2010 Chevrolet Cobalt Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
January 6, 2010

There's not much to recommend on the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, though it does have good fuel economy and a reasonably comfortable interior.

TheCarConnection.com has combed through a range of reputable reviews relevant to the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt to bring you the most useful information. Then, here in this Bottom Line, the editors of TheCarConnection.com have included their driving impressions and advice in considering the Cobalt versus other compact cars.

Chevrolet's line of compact cars includes a range of sedans and coupe, with offerings ranging from economical base models to sporty SS variants. The SS is the highlight of the lineup, but it's offered only as a coupe. All models now inherit the improvements of the fuel-efficient XFE model that was introduced last year, but their rather conservative styling and drab, basic interior continues unchanged.

Unless opting for the sporty SS, all of the models in the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt lineup are quite forgettable with regard to the driving experience. A total of four trim levels are offered on the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt: Base, LS, LT, and SS. The first three feature a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower. Don’t expect the base versions of the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt to be sporty, but they do make for a good daily commuter. The naturally aspirated 2.2-liter engine is a little short on power, but the handling isn’t too bad until you need to corner in a hurry. Once you do, the Cobalt’s electric power steering provides you with muted feedback that makes for a rather detached driving experience, although the ride quality is good with the softer suspension calibration. Fuel economy is a bright spot, as the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt gets 25 mpg city, 37 highway.

The 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt SS, on the other hand, feels like a completely different car to the rest of the range. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, similar to the one in the now defunct Pontiac Solstice GXP, churns out a healthy 260 horsepower and offers plenty of real-world performance. The SS takes only 5.7 seconds to get to 60 mph from rest and comes standard with Brembo front brakes, stability control, side airbags, and a sports body kit. A limited-slip front differential and sport pedals are optional for the SS—a rarity for this segment.

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Especially when compared to the alternatives, the interior of the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt looks and feels rather dated. You'll assume a strangely reclined driving position is assumed due to the oddly proportioned seats. The backseat also sports unusual dimensions, but space for backseat passengers is good and the seatbacks can be folded down, increasing trunk space significantly.

The 2010 Cobalt is just adequate with respect to safety, and it lacks some vital features. All Cobalts come with full-length side-curtain airbags as standard, but ABS brakes are optional on all models below the SS and 2LT, and electronic stability control isn't offered, except on the SS. Crash tests by the IIHS and NHTSA yield barely acceptable results for frontal crashes and acceptable for side collisions.

Base models of the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt don't come with much. Air conditioning is optional, as are cruise control and most power accessories. LT models add much more, including keyless entry, upgraded audio, alloy wheels, and upgraded front seats. For 2010, the Sports Appearance Package, previously known as the Performance Appearance Package, is also available on the LT coupe. The package includes a rear spoiler, 17-inch aluminum wheels, a stainless-steel exhaust with chrome tips, fog lamps, white-face gauges, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, plus steering wheel controls and Bluetooth connectivity.

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