Chevy's compact Cobalt moves into 2007 with only a handful of minor changes, including a horsepower bump for both the 2.2- and 2.4-liter Ecotec engines. In addition, there's an available remote vehicle start system on automatic transmission models, as well as an available AM/FM audio system with 6-disc in-dash CD changer with MP3 playback capability. Standard on the audio system is a single-slot CD with auxiliary input jack for iPods and MP3 players. The LT model receives new 16-inch high-vent steel wheels, while the SS Supercharged model gets 18-inch high-polished wheels. There's also one new exterior color-Sport Red Tintcoat.
The Cobalt comes in four trim levels and two body styles. There's the LS coupe or sedan, LT coupe or sedan (in 1, 2, or 3 trim), the LTZ sedan, Cobalt SS coupe or sedan, and the potent SS Supercharged coupe. Because Chevy is aiming for the sport compact crowd, even the base LS features a nice monochromatic finish on the door handles, bumpers, grille, pillars, and roof molding. The sportier SS Supercharged version gets body-color ground-effects fascias and rocker moldings to highlight its performance. Inside is the same story; different trim levels receive different features. All models get a height-adjustable steering wheel, air conditioning, front bucket seats, a 60/40 split-fold rear bench seat, a trunk light, and two auxiliary 12-volt power outlets.
The LS, LT, and LTZ all feature the standard Ecotec 2.2-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that now generates 148 hp and 152 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2.4-liter Ecotec inline-4 that's standard on the naturally-aspirated Cobalt SS also gets bumped up to 173 hp and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. The supercharged 2.0-liter powerplant raises the ante to 205 hp and 200 lb.-ft. of torque. Even with the supercharged engine, EPA fuel economy numbers are good: 23 mpg city and 29 highway with the 5-speed manual transmission. A 4-speed automatic is available on all Cobalt models except the SS Supercharged model.
Chevy also offers many suspension choices for the Cobalt, with no less than three different suspension tuning setups, each progressively getting thicker stabilizer bars, stiffer shocks, and on the supercharged model higher-rate springs and bushings, along with performance tires. For those who like to personalize, Chevy also offers over two dozen accessories for the Cobalt.
The Chevrolet Cobalt competes in the Compact Conventional segment, which consists of 20 models. Buyers in this segment look for fuel economy, reliability, and safety, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Corolla (328,699 units sold), Honda Civic (316,638), and Chevrolet Cobalt (211,449). The Chevrolet Cobalt's 211,449 sales in 2006 represent a decrease of 0.6 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Compact Conventional segment include the Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Jetta, and Saturn Ion. Joining the segment in 2007 are the Pontiac G5, Suzuki SX4, and Volkswagen Rabbit.
|LS||5 speed manual||$13,175||148-hp / 2.2L 4-cyl||25/34|
|LT||5 speed manual||$14,295||148-hp / 2.2L 4-cyl||25/34|
|SS||5 speed manual||$18,285||173-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||25/34|
|LTZ||4 speed automatic||$18,500||148-hp / 2.2L 4-cyl||24/32|