2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Interior
This interior review was written when the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt was new.
The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt's interior just isn't spacious enough and offers inadequate seating comfort, even if the quality of materials is high and cargo space is sufficient, leading to a low interior score for the class. USA Today says the Cobalt is "too small inside, especially in back, even judged by little-car standards."
Even though the Cobalt is a larger car than its Cavalier forerunner, interior space did not increase--a sore spot with reviewers. While the front seat space is adequate enough, the rear seat is a different story. USA Today laments, "That back seat. Mercy. Smaller cars have more room. Cobalt is a few inches longer than a Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla, but has fewer inches of rear legroom and 3 percent to 8 percent less passenger space overall." Cars.com echoes that "Backseat space is awful, with marginal headroom and virtually no legroom unless the front seat is well forward. Getting in and out is a battle." But the has a completely different take on the interior space, commenting that "Headroom and legroom are good throughout considering the compact size of the vehicle. Getting in and out of the back seat was easy, too."
Seating comfort through the cabin is another big point of criticism. "The Cobalt's one glaring fault is the seat comfort (or, more specifically, the lack thereof), a problem which is going to cost Chevy a lot of Cobalt sales," says About.com. Continues USA Today, "Front seats in the sedan feel like sacks of rocks. Amazingly, the rocks are positioned about right, so the seats aren't as uncomfortable as they promise to be. Just hard." But Car and Driver has a somewhat different take: "Certain to run up a big number on the Rockwell hardness scale, the Cobalt's front seats seem unduly firm and unyielding -- at first, anyway -- but then you realize why it's the one common attribute the Cobalt shares with a Porsche. A few hours in the chair, and your back and thighs are fresh, supported in all the important directions by orthopedic good thinking wrapped in premium cloth."
Most reviewers feel the Cobalt, even in its base-model LS trim, boasts an impressive list of standard features. The Chevrolet Cobalt LT's "interior is a cut above the compact-sedan average," says CNET. According to Edmunds, "The [base] LS model is the price leader for both body styles, equipped with a modest amount of standard features." These include air conditioning, a tilt-wheel steering column, side and electric rear-window defoggers, a CD player with four speakers, front cloth bucket seats, and a 60/40 rear-split bench. Other amenities, including power accessories, cruise control, keyless entry, OnStar, XM radio, leather upholstery and an upgraded Pioneer stereo, are featured or available on the higher trims. But buyers take note: The LS comes with manually operated windows. "We don't mind this, but it takes a lot of cranks (about 4 ½) to wind the windows up," says Auto Mall USA.
The next model up, the LT, comes in two different versions that offer different combinations of options and start at ascending base prices. The Sacramento Bee says, "The list of standard features on the Cobalt LT was lengthy and included items I once regarded as costly extras on a value-priced sedan. That included battery rundown protection, power exterior mirrors, fog lamps, leather-appointed seats/steering wheel/gear shifter and cruise control." But Car and Driver is disappointed that "No telescoping steering or power seats come in the Cobalt …Try the Cobalt on first to make sure it fits."
Stereo and Entertainment
CNET says that where the "Chevrolet Cobalt LT distinguishes itself is in its level of standard and factory-optional electronic equipment. A useful information display set into the tachometer is standard, as is a good-quality, seven-speaker Pioneer audio system." Auto Mall USA similarly concludes that the audio system "delivers good sound and includes a huge subwoofer mounted on the left side trunk wall." CNET also reminds potential aftermarket upgraders to take note: "The Cobalt LT's center console is double-DIN, allowing for serious upgrades. Combined with the car's generally good construction, it would serve well as a platform for home-brewed gadgets or just a kickin' stereo."
The Cobalt offers 13.9 cubic feet of cargo room, "more than competitive in the class," according to New Car Test Drive. The reviewer also appreciates that the sedan trunk is "wide and deep with a low liftover height." To expand cargo space, the 60/40 split bench rear seatback includes a pass-through to the trunk. About.com praises, "You can put a lot of junk in that trunk. It's a compact car, but it'll hold more than you think." Reviewers' only cargo complaint is that "the opening to the trunk seems relatively small," according to New Car Test Drive.