2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong acceleration with any drivetrain, smooth and quiet ride, solid brakes, good crash test scores.
  • Cheap interior plastics, cramped backseat, dire lack of interior storage, dull handling, mediocre fit and finish.
Other years
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List Price Range
$2,488 - $7,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt is a big improvement over its Cavalier predecessor, but it's still well behind the class leaders in handling dynamics, interior design, seat comfort and materials quality.

Vehicle overview

Chevy is pinning its hopes on the new Cobalt to win back small-car buyers accustomed to the first-class accommodations and driving dynamics of cars like the Civic and Mazda 3. Unfortunately, we don't think the Cobalt is quite ready to make a run at the leadership in the economy car segment.

Based on the platform used for the Saturn Ion, the Chevrolet 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 much improved over the Cavalier, but compared to most competitors, the plastics are cheap, the seats are flat and unsupportive, and there's almost no interior storage.

The Chevy Cobalt is available as a coupe or sedan, with a sporty SS Supercharged 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, while a midgrade SS coupe and sedan feature a peppy 171-hp version. 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." And crash protection is very good in front- and side impacts.

Unfortunately, the car's handling characteristics are nothing special. Body roll is excessive around turns, and the electric power steering is slow with little feedback. The SS models feel tighter in the turns but still don't measure up to cars like the Acura RSX and Mazda 3. If all you want is an inexpensive car that's quick on its feet and quiet on the highway, the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt might satisfy you. But if you're looking for a budget sedan or coupe with a complete package of amenities and sharp handling, you'll want to check out the competition first.

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt models

The Chevrolet Cobalt is available as a two-door coupe or four-door sedan. Coupes come in LS, LT, SS and SS Supercharged trim, while sedans come in LS, LT, LTZ and SS versions. LS models feature a standard CD player, air conditioning, a driver-seat height adjuster, a split-folding rear seat and 15-inch wheels. The LT adds cruise control; power windows, locks and mirrors; keyless entry; upgraded seats; alloy wheels; upgraded interior lighting; and antilock brakes. The LTZ sedan comes with leather seats, a seven-speaker Pioneer sound system, chrome trim and 16-inch alloys. The new-for-'06 SS adds a more powerful engine, sport-tuned suspension, unique fascias, 17-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. The SS Supercharged coupe features a supercharged motor, an even firmer suspension, leather seats with color-keyed inserts, a boost gauge and 18-inch alloys.

2006 Highlights

A year after its debut, the Chevy Cobalt features an expanded lineup for 2006. Most significant is the addition of a new 171-horsepower SS trim level, which is available on the Cobalt coupe and sedan. Because this would cause confusion with last year's 205-hp supercharged SS coupe, that trim level is now called SS Supercharged. The remaining trim levels are also renamed: the Base trim is now the LS, the former LS is now the LT, and the previous LT sedan is now the LTZ.

Performance & mpg

A 2.2-liter four-cylinder powers LS, LT and LTZ models. With 145 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque, the engine makes the Chevrolet Cobalt one of the faster econoboxes out there. The SS features an even more potent 2.4-liter version with 171 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. The SS Supercharged coupe features a supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 205 hp, 200 lb-ft of torque and a 7-second 0-60 time. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual with a four-speed automatic available as an option. The automatic is standard on the LTZ, and not available on the SS Supercharged.

Safety

Antilock brakes are optional on LS models, and standard on all other Cobalt models. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional across the board. Each seating position has a three-point seatbelt, and all but LS models can be equipped with OnStar telematics. The 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the few economy cars to earn an "Acceptable" rating from the IIHS for side-impact protection. The IIHS also named it a "Best Pick" for its frontal-offset crash performance, while the NHTSA gave it four stars for the driver and five for the passenger in frontal-impact tests.

Driving

Choose any of the engines on the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt and you'll have ample power for just about any situation. Commuters will enjoy the 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 with minimal feedback. The SS models offer tighter handling through the turns but still fall short of the class leaders in terms of refinement.

Interior

Inside, the Chevy Cobalt features attractive gauges and a full-featured stereo head unit give the Cobalt a modern feel. Still, the design is plain, unless you upgrade to the LTZ and its leather seats and wood grain trim, or one of the SS models, which have faux aluminum trim. Seat comfort is unimpressive, particularly in back where the bench is flat and low.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I'm calling out the reviewer who reviewed this car originally
stig_wanna_be,07/13/2013
LTZ 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A)
So, on that bomb shell, lets begin. The car has been awesome, I have had it for a year and put on 20,000km. The car has gobbles up twisty mountain roads with ease and inspires confidence. I think the car edmunds acquired had the cheapest tires around or are trying to get you to buy a civic. Sure I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for the plastics on the interior and the back seat but we are talking about an economy car, not a $100 million dollar machine. As per the dire lack of interior storage, this has adequate storage for the commute unless you have to store a body with you on your commute, but then again you would be using the massive trunk for that.
LS 2.2L 5 speed manual 2006 cobalt
bbwlover,02/21/2013
LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car from an awesome man named Vince from car City on E. 14th street Des Moines, Iowa around April of 2012. I was originally looking for a ford focus with a 5 speed manual transmission but saw the color on this (pepsi blue) and caught my eye. Only had one problem with this car: air conditioner pulley lost some mounting screws and a belt popped off. Losing a screw is probably due to my moderate off roading at Jester Park and a belt popping off just happens sometimes but in this case was caused by the AC pulley shifting in position due to lack of mounting hardware. Just bad luck, really. I love it though. no features like power windows/ locks, mirrors, and is a 5 speed. I love it!
Great Car
blizbiggy,04/25/2012
LT 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
Bought my car early spring of 2011 with 101K miles on it. So far I have replaced the front brakes and rotors and the business I bought it off of put a bran new clutch in it. I have put 20K on it myself this past year. Reliability is great and mileage is great with a nice get-up-and-go. Currently in colder weather at 32.5MPG and got 35.5MPG during this past summer. The only issues with the car so far being the sunroof track broke and that the stereo display is dying (got a kenwood double-din to pop in it). The buttons for the display also are kinda cheap and you have to press it just right to make it change.
2006 Cobalt LT, A Very Nice Car.
isaiahtimothy,03/08/2014
LT 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
This car is my first, so it's an excellent first car! I bought it off my grandma, so it had only 55,000 miles despite being seven years old. I really love this car, and I have little to complain about. The car overall is built really nicely, I love the looks of it, way better looking than the comparable Ford Focus, which is complete junk. The interior is very nicely designed, has nice finishes, although I don't very much like the cloth seats, although I don't like cloth in any car. The only other thing I have to complain about is a few rattles in the dash, and occasionally the sunroof. This car will be with me for many more miles, and i'll keep it as a commuter.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt

Used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Overview

The Used 2006 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), LS 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), LT 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), LT 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), SS 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 5M), LTZ 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 4A), SS Supercharged 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl S/C 5M), and SS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS is priced between $1,388 and$4,250 with odometer readings between 114215 and140000 miles.
  • The Used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS is priced between $7,995 and$7,995 with odometer readings between 51295 and51295 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalts are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2006 Cobalts listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $1,388 and mileage as low as 51295 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.

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Find a used Chevrolet Cobalt for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,840.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $11,241.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Cobalt for sale - 11 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $24,092.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $9,764.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 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.

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