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#23

in 2009 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $7,698 - $11,562
Original MSRP: $15,660 - $23,525
MPG: 25 City / 37 Hwy
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2009 Chevy Cobalt Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Cobalt is pleasant, if not powerful, on the highway. However, reviewers accentuate the positive and call attention to the car's great fuel economy and solid ride quality.

  • "The Chevrolet Cobalt is quite pleasant to drive." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Respectable acceleration, smooth ride, dull handling. ...  Against compact cars like the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Mitsubishi Lancer and Scion tC ... Cobalt is outdone in virtually every area except acceleration and fuel economy." -- Edmunds
  • "Clearly a cut above recent GM smaller cars, the Cobalt delivers reasonably spirited performance and a surprisingly good ride for a generally enjoyable experience." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The Cobalt doesn't have overwhelming engine power from its base 2.2-liter engine, plus neither the five-speed manual transmission nor the four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission has the gumption to leave its competition in the slow lane. But test drivers are very pleased with the car's fuel economy. According to the EPA, the base engine rates at 22/30 mpg with the manual transmission and 24/33 mpg with the automatic.

  • "Sufficient verve from a stop. Passing punch is a bit lacking, sometimes requiring a two-gear downshift in order to extract the most from the engine." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Cobalt's engine is a bit coarse and its exhaust note is even louder." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Cobalt had plenty of get-up-and-go. Our trip included a lot of hills, and the Cobalt was able to climb all but the steepest of 'em without my having to downshift." -- About.com
  • "Chevrolet's 2009 Cobalt LS sedan delivers some of the best fuel economy ratings in the market." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

Handling and Braking

The 2009 Cobalt kept its composure on test drives, and several reviewers note how the car's Delta chassis architecture assists in its tight feel.

  • "Your fingers feel, well, almost nothing of the vibrations generated by the engine or road blight. They are absorbed by a stiffened structure and better-isolated suspension." -- Car and Driver
  • "Suspension is more effective than in some other GM automobiles, with a firm, direct feel. Only the nastier bumps and potholes are likely to be bothersome. ... Nimble handling is accompanied by well-assisted, confident steering, which enhances agility in around-town driving, and the Cobalt is stable on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Cobalt's stout body structure allows even base models to have a comfortably controlled ride, even on patchy pavement. Float and wallow are minimal at worst." -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2009 Chevy Cobalt

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Used car average prices are provided by ClearBook™, a TrueCar™ product