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SAFETY | 6 out of 10
“Full-length side curtain airbags are standard on all Cobalts”
Good," frontal offset impact; "acceptable," side impact
Four stars, driver front impact; five stars, passenger front impact; three stars, front side impact; four stars, rear side impact
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 the 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.
Both the Chevrolet Cobalt coupe and sedan earn four stars for front impact driver protection and five for front impact passenger protection, but when it comes to front side impacts, the coupe earns four stars, while the sedan gets only three. However, in the rear side impact test, the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt sedan outscores the coupe five stars to four. In IIHS testing, both body styles earn the highest possible rating, "good," for frontal offset impacts and "acceptable" for side impact protection.
With the relative lack of features in this area, at least the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt gathers some compliments for outward visibility. Kelley Blue Book says that the Cobalt features a "high seating position for a more commanding view of the road, and all-around visibility is impressive." However, the view from the Chevrolet Cobalt SS models isn't as impressive, and ConsumerGuide claims that "the tall spoiler on the SS coupe really restricts the view out back."
Edmunds points out that base models, while fuel-efficient, “suffer in terms of braking.” It reports from its own tests that “stopping from 60 mph required a very long 146 feet." Edmunds finds much better results in the Cobalt SS, with stickier tires and ABS producing exceptional braking figures, needing just 115 feet to stop.
The 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt is unremarkable for safety—and perhaps a model to be avoided by those who want all the protection they can afford.