2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Sedan

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Chevrolet Cobalt Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 260 hp @ 5300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • 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 (50 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Cobalt 2008

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

Bought an '08 Lt Sedan (4a) in Sept 2011 with 58000 km's on it, like brand new, and fully equipped! Almost two years and 40000 km later I'm still impressed with my Cobalt. The 2.2l engine is very quiet, yet performs flawlessly. I avg around 600km per tank, barely any road noise, sound system is good. Reliable on the highway and good performance during Canadian Winters. The interior is plain, nothing fancy. The ''info'' center is great as you can scroll though Oil Life, Gas Mileage, Outdoor temp. etc... all in all, a great car if your looking for something non-fancy but will get you from A-B.




Dont buy one!

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

I bought my cobalt used about nine months ago. So far, two of the tires have blown up while driving, the brakes are already bad, two speakers have blown out, the whole computer system is shot, all the tire moniters have gone bad, my flex pipe coming from the manifold is bad(costing $925.53 just for the replacement part), all the locks in the car have stopped working, one headlight has cracked and water is all inside of it, and last but not least, the exaust system has gone bad and needs to be replaced. Half of the time my car locks up when you try to cut it on, and the key gets stuck in the ignition. There was already a recall for the power steering, but that is currently not even a problem.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

My colbalt

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

Fun car. But my heated seats went out at 63,000 miles? When i brake hard going down the mountain it feels like its going to fall apart in the front. my Passenger side door lock doesn't work. The chrome is peeling of the interior door latch. Should of got a Kia. If u r going to buy this car keep looking. And if you got to have it test drive the hell out of it. Cause it sounds like some are good and some are not so good. oh and my cruise control works when it wants and my RF tire sensor goes in and out. and other weird problems with my electrical.




Miss my kobe

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

Bought an '08 Cobalt (2.2, 4A) in Sept. '09 as my first car (40k miles). LT package and badging, but much nicer than what the LT lists. I got heated leather seats, premium sound, sunroof, spoiler, foglamps, the whole deal. Put 12k-ish miles on it before it got totaled by a hit-and-run while parked in front of my house (got 11,400 for it and put that down on an '08 Malibu LTZ). The brakes were starting to go at 50k (vibration under hard braking from highway speed), but it got wrecked before I had to have them done. I didn't think anything bad of the interior (nothing to compare it to), but it was a solid car and got me where I needed to go while still having fun. Not flashy, but reliable.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

If you are considering buying

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

Complete waste of money.So bad I probably won't buy a chevy EVER again. I bought my 08 cobalt at the end of 08, it had 29000 miles on it, bought it for $9300..the carfax said it was in the shop for minor electrical problems, and I had just figured they were all gone because it got fixed. WRONG. About 2 months after owning this car, my power steering went out. Next, my ignition and gear shifter. Then one day when I was driving the locks started locking and unlocking very fast and since then all the buttons including for the windows quit working. Not to mention I have ONE speaker out of 6 that works now. Theres just too much to type. Battery dies for NO reason..All electrical problems.



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Awesome when it starts

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

My 2008 cobalt sport sedan looks great...I get 37 to 52 mpg inst...this car has a ignition problem that GM ignores. Summer days are worse for this car, you can turn the key constantly, over an over or leave it until the steering column cools off, then it will start...thus, this is not a family car. Its only for going staight to work and back. Do not buy a cobalt. Auto trans.



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

Read more about the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs