2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe

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Chevrolet Cobalt Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.2 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 155 hp @ 6100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/37 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt

  • Aside from the hot SS model, the 2009 Chevy Cobalt is behind the class leaders in terms of handling, seat comfort, build quality and overall refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Respectable fuel economy, smooth ride, quiet cabin, excellent performance in SS trim.

  • Cons

    Cramped backseat, lack of interior storage, dull handling (except for the SS), mediocre fit and finish.

  • What's New for 2009

    Minor styling and trim changes make up the bulk of what's new for the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The turbocharged SS Cobalt coupe debuted last year, and this year sees the addition of an SS sedan. Both models share much of their hardware, though SS coupes receive a new reconfigurable information display. Last year's Sport trim level and its 2.4-liter engine have been dropped, but a Sport Appearance package is newly available on LT trim levels. Luckily, the base 2.2-liter engine is now more powerful and fuel-efficient thanks to variable valve timing. OnStar, Bluetooth and an iPod-compatible USB port are now available on 2009 Cobalt models in LT trim or higher.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (8 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


A great first car, easy

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I got this car back in May as my first car. I had to learn how to drive stick, but this car was easy to learn on. This car is fun and comfortable to drive and, in my opinion, looks much nicer than any other vehicle in this price range. I'm only 5'11" and I hit my head on the ceiling while sitting in the back but who cares, I wont ever have to sit back there, she's mine. The biggest issue I've had so far was with the dashboard, after six weeks it started rattling loudly. My local dealer said the problem was with the original design of the dashboard, which causes it to warp, and they improvised a solution. Of course, the repair was free. A dash-mat will make the interior look much nicer.




Let's do it again

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

Okay, here we are with almost 10K, and with have no complaints. MPG is rising, as expected. Took a day trip two weeks ago, and averaged 38. Got my letter from GM re: steering motor, and so glad they FINALLY claimed it. Also still happy with the dealership. Took the little car in recently for it's third oil change, after having been there a week earlier for a nitrogen refill on the tires. Noticed that somehow, they left grease on the interior, mentioned it, and it was gone when I picked the car back up after the oil change. Little things do matter...




My gas sipping money saver

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I love the gas millage this car gets. I have had it a year and it still gets 37mpg highway and 26-27 city. I do 65mph on the highway, not 55. However, to keep the gas mileage great you must change the oil and filter once every 3,000 miles, not 6,000 miles like the dealership tells you to. THIS IS A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO A HYBRID CAR. I couldn't afford a hybrid so I bought this car and it really does get the gas millage Chevy advertises. Not to mention it's a lot better looking than a Toyoda Prius. The lock cylinder on the car did go at 16,000 miles but my warranty covered that.




New car

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I am getting 35 MPG and the cabin is quite. Best of all, I got it brand new for $10,000.




Love the xfe

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I've had my Yellow XFE coupe for about 4 months and 10,000 miles. I commute about 120 miles per day and average 38.5 and 39.1 MPG...you have to love that! The car is very comfortable and has great pickup when it's time to hit the on ramps. I was about to buy a civic, but saved myself 6 grand and get better mileage. I expect it will be a great car for years.




Happy camper

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I bought new in early '09, had a '01 Malibu w/ over 260k mi. Wanted the XFE, 1LT package. It took a bit to find car. after delivery, I found it comfortable, roomy for that size of car, great mileage, 36 has been my low, 40.9 has been high. I drive 150 a day, commuting to work. gas usage went from 5 gal a day to 3.2. started with Mobil 1 a 5k mi. went 11.2k to second oil change. I drive at 60 - 65mph, keep foot off the floor, expect over 200k and not a lot of cost. good car! also set up car for towing behind motorhome. Great Towed



Full 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Review

What's New for 2009

Minor styling and trim changes make up the bulk of what's new for the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The turbocharged SS Cobalt coupe debuted last year, and this year sees the addition of an SS sedan. Both models share much of their hardware, though SS coupes receive a new reconfigurable information display. Last year's Sport trim level and its 2.4-liter engine have been dropped, but a Sport Appearance package is newly available on LT trim levels. Luckily, the base 2.2-liter engine is now more powerful and fuel-efficient thanks to variable valve timing. OnStar, Bluetooth and an iPod-compatible USB port are now available on 2009 Cobalt models in LT trim or higher.

Introduction

Believe it or not, but the Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the top five best-selling compact cars month to month and occasionally outsells the Ford Focus, one of its main competitors. And with roughly 40 compact cars to choose from for 2009, that means the Cobalt is quite popular, even if names like Civic and Corolla seem to grab more headlines.

Affordability is easily the Cobalt's strongest selling point, as the base model is priced just over $14,000 -- again directly in line with other popular compacts. It also has strong performance potential via the turbocharged SS model, which comes equipped with an impressive 260-horsepower engine. Standard OnStar and an available USB port and Bluetooth further enhance the 2009 Cobalt's appeal. Buyers looking for a quiet commuter car that gets decent fuel economy will want to opt for the XFE package that combines a modified engine computer, manual transmission and low-rolling-resistance tires in an effort to squeeze a few more mpg out of the Cobalt's 2.2-liter engine.

However, competitors like the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 offer similar fuel economy wrapped in a more attractive package. Those cars also have nicer interiors and higher-quality materials throughout. Seat comfort is another area where the 2009 Chevy Cobalt generally falls short, although the SS model's sport seats are first-rate. In fact, the SS is the best car in the Cobalt lineup.

Overall, as big as the sales numbers happen to be (which are certainly padded via sales to rental fleets), the Cobalt LS and LT are simply adequate transportation and are not up to par when compared to cars like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3 and Mitsubishi Lancer. All are better-looking, more fun to drive and offer a noticeable step up in terms of interior comfort and quality.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt is available in compact sedan and coupe body styles, each split into LS, LT and SS trim levels. Standard features on the LS include 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, OnStar, air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, a 60/40-split rear seat, a trip computer and a four-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The LT adds power accessories, remote door locks, upgraded front seats and a front center armrest. On top of that, the LT allows more options like the 2LT Package with an automatic transmission, traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes, remote vehicle starter system, a cargo net, cruise control, body-color side moldings and 16 inch aluminum wheels.

The LT trim level also allows you to order the new Sport Appearance package that includes a rear spoiler, front foglamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, reworked front and rear fascias, Bluetooth, white-faced sport gauges and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with remote audio and cruise controls. Other notable individual options on the LT include a Pioneer sound system, USB port, sunroof and a remote start feature. Finally, the SS adds a turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels, an exclusive sport-tuned suspension, Brembo front brakes, unique exterior and interior styling cues, sport seats covered with a suedelike material, Bluetooth and a turbo boost gauge. A limited-slip front differential is optional for the SS.

Powertrains and Performance

With the demise of the Cobalt Sport, the car now has only two engine options: a 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4. The 2.2-liter engine is normally aspirated and powers LS and LT models with 155 hp and 150 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission for LS and LT models is a five-speed manual, with a four-speed automatic available as an option. The base manual is badged the XFE, which indicates its extra fuel economy. As it is, the XFE gets 25 mpg city/37 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined. The automatic-equipped LS and LT achieve 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined.

The SS features the more potent 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that makes an impressive 260 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is the only transmission offered on the SS. In testing, we launched a Cobalt SS coupe from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Fuel economy doesn't suffer much either, as it rates 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.

Safety

Full-length side curtain airbags are standard on all Cobalts. Most Cobalts have a front-disc/rear-drum brake setup; SS models have performance-tuned four-wheel disc brakes. Antilock braking is optional on the LS and LT and standard on the SS. ABS-equipped models with automatic transmissions come equipped with standard traction control.

In frontal government crash tests, both Cobalt body styles received four out of five stars for driver protection and a perfect five stars for passenger protection. In side impacts, the Cobalt sedan got only three stars for front seat passengers and five stars for the rear. The Cobalt coupe yielded four stars for the front and rear seats. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset crash test, the Cobalt sedan received the highest score of "Good," while in side crash tests, the Cobalt sedan received the second-highest score of "Acceptable." If your local car rental shop has Cobalts to rent, keep in mind that Cobalts sold to fleets might not come standard with side curtain airbags -- without the side airbags, the Cobalt scored the lowest "Poor" rating in the IIHS side test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, attractive gauges and a full-featured stereo head unit give the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt a modern feel. Still, the design is plain unless you upgrade with the Sport Appearance package or the full SS trim. Interior materials quality is also disappointing, even at this modest price level, as is front seat comfort. The same goes for the rear seat where the bench is flat and low. The SS model's front sport seats, though, are so good that they remind us of the Recaro seats in the old SS Supercharged, even though they're made by GM's Performance Division this time around.

Driving Impressions

The 2.2-liter engine provides adequate power for just about any situation and can feel somewhat lively compared to other compact sedans with smaller engines. Commuters will enjoy the 2009 Chevy 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, and doesn't offer a good feel for the road. XFE-badged Cobalts fare even worse with the lack of grip from the low-rolling-resistance tires that significantly lengthen stopping distances and limit cornering ability.

It's only in SS trim that the Cobalt comes into its own as a legitimate driver's car. Acceleration is impressive -- Chevrolet says the SS will sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds -- and braking and handling are top-notch. The Cobalt SS may not be the most refined sport compact on the market, but we can't argue with its performance, which rivals that of pint-sized powerhouses like the Mazdaspeed 3.

Talk About The 2009 Cobalt

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 37
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs