Used 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt
Used 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Positioned several steps upmarket from its Cavalier predecessor, the new Cobalt rides, handles and looks like a more expensive car than it really is.
Chevrolet is no stranger to the small-car game. In 1981, the GM division unveiled its answer to the growing number of imports hitting the scene, the Cavalier. The philosophy behind the car was simple: Give customers with limited budgets a well-appointed, reliable car that offers a variety of configurations to suit their needs. Unfortunately, Chevrolet pushed the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" idea a bit too far with the Cavalier. Its first major redesign didn't occur until 1995, a whopping 12 years into its life cycle. By the time the car saw some major revisions, the competition had already outclassed it on nearly every level. The 1995 model, though attractively styled, was still saddled with an ancient platform, and suffered from poor chassis dynamics, crash test scores and an overall lack of refinement. Undaunted, Chevy stuck with the Cavy for another decade. Styling tweaks through the years did little to keep the car fresh, but buyers kept coming back as Chevrolet offered generous rebates and incentives. Recent years have been progressively more difficult for Chevy's small car, as larger and larger rebates have been required to maintain sales volume. Clearly, a major change was needed. The answer was a completely new car -- so new that a name change was in order. Chevy is pinning its hopes on the new Cobalt to win back small-car buyers who demand first-rate accommodations. Rather than stick to one small car to fill a wide array of shoes, Chevy decided to split the market between the Aveo, which serves buyers with a more limited budget, and the new Cobalt, which is positioned as a more upmarket choice. Based on the Delta architecture used for the Saturn Ion, the 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 all light-years ahead of the Cavalier. Reflective of the more upscale positioning, the Cobalt comes loaded with equipment. All but the base models feature keyless entry, antilock brakes and power windows. Coupe and sedan body styles are available, with a sporty SS 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 carried over from the Cavalier. 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." Chevy is taking a bit of a risk in aiming the Cobalt at higher-end small cars, but after driving the Cobalt, we think it will succeed. The car is well equipped, competitively priced and, most importantly, very well engineered. Ride and handling is right up there with the class standards, and overall build quality is impressive. The new Cobalt may not have what it takes to overthrow the best-in-class economy sedans and coupes, but it is much closer than any Chevrolet small car has ever been.
Trim levels & features
The Cobalt is available as a two-door coupe or four-door sedan. Coupes come in base, LS and SS trim, while sedans come in base, LS and LT versions. Base models feature a standard CD player, air conditioning, a driver-seat height adjuster, a split-folding rear seat and 15-inch wheels. The LS adds cruise control; power windows, locks and mirrors; keyless entry; upgraded seats; alloy wheels; upgraded interior lighting; and antilock brakes. The LT sedan comes loaded with leather seats, a seven-speaker Pioneer sound system, unique interior and exterior chrome trim and 16-inch alloys. The SS coupe features leather seats with color-keyed perforated inserts, unique trim, performance suspension, an A-pillar mounted boost gauge and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Performance & mpg
A 2.2-liter Ecotec four-cylinder powers all Cobalts, except the SS. With 145 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, the engine compares favorably with most others in the class. It's made entirely of aluminum and boasts dual-overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder for maximum efficiency and power. The SS coupe features a 2.0-liter supercharged Ecotec that's good for 205 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual with a four-speed automatic available as an option. The automatic is standard on the LT, and not available on the SS.
Antilock brakes are optional on base models, and standard on all other Cobalts. Head-protecting side curtain airbags are optional across the board. Each seating position has a three-point seatbelt standard, and all but base models can be equipped with OnStar telematics. The Cobalt has not yet been crash tested.
The Ecotec four-cylinder is a thoroughly modern and refined engine that provides good power and a smooth delivery. Handling is quite good for a car in this class, with reasonably good manners in corners and a compliant ride around town. In addition to a broad power band, the SS delivers better steering feel and handling response without a noticeable loss of ride quality.
The Cobalt features a modern and stylish interior. Materials quality is competitive with that of other economy cars, and everything is screwed together with care. Chevy's efforts to provide a solid and quiet ride have paid off -- the Cobalt feels more substantial than typical small cars. Though a few plastic bits here and there are of questionable quality, the overall impression is one of a premium compact car.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
More About This Model
With the new 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged, Chevy has created something truly unique: The sport compact muscle car. By size and specification it's a sport compact, but by temperament and ability it's a good old American muscle car.
The Chevy Cobalt replaces the archaic Chevrolet Cavalier and it's on the same "Delta" front-wheel-drive platform as the Saturn Ion. Chevy, however, uses steel body panels and gives the Cobalt coupe just two doors instead of the Ion Quad Coupe's four. Also like the Saturn Ion, all Cobalts have a MacPherson strut front suspension, a semi-independent torsion beam in the rear and electrically assisted rack and pinion steering.
Although the Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged shares these basic elements, it's powered by a 205-horsepower, supercharged 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder and uses the same five-speed manual as a Saab 9-3. Ordinary Chevy Cobalt coupes and sedans are powered by a normally aspirated 145-hp, 2.2-liter Ecotec backed by a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. And to make things even more confusing, a non-supercharged Cobalt SS model with a normally aspirated 2.4-liter Ecotec will debut in mid-2005 as a 2006 model. It will be available as a coupe or sedan.
Cobalt SS Supercharged models also get four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, an interior with standard leather upholstery and phony metal trim instead of phony wood, a mild body kit, an oversize rear wing and cool-looking 18-inch wheels wrapped in P215/45R18 Pirelli PZero tires. The only significant option is a performance package bundling an effective limited-slip differential with truly great Recaro front seats. Don't buy a Chevy Cobalt SS without them.
Sizewise the Cobalt SS Supercharged, which is only available as a coupe, is barely small. It's 5.1 inches longer and 1.3 inches wider than a Honda Civic Coupe. However, the Cobalt's 103.3-inch wheelbase is just 0.2 inch longer than the Civic's.
At nearly 3,000 pounds the Chevrolet Cobalt SS isn't light either, and it feels heavy on the road. Plus its acceleration is tempered by those big, heavy (25 pounds each) wheels. Chevy says it will trail the Saturn Ion Red Line, which is powered by the same supercharged engine, in the quarter-mile by two-tenths of a second.
To put the muscle car thing in perspective, however, consider that the Cobalt SS Supercharged weighs less than a five-speed 1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z, and almost matches the output of the Camaro's 5.0-liter V8. Fact is the Cobalt SS is likely quicker than the IROC, although it'll get spanked by a 230-hp, turbocharged Dodge Neon SRT-4 which costs about the same.
The supercharged Cobalt SS also drives much like that old Camaro, and we mean that as a compliment, mostly. It tracks beautifully, pulls hard through corners and its electric steering has a heavy, numb feel reminiscent of the third-generation F-body. That kind of steering worked in heavy muscle cars cranking Huey Lewis and the News, but the 2005 tuner market wants, and expects, improved feel and feedback.
With its excellent torque down low (its peak is 200 pound-feet at 4,400 rpm), the supercharged Ecotec even feels like a small V8, pulling with authority. It would be nice if it sounded like a V8, but supercharger blower whine has an appeal of its own.
We're also fond of the Cobalt SS' stiff structure, and its firmly tuned suspension that produces a tight ride and flat cornering. On some California mountain roads the Chevy Cobalt SS proved to be an entertaining drive, but there's a bit too much understeer dialed into the chassis. This is partly due to its beam rear suspension, but it's really a balance issue. One look under the hood and you can see how the engine actually sits in front of the axle line, putting too much weight too far forward.
Inside, the Chevy Cobalt SS is straightforward and attractive, but it still suffers from quality lapses in part fitment and plastic casting flash. The dials are easy to read, the AutoMeter supercharger boost gauge is a neat touch and the steering wheel and shift knob are encased in leather. Carrying on the Chevy Camaro tradition, the rear seat is tight.
If Chevy is going to build a mini-muscle machine, it ought to embrace the concept more completely: Drop the vision-blocking rear spoiler in favor of a classic Camaro ducktail and throw on some rally stripes. The $21,995 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged may use parts from around the world but its feel is as American as the Super Bowl. And that is something unique.
Used 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Overview
The Used 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt is offered in the following submodels: Cobalt Sedan, Cobalt Coupe, Cobalt SS Supercharged. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), LT 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A), LS 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), and SS Supercharged 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl S/C 5M).
What's a good price on a Used 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt?
Price comparisons for Used 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt trim styles:
- The Used 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt LS is priced between $2,400 and$2,999 with odometer readings between 88661 and114236 miles.
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Which used 2005 Chevrolet Cobalts are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.