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FEATURES | 7 out of 10
XM Satellite Radio is now standard on all models
SS coupe adds 18-inch wheels
Reasonably priced, well-equipped compacts available with many appealing features
For 2008, Chevrolet offers a Byzantine array of trim levels. The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt comes in five different varieties, most of which are available with either two or four doors.
According to Car and Driver, the LS trim level, at $14,585, is the bottom-of-the-line model and is available on the coupe or sedan. For 2008, Chevrolet's LS trim level includes a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower; a five-speed manual transmission; air conditioning; curtain airbags; 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers; automatic headlights; front disc and rear drum brakes; an AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD stereo system with auxiliary input and MP3 capability; manual windows, locks, and mirrors; four-way manually adjustable front seats; folding rear seats; and cloth upholstery.
Spending $15,295 buys the Chevrolet 2008 1LT Cobalt model, which is also available in coupe or sedan form. It includes all of the standard equipment of the LS model, as well as power door locks with remote keyless entry, sport cloth upholstery, front and rear floor mats, a front-seat armrest, and power-adjustable body-colored side-view mirrors.
A Chevrolet 2008 2LT version of the Cobalt costs $16,590, and also comes in coupe or sedan form. It includes everything from the 1LT and adds anti-lock brakes, a cargo net, cruise control, body-color side moldings, 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, and OnStar convenience and emergency services.
One step down from the top of the Chevrolet 2008 Cobalt range is the Sport model, which costs $19,870. It includes everything from the 2LT and adds a 171-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, 17-inch aluminum wheels, a more powerful Pioneer stereo system with seven speakers, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, a stainless-steel exhaust system with a chrome tip, front and rear body-color fascias, rocker-panel ground effects, white-faced gauges, a trip computer, a rear spoiler, stability control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, and a leather-wrapped shift knob. The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt in this form is a pretty nice car, but spending an extra $3,000 will buy a serious performance machine, the SS.
The SS model costs $22,995 includes as standard equipment a 260-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, new front and rear fascias, new side sills, a rear spoiler stability control, 18-inch forged aluminum wheels, a sport suspension, sport seats, the seven-speaker Pioneer stereo, and other SS trim details. It will also blow the doors off of any other Cobalt--and many other cars costing a lot more money, for that matter, reports Car and Driver.
According to Edmunds, options available on the LT and Sport are a sunroof, remote ignition, leather upholstery, and an in-dash six-CD changer. And for the SS coupe, options include the sunroof, a limited-slip differential, and larger rear spoiler--"wing" is really a more appropriate word for it. Bluetooth and a navigation system are not offered.
Drivers who must have this car with two extra doors need only wait a little longer because a Cobalt SS sedan is in the works for the 2009 model year.
The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt offers great value in base versions, but better equipment boosts its price quickly—and some of the latest tech features aren’t available at all.