I bought my Cobalt for the rebates, otherwise I'd be driving an import. That said, the Cobalt is a big improvement over the outdated Cavalier. Excellent fuel economy (I've seen 36mpg; and with only 2000mi, it will improve when things loosen up). The metallic orange paint gets attention, and the 2.2L Ecotec is one of GM's best engines ever. However, a good engine and decent styling can't hide all the places GM cheaped out. Such as lock placement that makes them impossible to use while you're seated in the car, or the solid grey interior door panels (it would have been much classier to continue the dash's two tone them into the doors), or the cheap feeling steering wheel and shifter.
Strong engine with a flat powerband (even if it is a little resistant to revving), sporty suspension setup, better than other domestic cars in the class, good basic interior design, excellent fuel economy, good value.
Horrid lock placement (there's a reason other manufacturers place the locks with the door handle), obvious penny-pinching in the details, seats and build quality are no match for my '06 Jetta. GM need's to continue two-tone interior theme around the whole car, not just the dash.
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