While other compact cars are busy making headlines, the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt is busy being sold. It is one of the top five best-selling cars, sometimes even beating the Ford Focus in sales. The Chevrolet Cobalt’s main selling points include its extremely reasonable sale price. The SS model gives buyers strong performance while the XFE makes an affordable commuter car that gets exceptional gas mileage. Some of the features that make the XFE so fuel efficient include the manual transmission, low-rolling resistance tires, and a modified engine computer.
Body Styles: coupe, compact sedan
Engines: 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe XFE, Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe LS, Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe LT, Chevrolet Cobalt Sedan XFE, Chevrolet Cobalt Sedan LS, Chevrolet Cobalt Sedan LT, Chevrolet Cobalt Sedan SS
The Chevrolet SS Cobalt Sedan joins the lineup for 2009. The LT trim level offers a new Sport Appearance package. Valve timing has made the base 2.2-liter engine more fuel efficient and more powerful. New this year, LT trim and higher models come equipped with OnStar, an iPod-compatible USB port, and Bluetooth.
The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt has the nice bowtie badge and grille that splits horizontally. It measures the longest amongst its competitors at 180 inches and remains one of the more narrow cars in its class. It is wider than the Ford Focus but narrower than the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. The Cobalt Coupe and Cobalt Sedans have different rear-end designs.
The LT trim level allows buyers to upgrade to the Sport Appearance package. The package for the exterior includes fog lamps, a rear spoiler, reworked rear and front fascias, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The SS version of the Cobalt has 18-inch alloy wheels and unique exterior styling.
The interior of the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt achieves a modern feel with a fully featured stereo head unit and stylish gauges. Air-conditioning and a driver information center come standard in all models. The design remains plain unless you upgrade to the SS trim level or the Sport Appearance package. Front seat comfort and trim materials for the lower-priced Cobalt models disappoint. The rear seat is also a disappointment due to its low and flat position. The SS offers the only exception with exceptional-quality front seats.
Performance & Handling
The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt offers two engine options. Each engine type has its benefits and drawbacks. The two engine choices include a 2.2-liter, inline four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine. The 2.2-liter produces 150 lb-ft of torque and 150 horsepower. The new 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt has a final drive axel ratio to improve fuel economy.
The SS model comes with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that provides 260 lb-ft of torque and 260 horsepower. The SS only comes with a manual transmission and electronic stability control. Performance-wise, it can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Despite its extra power it does not take a big hit in fuel economy.
All Cobalts have full-length side curtain airbags standard. The majority of 2009 Chevrolet Cobalts come equipped with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. The SS model makes an exception with its four-wheel, performance-tuned disc brakes. The SS also has standard anti-lock brakes, which remain optional on the LS and LT models. Automatic transmission models with ABS have traction control as a standard feature. A free year of OnStar comes with new Cobalts. OnStar service will automatically alert the authorities in the case of a collision.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chevrolet Cobalt XFE: 25/37 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Cobalt LS automatic transmission: 24/33 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Cobalt SS: 22/30 mpg city/highway
- SS trim excels in performance
- Smooth ride
- Good fuel economy
- Quiet passenger cabin
You Won't Like
- Confined rear seat
- Lack of cargo room
- Pedestrian fit and finish
- Boring handling (with the exception of the SS trim)
A quiet commuter car with excellent gas mileage.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Focus
- Honda Civic
- Toyota Corolla