the 2 re-call repairs I have had this car in the shop so many times that a $8,500 steal became a $13,500 robbery. This does not include the minor things I have not fixed: the cheap plastic interior parts are all broken/ breaking, the speakers blown out when I only listen to easy listening at reasonable volumes, etc. The headlamps, turn signals, fuses all need to be replaced at regular intervals (every 3 months!). I do regular maintenance and keep it up too, but it still breaks. Cutting my losses now and leasing a Honda.
The ride used to be really quiet ride and great A/C.
I would scrap the Cobalt and start fresh-- oh, wait the Chevy Cruze. Alright, I still wouldn't touch it and would go for another manufacturer.
P.S. - When I filed a complaint, GM just signed me up for advertising spam.
Bought this car brand new in 2007. Since then there have been no major repairs required. No check engine lights nothing. Still on the factory break pads and they're still fine! Factory battery lasted five years before we replaced it to be safe. And, after being in a front end collision, the body is durable and the car is safe. I do have a minor electrical problem with the radio but it's nothing worth writing home about. Paid $18k out the door for it (warrantied to the ceiling) and haven't looked back! Great car, sad they replaced it with the Cruize.
Handling, Gas mileage, durability, low maintenance costs!
Interior could be better designed, Radio could be better.