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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
Front passengers enjoy good head, leg and elbow space
Kelley Blue Book
Textured surfaces and tasteful cloth fabric look good for the class
Comfy front bucket seats
While working within the constraints of assembling a cheap compact car, the designers at GM have done a decent job of creating a very livable car with a good, smooth ride, although seating comfort isn’t ideal.
Cars.com says that "with front bucket seats and a 60/40-split folding rear seat, all Cobalts seat five occupants," and other reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that occupants should have ample room. Kelley Blue Book reviewers claim that "front passengers enjoy good head, leg and elbow room." Consumer Guide agrees, but notes that not everyone will be comfortable, as "the seat cushions are a bit short for best thigh support," the "generous rearward travel gives good legroom for tall occupants." MyRide.com also points out that the Chevrolet Cobalt SS features "deeply bolstered sport seats," though some reviewers find them a bit too confining.
The rear seat of the Chevrolet Cobalt coupe is also wanting for space, and MyRide.com says that "you'll find the rear seat to be quite cramped" and "spacious accommodations are not on the menu here." Consumer Guide contends the story is similar in the sedan, and while it "matches its rivals for head clearance," the "legroom and foot space are tighter than in most competitors."
Trunk space in this 2009 Chevrolet gets much more love in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com; Consumer Guide states that "the trunk has good room that's expandable via folding rear seatbacks." Cars.com agrees and appreciates that "the trunk can be accessed from inside the car." Interior storage is nothing to sneeze at either, according to Kelley Blue Book, which reports that "in many recent vehicles, a large glovebox door opens onto a constricted storage space, but the Cobalt's glovebox is ample in size."
The interior of the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt emphasizes practicality over substance, and its budget-car heritage is clear in the build and materials quality found on the Cobalt. Edmunds in particular disapproves of the "bargain-bin interior materials" and "mediocre fit and finish," while Car and Driver finds fault with the "shiny, poorly grained plastic." Not all reviewers are cut from the same cloth, however, and Consumer Guide reviewers feel that the "textured surfaces and tasteful cloth fabric look good for the class."
With respect to ride quality, the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt, especially in its base trims, does well. Cars.com says that "the ride is surprisingly good, with only larger bumps and holes causing trouble," and Kelley Blue Book declares it "a surprisingly good ride." ConsumerGuide agrees, reporting that the "Cobalt's stout body structure allows even base models to have a comfortably controlled ride, even on patchy pavement," and they claim that "the SS is fairly stiff, yet it's not bone-jarring as might be expected from a factory-tuned performance car."
Ambient noise isn't a major problem in most driving situations for the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. ConsumerGuide reports that "wind rush and most road noise is relatively low for the class," but many reviewers also point out that under hard acceleration, the harsh engine noise intrudes into the cabin, especially with the 2.2-liter powerplants.
The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt offers decent comfort levels for a small car but has a long way to go to bring a feeling of refinement and quality.